Study Says Young Adults Worry About Staying In College

Results from a survey released this week indicate that not surprisingly, more than half of Americans ages 18-29 are concerned about their current economic situation and about completing their education.

The "Survey of Young Americans’ Attitudes Toward Politics and Public Service: 17th Edition" was conducted online by Knowledge Networks for Harvard University’s Institute of Politics earlier this year, and was based on responses from over 3,000 young adults.

"Millions of young people are losing faith in government, politics and in many cases–the American dream," summed up John Della Volpe, director of polling for the institute, who was quoted in a press release. "Millennials are calling on government to follow through on the bright promise that a generation dedicated to public service has come to passionately believe in."

One of the findings of the survey indicated that nearly half of four-year college students and 64 percent of community college students are concerned about staying in college. Furthermore, a full 84 percent of college students believed that finding work after graduation would be difficult, and only 14 percent said it would be easy. In 2008, over double–30 percent–responded that finding work would be easy.

Additionally, 60 percent of those surveyed worried about paying their bills, and almost as many were concerned about affording a place to live and paying for healthcare. Nearly half were worried about losing their jobs.

The study contrasted with another recent report released by the Pew Research Center, which depicted those in the same age range as educated and optimistic. The Pew study found that about 90 percent of Millennials unhappy with their income level believed that their circumstances would eventually improve.

The Harvard Institute survey also found that many of respondents do not approve of how President Obama is handling the economy, reports The Chronicle of Higher Education. The survey found that the president’s overall approval rating fell slightly from 58 to 56 percent, while 46 percent of respondents said they approved of his policies. The latest Gallup poll, meanwhile, found that 49 percent of all Americans approved of the president’s performance.

"Today we know this new generation of emerging leaders is less sure where we and they are headed," noted Bill Purcell, director of Harvard’s Institute of Politics. "The question now is whether they will continue to grow their engagement in politics and public life in the years ahead—we may find out this fall."


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