Survey: Most High School Grads Believe College Worthwhile

Tuesday, 30 Aug 2011 12:10 PM

By Greg McDonald

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Most high school graduates believe that earning a college degree is “definitely” worth the time and money to help them compete in today’s economy, according to a new survey by the nonprofit College Board.
 “One Year Out,” the survey of 1,507 2010 high school graduates, found that 86 percent of students who have already completed a year of college or have not yet enrolled agree that getting that degree is important to their future.
At least 90 percent of those surveyed said a high school diploma is not enough and to be successful some additional higher form of learning or training is necessary.
“This survey clearly demonstrates that young Americans value education and understand that it takes hard work to be successful in college and beyond,” said College Board President Gaston Caperton. “These candid assessments provide critical firsthand insight into how high schools serve — and in some ways shortchange — their graduates. One Year Out is a call to action, straight from the class of 2010.”

The survey, designed essentially to assess how high schools prepare students for college, found that while most students were satisfied with the high school experience many regretted not taking or being offered more courses.

For example, 44 percent said they wish they had taken more math, science, and writing courses, while 37 percent said high school graduation requirements should have been more difficult.

Among the other findings:

• Despite the current state of the economy, 66 percent of those surveyed said they were optimistic about their future job prospects;

• Among those not attending college, 56 percent said tuition and other costs were the main factor in their decision not to pursue a degree; and

• 54 percent attending said college was more difficult than expected.

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