Survey of U-M freshmen may reflect changes in outlook after 9-11
ANN ARBOR, Mich.A greater percentage of
this year's freshmen at the University of Michigan feel that
raising a family is either a "very important" or an
"essential" goal, as compared with the freshman class
of 2001, according to Malinda Matney, senior research associate
in the Division of Student Affairs.
This finding is one of many derived from U-M's
contribution to the annual survey of entering classes across the
country conducted each fall by the Higher Education Research Institute
at UCLA's Graduate School of Education and Information Studies.
The Cooperative Institutional Research Program (CIRP) was founded
"This administration of the CIRP is the
first since the events of Sept. 11, 2001. This year's entering
students completed the survey around the time of the first anniversary
of 9-11, which may have shifted their views on many questions,"
"Whether as a result of 9-11 or the economy,
Michigan students are demonstrating significant shifts in their
future priorities. Those U-M students who feel that raising a family
is a 'very important' or 'essential' goal
rose from 72.8 percent in 2001 to 74.5 percent in 2002, while those
valuing being 'very well off financially' dropped from
72.7 percent in 2001 to 69.3 percent in 2002."
· Michigan students demonstrated a sharply increased interest
in participation in the arts. Although 12.9 percent of students
surveyed in 2001 indicated performing arts aspirations, 17.1 percent
of 2002 Michigan students reported this interest. Michigan students'
interest in other creative expressions rose at the same time, including
writing original works (13.1 percent in 2001, 16 percent in 2002),
creating visual art (12.1 percent in 2001, 16.6 percent in 2002),
and making a theoretical contribution to science (19 percent in
2001, 22.2 percent in 2002).
· Community minded goals rose as well: U-M
students reported more desire to participate in environmental programs,
promote racial understanding, be community leaders, integrate spirituality
into life, help others in difficulty and participate in community
Politically, 2002 Michigan freshman were slightly
different from their earlier counterparts. "Following a national
trend, the percentage of Michigan students who consider following
politics to be very important or essential rose slightly in 2002.
In both years Michigan students were well ahead of their peers nationally
in considering such political knowledge important," reported
Student behavior in selecting a college and preparing
to pay for education shifted as well, Matney said.
· Michigan students' reliance on magazine
rankings to choose a college grew substantially: 40 percent of students
in 2002 indicated that this information was very important in the
decision to enroll at U-M, compared with 32.5 percent in 2001.
· At Michigan in 2002, 43.7 percent of entering
students expected to work, with 36.1 percent of men and 49.1 percent
of women reporting this expectation. This gender discrepancy is
particularly interesting considering that students enrolling at
U-M are largely traditional students coming directly from high school,
rather than students returning to college after a break in studies,
according to Matney.
Nationally, the CIRP findings are based on the
responses of 282,549 students at 437 of the nation's baccalaureate
colleges and universities. The data has been statistically adjusted
to reflect the responses of the 1.2 million first-time, full-time
students entering four-year colleges and universities as freshmen
in 2002. Information on the national survey is available on-line
Contact: Joel Seguine
Phone: (734) 936-6396