With Their Whole Lives Ahead of Them - school status
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"With Their Whole Lives Ahead of Them" is based on a survey including a nationally-representative sample of 614 22-to-20-year-olds who have at least some secondary education. Interviews were conducted from May 7 to June 24, 2009 using both landline and cellular telephones, and respondents had the choice of completing the interview in English or Spanish. The margin of error for the report is plus or minus 4.8 percentage points. However, it is higher when comparing subgroups or question items that weren't asked of all respondents. The survey was preceded by five focus groups conducted in sites across the country.
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Survey data by completion status
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Failed to Complete (N=200)Completed PSE (N=281)School In Progress (N=133)Total
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Q9. Being as realistic as you can, which do you think is more likely to happen in the next ten years?I will be on track towards a successful career79%91%95%88%
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I am not sure if I will be closer to a successful career18%7%4%10%
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Don’t know3%1%1%2%
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Q10a. Please tell me if you agree or disagree with each statement-- In the long run, you will make more money if you have a college degree.Strongly agree52%66%77%64%
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Somewhat agree27%19%21%22%
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Somewhat disagree13%7%2%8%
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Strongly disagree6%4%0%4%
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Don’t know2%2%2%
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Q10d. Please tell me if you agree or disagree with each statement-- College is not for everyone – some people just don’t like school.Strongly agree54%47%51%50%
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Somewhat agree34%42%37%39%
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Somewhat disagree6%6%6%6%
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Strongly disagree5%5%5%5%
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Don’t know1%0%
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Q10e. Please tell me if you agree or disagree with each statement-- I know many people who make a good living who do not have a college degree.Strongly agree50%40%31%41%
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Somewhat agree30%37%46%37%
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Somewhat disagree12%16%12%14%
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Strongly disagree6%6%10%7%
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Don’t know1%1%1%1%
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Q12. Please tell me which statement comes closer to your own view, even if neither is exactly right. In this economic climate it is really essential to have a college degree36%61%60%54%
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Because of the economic climate, everyone is having a hard time getting a job, so having a college degree doesn't really help that much62%37%36%45%
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Don’t know2%1%3%1%
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Q13. Please tell me which statement comes closer to your own view, even if neither is exactly right.If there were plenty of good jobs available without an advanced degree, I probably would not have gone to school after high school21%9%13%14%
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I would still make the decision to go to school because what you learn there is so important77%90%87%86%
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Don’t know1%1%1%
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Q15. Do you think that currently, the vast majority of people who are qualified to go to college have the opportunity to do so, or do you think there are many people who are qualified to go but don’t have the opportunity to do so?Have the opportunity to go25%39%34%34%
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Do not have the opportunity to go70%57%64%62%
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Don’t know4%3%2%3%
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Q16. In your circle of friends, do you think most people are really impressed by someone who graduates from college, is it something they look down at, or is it just something routine and expected?Most people are really impressed42%25%37%33%
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Something they look down at2%4%2%3%
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Just something routine and expected52%69%58%62%
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Don’t know3%2%2%2%
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Q17. Which of the following applies to you? For my career goals…My degree is all I need23%42%9%29%
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I need another degree besides my degree66%46%89%61%
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I don’t even need my degree10%12%1%9%
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Don’t know0%0%1%1%
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Q18a. Here are some statements that may or may not describe your own reasons for continuing your education after high school. Please tell me how close it comes to describing you-- I went there because I really enjoy being in school.Very close26%35%31%32%
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Somewhat close32%34%46%36%
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Not too close13%10%11%11%
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Not close at all28%20%13%21%
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Q18b. Here are some statements that may/may not describe your reasons for continuing education after high school. Tell me how close it comes to describing you-- I went there because my parents always instilled in me the importance of higher education.Very close43%57%48%51%
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Somewhat close28%23%28%26%
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Not too close13%8%7%9%
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Not close at all17%11%17%14%
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Q18c. Here are some statements that may/may not describe your reasons for continuing education after high school. Tell me how close it comes to describing you-- I went there because I really didn’t know what I wanted to do after high school.Very close25%20%19%22%
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Somewhat close29%23%15%23%
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Not too close12%15%14%14%
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Not close at all33%42%51%41%
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Don’t know0%0%
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Q18d. Here are some statements that may/may not describe your own reasons for continuing your education after high school. Please tell me how close it comes to describing you-- I went there because the career I want specifically requires it.Very close42%49%62%50%
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Somewhat close22%23%18%22%
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Not too close12%9%10%10%
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Not close at all23%18%10%18%
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Don’t know0%0%
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Q18e. Here are some statements that may or may not describe your own reasons for continuing your education after high school. Please tell me how close it comes to describing you-- I went there because most of my friends were going.Very close10%9%9%9%
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Somewhat close7%18%7%13%
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Not too close13%17%22%17%
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Not close at all68%55%63%60%
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Don’t know0%0%
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Q18f. Here are some statements that may/may not describe your reasons for continuing education after high school. Please tell me how close it comes to describing you-- I wanted to learn more about the world and college is the place to do it.Very close23%33%34%31%
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Somewhat close35%34%37%35%
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Not too close15%13%10%13%
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Not close at all26%19%18%21%
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Don’t know0%1%0%
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Q19. If you attended more than one school, please think about the first one you attended. To start, which type of school was that? Was it a…? [Base: Those who attendend more than one type of school after high school.]Trade or vocational school or program12%7%10%9%
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Two year or community college56%52%53%53%
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Four year college32%41%36%38%
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Don’t know0%0%
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Q20. Was this a public or a private school?Public90%74%78%79%
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Private9%26%21%20%
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Don’t know1%0%2%1%
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Q22. Which comes closer to your view: [Base: Those who waited a year or more to begin school.]It would have been easier for me overall to have started classes immediately after high school59%30%57%50%
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Waiting before starting classes was the right choice, I would not have been ready for it40%70%43%49%
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Don’t know1%1%
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Q24a. Please tell me if each of the following is a major/minor/or not a reason at all why you selected this school-- The overall academic reputation of the school.Major reason33%54%43%46%
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Minor reason29%27%27%27%
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Not a reason at all38%19%30%27%
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Don’t know0%0%0%
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Q24b. Please tell me if each of the following is a major/minor/or not a reason at all why you selected this school-- Recommendations from friends or family members.Major reason25%29%21%26%
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Minor reason22%33%42%32%
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Not a reason at all54%37%37%42%
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Don’t know1%0%
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Q24c. Please tell me if each of the following is a major/minor/or not a reason at all why you selected this school-- It was conveniently located to where I lived or worked.Major reason66%45%51%53%
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Minor reason12%22%24%20%
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Not a reason at all21%32%25%27%
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Q24d. Please tell me if each of the following is a major/minor/or not a reason at all why you selected this school-- The tuition and fees were affordable.Major reason57%56%60%57%
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Minor reason23%23%24%23%
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Not a reason at all20%20%16%19%
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Q24e. Please tell me if each of the following is a major/minor/or not a reason at all why you selected this school-- I could specialize or major in the exact subject I was interested in.Major reason54%54%54%54%
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Minor reason22%23%22%22%
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Not a reason at all24%23%24%23%
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Don’t know0%0%
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Q24f. Please tell me if each of the following is a major/minor/or not a reason at all why you selected this school-- It had a class schedule that worked with my schedule.Major reason59%36%45%44%
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Minor reason17%26%22%23%
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Not a reason at all25%37%32%33%
100
Don’t know0%0%
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