With Their Whole Lives Ahead of Them - census region
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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 census region
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Northeast (n=103)Midwest (N=131)South (N=242)West (N=138)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 career88%87%89%90%88%
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I am not sure if I will be closer to a successful career9%12%9%9%10%
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Don’t know3%2%2%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 agree59%67%65%64%64%
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Somewhat agree20%25%17%26%22%
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Somewhat disagree8%5%11%7%8%
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Strongly disagree13%1%3%1%4%
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Don’t know2%3%1%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 agree53%50%48%51%50%
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Somewhat agree37%42%39%35%39%
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Somewhat disagree5%6%6%7%6%
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Strongly disagree6%2%7%6%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 agree41%41%43%39%41%
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Somewhat agree34%33%40%38%37%
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Somewhat disagree18%18%7%16%14%
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Strongly disagree7%6%8%7%7%
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Don’t know0%2%0%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 degree55%52%52%57%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 much42%47%45%43%45%
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Don’t know3%1%2%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 school20%12%13%11%14%
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I would still make the decision to go to school because what you learn there is so important80%86%86%89%86%
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Don’t know1%1%0%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 go32%37%34%31%34%
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Do not have the opportunity to go65%55%62%67%62%
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Don’t know1%6%3%1%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 impressed24%35%31%39%33%
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Something they look down at5%3%2%3%3%
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Just something routine and expected68%60%64%56%62%
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Don’t know3%1%3%2%2%
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Q17. Which of the following applies to you? For my career goals…My degree is all I need29%33%33%22%29%
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I need another degree besides my degree58%60%59%67%61%
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I don’t even need my degree12%7%8%11%9%
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Don’t know1%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 close25%29%31%41%32%
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Somewhat close48%31%32%37%36%
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Not too close8%11%14%10%11%
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Not close at all19%29%22%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 close48%49%53%51%51%
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Somewhat close31%24%26%22%26%
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Not too close9%11%9%9%9%
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Not close at all13%15%11%18%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 close20%20%22%24%22%
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Somewhat close15%23%26%27%23%
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Not too close13%20%12%10%14%
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Not close at all52%37%40%39%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 close46%50%51%51%50%
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Somewhat close27%21%21%19%22%
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Not too close7%12%11%10%10%
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Not close at all20%17%17%18%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 close11%11%8%9%9%
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Somewhat close11%13%16%9%13%
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Not too close24%19%10%20%17%
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Not close at all54%57%64%62%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 close24%27%35%32%31%
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Somewhat close40%31%32%39%35%
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Not too close16%18%9%11%13%
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Not close at all20%21%23%17%21%
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Don’t know0%0%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 program9%6%8%15%9%
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Two year or community college55%62%47%49%53%
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Four year college37%32%45%37%38%
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Don’t know1%0%
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Q20. Was this a public or a private school?Public65%81%84%80%79%
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Private35%19%14%19%20%
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Don’t know1%2%1%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 school78%39%48%41%50%
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Waiting before starting classes was the right choice, I would not have been ready for it22%61%50%59%49%
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Don’t know2%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 reason50%38%47%48%46%
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Minor reason26%29%29%23%27%
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Not a reason at all24%33%23%28%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 reason33%26%28%21%26%
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Minor reason30%35%32%28%32%
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Not a reason at all34%40%40%51%42%
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Don’t know2%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 reason39%55%57%56%53%
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Minor reason34%21%17%13%20%
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Not a reason at all28%24%27%32%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 reason54%52%59%61%57%
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Minor reason24%25%23%23%23%
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Not a reason at all22%23%17%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 reason60%49%53%57%54%
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Minor reason17%23%27%19%22%
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Not a reason at all22%28%20%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 reason47%42%42%48%44%
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Minor reason23%18%28%18%23%
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Not a reason at all28%40%29%34%33%
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Don’t know0%0%
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