Feb 11, 2013

High School Seniors feel Increasingly Overwhelmed

According to UCLA’s 2012 survey of freshman students at 283 four-year colleges and universities, more incoming college students reported that they frequently felt “overwhelmed” during their senior year of high school—30.4 percent vs. 28.5 percent in 2011.   

And more than twice as many incoming female students (40.5 percent) reported feeling frequently overwhelmed as first-year males student (18.3 percent).

These are some of the findings from the 47th annual CIRP Freshman Survey administered nationally by the Higher Education Research Institute (HERI) at UCLA’s Graduate School of Education and Information Studies.

On the plus side, the survey also shows that students who feel overwhelmed are more likely than their peers to anticipate participating in college activities that could help them ease the college transitions such as regularly communicating with their professors, getting help through tutoring, participating in student clubs and groups, and seeking personal counseling.

As this year’s admissions decisions begin rolling in, it might be interesting to look at some of the other facts UCLA collected about the current freshman class:

  • 54% attend colleges within 100 miles of home
  • 15% are attending colleges more than 500 miles away from home
  • 50% report average high school grades of A- or better
  • 77% were accepted to their first choice college
  • 28% applied to 7 or more colleges (4.8% to 11 or more)
  • 13% applied to only one college
  • 59% are attending their first choice college
  • 53% are using loans to help pay for college
  • 19% consider themselves pre-med while 6.3% are pre-law
  • 87% performed volunteer work during the previous year
  • 76% lived in residence halls
  • 9% worked on a local, state, or national political campaign
  • 57% helped raise money for a cause or campaign
  • 61% believe abortion should be legal
  • 27% characterize themselves as “liberal” and 21% are conservative
  • 20% did NO household chores during a typical week
  • 69% rated their academic abilities as “above average” or in the highest 10%
  • 87% believe they will graduate within 4 years
  • 8% are undecided about their majors

For more information on this year’s freshman class or to order a copy of the report, visit UCLA's Higher Education Research Institute website.

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