Hope and change: this year’s college freshmen have grim, serious outlook

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One might hope that the economic recession, which formally ended in 2009, is no longer inhibiting students’ educational pursuits — or, perhaps more realistically, not as much.

But an annual survey of freshmen suggests precisely the opposite: more students than ever (66.6 percent) say America’s economic condition significantly affected their choice of college — so the recession’s residual effects, at least, linger on.

And financial considerations are affecting students in more ways than just where they enroll. The survey also found all-time highs in the number of students who said that “to be able to get a better job” (87.9 percent) and “to be able to make more money” (74.6 percent) were “very important” reasons to go to college; that “being very well-off financially” is a personal goal (81 percent); and that “the cost of attending this college” (43.3 percent) and “not offered aid by first choice” (9.5 percent) were important reasons for choosing the college they are attending.

Full story: Minding the Money

Inside Higher Education