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25 Facts About Today's College Freshman

Who is the typical college freshman and what are these college newbies thinking?College quadrangle
Every year UCLA conducts the nation's most comprehensive survey on what's on the mind of college freshmen. The latest survey shows that freshmen are more overwhelmed and frazzled.

The emotional state of college freshmen is at the lowest point since the UCLA survey began inquiring about mental health in 1985. Only 52% of college freshmen reported that their emotional health was above average or higher. Twenty nine percent of freshmen said they frequently felt overwhelmed as high school seniors.

The economy certainly isn't helping these students. Two in three freshmen say the economic hard times had significantly impacted their college choices.

Today's freshmen are also pragmatic, according to the national survey conducted by UCLA's Higher Education Research Institute. Nearly 73% believe that the chief benefit of a college degree is to increase a graduate's earning power. In fact, the biggest reason freshmen cited for attending college (83%) was to get a better job.

When asked about their future careers, the largest percentage of freshmen (8.7%) expect to be a business executive or owner. The least popular career was homemaker (.1%).

25 Facts About Today's College Freshman

  1. 16% applied to seven or more colleges.
  2. 79% were accepted to their first choice college.
  3. 60.5% are attending their first choice school.
  4. 52% attend college within 100 miles of their home.
  5. 15.5% attend college more than 500 miles from their home.
  6. 65.5% attend their college because of very good academic reputation.
  7. 4% had a C or C+ grade point average in high school.
  8. 48% had a A+, A or A- grade point average in high school.
  9. 37% expect to use tutors in college.
  10. 41% did not hold a job as a high school senior.
  11. 19% did no household chores during a typical week as seniors.
  12. 78% are living in a college dorm.
  13. 43% did not play video games as seniors.
  14. 33% of freshmen consider themselves liberal or far left.
  15. 21% consider themselves conservative or far right.
  16. 46% consider themselves moderate politically.
  17. 71.5% of college freshmen are white.
  18. 41% hope to obtain a master's degree.
  19. 53% of students are borrowing to pay for college.
  20. 73% of students received college grants or scholarships.
  21. 5% have attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)
  22. 53% have fathers who earned a college degree.
  23. 55% have mothers who earned a college degree.
  24. 77% believe gays and lesbians should be able to adopt children.
  25. 61% endorse a national health care program to cover everyone's costs.
Lynn O'Shaughnessy is the author of The College Solution and she also writes for TheCollegeSolutionBlog.
College freshman image by Matt.Hintsa. CC 2.0.
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