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Why You Go to College – Is This You?

Posted by Alan J. McMillan on Tue, Sep 09, 2014 @ 10:00 AM

UCLA’s CIRP (Cooperative Institutional Research Program) just released a survey on why students go to college.  About 300,000 freshmen students from approximately 300 four year colleges completed the survey prior to the start of classes.  This body of work spans over 40 years of data and expertise in the subject matter itself.

Why students go to college?

  • 88% of students say they go to college in order to get a better job (an all time high)
  • 75% of students say they go in order to make more money (an all time high)
  • 81% say a personal goal is to be very well off financially (again an all time high)

Regarding graduation:

  • 84% said they thought it would take four years to graduate
  • But as we know statistically, only 40% will

On the Lifestyle Front:

  • As high school seniors, 30% felt they were frequently overwhelmed. Up two percent from last year
    • 40% of women felt overwhelmed in high school
    • 18% of men did
    • (note to self:  women are doing better than men academically, draw you own conclusion)

What’s the point?  In order to get what 88% of students are looking for (statistically that’s you) you have to:

  • Get a job
  • Thrive in it (it helps to be passionate about your role and your career)
  • Replace it if you lose it or find yourself in a place that does not please you
  • And all along the way, you must work toward your financial independence


Ironically, what you are tested on, and traditionally taught on campus, are not skills and tactics to serve these objectives as you prepare for Commencement.

What does that mean to you?  You must seek out information and skills in:

  • Getting employed
  • Thriving in your career
  • Building your financial independence

The good news is that there is great information and resources on and off campus.  But most often, you will not be required to take those classes or dig into that research, so it is up to you.

Topics: Job Search, Alan McMillan, Dream Jobs, Financial Independence, College, Passion