Research + News | Topic: First-Year Students

Why Aren’t Students Showing Up For College?

According to research from Harvard, between 10% and 40% of the kids who intend to go to college at the time of high school graduation don’t actually show up in the fall. Education researchers call this phenomenon “summer melt,” and it has long been a puzzling problem. Listen to the story on NPR here.

Goodbyes of Summer: As Teens Leave for College, Families Feel Jumble of Emotions

When Victoria Dawson flew last week from Washington, D.C., to Boulder, Colo., to drop off her daughter Ellie for her freshman year of college, she and Ellie’s father saw it as a chance for some final quality time together. Read the full article here.

College Prep: How Can Students Stand Strong for Their Faith in College?

It’s heartbreaking to see students who were active Christians in high school disengage from their faith and the church once they’ve been in college for a while—sometimes a very short while.

Read the full article from Sean McDowell for Salvo Magazine here.

Backgrounds and Beliefs of College Freshmen

For five decades, researchers at the University of California at Los Angeles have surveyed the nation’s incoming freshmen to learn more about their backgrounds, views, and expectations.

See the most recent results here.

The Beloit College Mindset List for the Class of 2019

Now in its 18th year from Beloit College, The Mindset List continues to reflect the worldview of entering first year students.

Check out the list here.

Getting In To College Doesn’t Mean Students Are Ready to Go

A post on the Motherlode blog of the New York Times says: “Let’s not equate college admission with college readiness. The skills needed to graduate from high school and get into college have surprisingly little in common with those needed to manage, much less thrive, away from home in an undergraduate setting. There should be no shame in ‘taking time off.'”

Read the full article here.

McGarvey: Manage Transition to College with Personality

College can mean many new things, and you are not alone. Read the full article here.

The Streamlined Life: David Brooks on Incoming Freshmen

Brooks_New-articleInlineThe New York Times columnist David Brooks writes about recent statistical data concerning first year students. In his column, “The Streamlined Life,” Brooks suggests:

“Human nature hasn’t changed much. The surveys still reveal generations driven by curiosity, a desire to have a good family, a good community and good values. But people clearly feel besieged. There is the perception that life is harder. Certainly their parents think it is harder. The result is that you get a group hardened for battle, more focused on the hard utilitarian things and less focused on spiritual or philosophic things; feeling emotionally vulnerable, but also filled with résumé assertiveness. The inner world wanes; professional intensity waxes.”

Read the full article here.

What I Wish Someone Had Told Me About Freshman Year

USA Today College article by college senior, Lauren Inego, reflecting on what she wishes someone would have told her at the start of her first year:

“No one ever said my first year would be difficult to adjust to, or that sometimes I would feel lost or anxious or lonely or homesick. So, when I did inevitably feel all of those emotions, I kept them locked up inside of me like deep, dark secrets I was terrified of letting out. I felt guilty and defected.”

“Freshmen, I’m not trying to scare you. For many, if not most of you, this will indeed be a great, worry-free year. But if you are like me and you hit some hurdles along the way, please know: You are not alone.”

Read the full article here.

Most Students Say They Go to College to Get Better Jobs and Make More Money

According to the CIRP Freshman Survey, UCLA’s annual survey of the nation’s entering students at four-year colleges and universities, the current economic situation in the United States has a major influence on first-year students’ decisions about which college to attend and is reflected in their reasons for pursuing higher education.

Two out of three first-year students (66.6%) said they believe current economic conditions significantly affected their choice of college. Students are increasingly placing a premium on the job-related benefits of going to college. The portion of incoming freshmen that cited “to be able to get a better job” as a very important reason for attending college reached an all-time high of 87.9 percent in 2012.

Read the report here.

Download the full report (.pdf) here.