Santa Monica, CA (PRWEB) December 17, 2007
Rather than viewing college primarily as a four-year path to self-discovery, more freshmen arrive on campus with plans for a lucrative career already in mind, new research shows.
The percentage of students who said being able to make money was a very important reason for attending college jumped to 69 percent last year from 49.9 percent in 1976, according to the Higher Education Research Institute at UCLA. "Students and parents are looking at college as a long-term investment," said Steven Goodman, a Washington, D.C. admissions adviser and author. "With tuition costs only going up, it makes sense that people are asking what the economic yield will be on the educational experience."
More than two-thirds of college freshmen surveyed last year said the "chief benefit of a college education is that it increases one's earning power," according to the institute's report "American Freshmen: Forty-Year Trends 1966-2006." Jerry Slavonia, CEO of CampusExplorer.com, said the report's statistics are in line with his company's own findings. "Most of the students using our site are searching for specific degree programs and specialties, such as business administration or communications."
"Students have an idea what they're looking for at the outset," said Slavonia. "When they come to us, they have instant access to more than 6,000 campuses, with everything from video tours to comparisons of tuition costs, class sizes and graduation rates for schools offering similar programs."
Goodman has always encouraged his clients to consider schools beyond the traditional roster of 'big names.' "That's where Web sites such as CampusExplorer.com can be invaluable," said Goodman. "It isn't easy for a student in California to take a drive around Pennsylvania for the weekend and look at colleges. Online resources can be incredibly useful."
"It's important not just to get information about the school from the people who are paid to tell you, but to seek out expert third parties," Goodman continued. "Are the internship opportunities as wide as the admissions office makes them out to be? Is the theater department as good as the school says it is?"
CampusExplorer.com is adding several new features to address those types of questions, according to Slavonia, and provides a forum for first-hand critiques. "We want future students, current students, professors, admissions staff and alumni to contribute commentary and opinion," Slavonia said. "In this way CampusExplorer.com is building school profiles that go way beyond the norm. Direct access to unbiased information will produce informed decisions on the part of students and that is what it's all about."
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