One in Six High Schoolers Don’t Believe Their College Dreams Will Come True

The following is excerpted from an online article posted by Study Finds.

Going to college and graduating is a dream many teens have, but a growing portion of modern high school students say attending college just isn’t realistic for them. Researchers from the University of Georgia report that the vast majority of high school juniors (85%) want to attend college after graduating — but one in six don’t think that will actually happen.

More specifically, study authors found that students with lower grades generally still want to go to college but were less likely to believe they could successfully attain a bachelor’s degree. The same held true among students attending public high schools. Those from low-income families were also less likely to believe they could eventually attend college, although this group still generally desired higher education. Both young men and Hispanic students were especially likely to want to go to college but did not expect to actually attend.

Researchers analyzed data provided by the 2009 High School Longitudinal Study [HSLS:09], originally conducted by the National Center for Education Statistics. That project was a nationally representative sample of high schoolers from 944 public and private schools who agreed to let researchers track them from 9th through 11th grade. For this latest project, study authors focused on responses from more than 9,650 students in their junior year.

While most students said they want to earn at least a bachelor’s degree, if not a master’s or doctorate, just 74 percent actually believe they would follow through on their plans. Consequently, those same students were less likely to search for, apply to, and enroll in college. Among those with low expectations for attending college, roughly half decided to go enroll in a two-year institution. The other half did not pursue higher education at all.

The study was published in the journal Educational Policy.

Source: Study Finds

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[reposted by] Jim Liebelt

Jim is Senior Writer, Editor and Researcher for HomeWord. Jim has 40 years of experience as a youth and family ministry specialist, having served over the years as a pastor, author, consultant, mentor, trainer, college instructor, and speaker. Jim’s HomeWord culture blog also appears on and Jim and his wife Jenny live in Quincy, MA.

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