The State of the American College Student

Read our groundbreaking proprietary research study that can help your institution.

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There has been a massive shift in the last few years in how college students, prospective students, and parents view higher education. Three years into an unprecedented pandemic, with political, social, and even ecological upheaval dominating our cultural consciousness… how are today’s (and tomorrow’s) students really feeling? About themselves, their priorities, and their future prospects? We undertook to find out, with a broad-ranging survey. Our inaugural 2022 research study builds on baseline tracking data we gathered in 2021, to provide a unique quantitative look at the mood of both current and prospective U.S. college students.

This study is an invaluable tool if your institution is looking to truly improve your enrollment and retention performance. Upon review, feel free to contact us to discuss how it relates specifically to your institution and solutions on how to bridge the gap between you and your audiences.

Some quick highlights:

Detailed visual data included

Anxiety is Widespread

While the highest states of anxiety reported last year have subsided, the overall share of students reporting anxiety has increased. In terms of overall self-reported emotional state, since 2021 the number of students feeling “overwhelmed” increased 11 points, with the number of those who felt “lost” up 7 points.

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The Emotional Benefits of a “College Town”

Overall, living in what survey respondents perceived as a “college town” seemed to grant a measurable emotional dividend: college town residents reported feeling more “loved” (+13 over non-college town residents) and +10 points happier. College town residents also reported a greater appetite for “new experiences” (+12 points) and “connecting with others” (+10 points).

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College Campus
UC Berkley with Richmond in the background
Man on computer

Work-Life Balance is Becoming Non-Negotiable

While “stability” still topped the list of factors students were seeking in a future employer (56% of respondents), the priority of a “work-life balance” made a powerful showing at 42%—equal to “health and safety of the workplace.” Interestingly, this suggests current college students are significantly more insistent on work-life balance than the current American workforce (only 36% of whom cite it as a top priority).

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