Earlham's First Year Students - Fall 2003

Prepared May, 2004, by Mary Ann Weaver

Click here for links to tables within this report

Each year the CIRP survey, sponsored by the Higher Education Research Institute and the Cooperative Institutional Research Program, is given to entering college students. In the fall of 2003, this survey was completed by 276,449 students from 413 institutions across the nation. This number included 301 of Earlham’s 349 first-year students (86%). It is interesting to compare Earlham students with the national sample concerning their personal history, family characteristics, educational goals, values, attitudes on social issues, behavioral patterns, and a variety of other issues.

As a member of the Higher Education Data Sharing Consortium, we also have the opportunity to compare Earlham’s responses with some of our peer schools. See Appendix for a list of the institutions represented in our peer group.

Women comprise 58.4% of Earlham’s first-year student sample. The proportion of African-American students among the respondents is 5.7%. The proportion at the national level this year for all institutions is 9.6% and 4.3% for our peer group. Although 89.9% identified themselves as White/Caucasian, the minority categories, including African-Americans totals 16.9% This reflects students’ indicating more than one racial category.

In religious preference, 14.1% of Earlham first-years are Quaker (versus .2% nationally), 7% are Catholic, 4.6% Baptist, 1.4% Methodist and 5.3% Jewish. There were 8.8% who responded that they are “other Christian” and 5.6% who said “other religion.” The most common religious preference among entering Earlham students was “none,” cited by 35.6% compared to 17.6% of the national sample. According to The American Freshman: National Norms for Fall 2003, the number of students claiming “none” as their religious preference has nearly tripled since the inception of this survey in 1966 when only 6.6% nationally reported no religious preference.

Less than 2% of the respondents from this Earlham class lives within five miles of campus; 16.5% report living 6 to 100 miles away. Forty-one percent live within 101 and 500 miles of the college, and 42% are more than 500 miles away from home. These figures confirm that Earlham continues to be a “national” institution. Nationwide, a mere 12.4% of students attend an institution more than 500 miles from their home. In compliance with Earlham’s housing policy, over 98% of the Earlham first-year students plan on living in college housing. This compares to 76.5% of students nationally.

Parental income below $25,000 was reported by 12.4% of these new students at Earlham; income of $50,000 or more by 72.8%. Almost half (45.2%) of this entering cohort expect family resources to cover over $10,000 of their first year’s educational expenses. This compares to 29.5% nationally and 67.9% for our peer group. Another 40.9% of the Earlham respondents expected $10,000 or more from financial aid which need not be repaid (grants, scholarships, etc.). Similarly 37.7% of the respondents from our peer group expected financial aid to cover over $10,000 of their first-year expenses, but only 11.1% of students nationwide were expecting that much financial aid. Over half of the Earlham first-year students (51.2%) have some concern about their ability to finance their college education, but feel they probably will have enough funds (50.1% for our peer group and 52.5% nationally). About 10% of Earlham’s first-year students have a major concern about finance and are not sure they will have enough funds to complete college. This compares to 9.1% of students from our peer group and 13% nationally.

Twenty-six percent of these students’ parents are divorced or separated compared to 23.8% nationally and 19.1% from our peer group institutions. Somewhat surprising is the fact that 8.5% of these Earlham first-year students reported that death has claimed at least one of their parents.

Earlham students tend to come from well-educated families. Approximately 52% of the fathers of entering students hold graduate degrees (compared to 23% nationally and 50.3% of peer group). Eleven percent of the fathers have had a formal education of high school or less (the figure is 27.3% for the national group and 9.5% for the peer group). While Earlham has always seen a sizeable number of students' fathers with careers in education, this year shows an increase in the number who are college teachers. A total of 15.1% are educators; 8.1% are college teachers compared to 3.9% of the fathers of the students entering in 2002 who were college teachers. Also there are 22.9% of the fathers in the helping professions (such as clergy, health care workers, social workers, and lawyers) compared to 13.9% of the fathers of the students entering in 2002. For the mothers of entering students, 46.4% hold graduate degrees (17.1% nationally and 38.6% of peer group) and 9.6% a formal education of high school or less (26.4% nationally and 9.1% of peer group). Mothers’ careers are varied -- 21.8% work in the field of education, 24.6% are employed in the helping professions listed previously including 8% in nursing professions. Only 5.2% are full-time homemakers compared to 10.4% nationwide.

A closer look at the education of the parents of students entering Earlham in 2003 reveals that 68% of these students come from families where both parents have at least a bachelor's degree and 33% are from families where both parents have graduate degrees. Almost 12% of these students are first generation students - neither of their parents have college degrees.

An M.A. degree is the eventual educational goal of 40.9% of these first-year Earlhamites; 30.7% plan to seek an Ed.D. or Ph.D. (versus 17.5% nationally); an additional 7.9% of these entering students expect to earn a doctorate in a medical field. According to HEDS, 12.7% of students at our peer institutions plan to get a medical degree and 9% nationally.

Earlham is the first college choice for 70.8% of entering students. This compares to 68.3% of students in our peer group and 68.7% nationwide. Only 10.3% of Earlham’s entering students did not apply at any other college; 53% applied at four or more other colleges. Responses from our peer group show similar figures with 61.6% applying to four or more other colleges and 14.5% applying only to the school they are attending.

When asked at what point they first visited the campus of the college they are now attending, 68.7% of Earlham students and 66.9% of students from our peer group indicated they visited before they applied. However 16.2% of Earlham first-year students and 14.6% of students from our peer group first visited campus after they were accepted and before they decided to attend. There was an additional 6.7% of Earlham students along with 8.9% of students from our peer group who did not visit the college until after they decided to attend.

How did students spend their time in the last year? We see that the biggest block of time was spent socializing with friends. About three-quarters (72%) of Earlham’s entering students spent six or more hours per week socializing; 30.4% spent sixteen or more hours per week. This is a big increase over the students entering in 2002 where 12% reported spending sixteen or more hours per week socializing. Thankfully, only .7% of students reported spending no time socializing. More than half of the respondents (54.8) spent six or more hours a week studying or doing homework, and 17% of these students spent more than sixteen hours a week studying. These figures are much higher than the national percentages yet almost identical to our peer group. Only 34% of students nationally reported spending more than six hours studying, and a mere 6.9% spent over sixteen hours a week on homework. Many of the Earlham students held a job during the last year. 13.8% of the soon-to-be Earlham students spent sixteen or more hours working for pay each week while 34.1% spent six or more hours doing the same. Students also spent time in extracurricular activities. 65.5% of the Earlham students spent one or more hours in student organizations compared to 68% of the peer group students and 57% nationally.

Table 1

Political Views

Political Views

Earlham

% Peer Group

% All Institutions

% Male

% Female

% Total

Far left

14.7
11.7
12.9
8
2.8

Liberal

51.7
69
62
47.9
24.2

Middle of the road

28.4
17.5
22
29.9
50.3

Conservative

3.4
1.8
2.4
13.5
21.1

Far right

1.7
0
.7
.8
1.6

As usual, Earlham students tend to be much more liberal than their national counterparts. Earlham men tended to report being middle of the road more frequently than women, while Earlham women reported being Liberal significantly more than Earlham men. The number of students reporting "far left" or "liberal" political views is very high, while the percentage of "middle of the road" responses is less than half the national figure but more in line with our peer group. Not surprisingly, few new Earlham students report being conservative or "far right".


Table 2

Probable Career Occupation

Occupation

Earlham

Peer Group %

All Institutions %

Male %

Female %

Total %

Accountant or actuary

.9
0
.4
.5
2.0

Actor or entertainer

1.8
1.2
1.4
1.9
1.6

Architect or urban planner

0
0
0
.7
1.2

Artist

1.8
4.8
3.6
1.6
2.2

Business executive (management)

.9
1.2
1.1
5.1
7.4

Business owner or proprietor

0
0
0
1.5
3.0

Business sales representative or buyer

0
0
0
.4
1.1

Clergy (minister, priest)

1.8
0
.7
.2
.2

Clinical psychologist

0
3.6
2.2
1.4
1.6

College teacher

2.7
1.2
1.8
2.4
.5

Computer programmer or analyst

4.5
.6
2.2
1.0
2.7

Conservationist or forester

0
2.4
1.4
.4
.3

Dentist (including orthodontist)

0
0
0
.6
.9

Engineer

2.7
1.2
1.8
1.8
6.9

Farmer or rancher

0
0
0
.2
.2

Foreign service worker

.9
4.8
3.2
2.8
.7

Homemaker (full-time)

0
0
0
.1
.1

Lawyer (attorney) or judge

4.5
6.0
5.4
7.5
4.6

Musician (performer, composer)

1.8
.6
1.1
2.6
1.5

Nurse

0
0
0
.2
3.5
Pharmacist
0
1.2
.7
.6
2.0

Physician

10.7
4.2
6.8
9.4
6.1

Policymaker/Government

2.7
1.8
2.2
3.0
1.0

School counselor

0
0
0
.1
.3

Scientific researcher

5.4
4.8
5
4.6
1.7

Social, welfare, recreation worker

0
1.8
1.1
.9
.8

Teacher (elementary)

.9

1.2

1.1
1.2
5.3

Teacher (secondary)

7.1
7.2
7.2
3.4
4.4

Therapist (physical, occupational, speech)

0
1.8
1.1
1.0
2.6

Veterinarian

0
1.8
1.1
1.0
1.1

Writer or journalist

4.5
3.6
4
5.9
2.5

Skilled trades

0
0
0
.2
.3

Other career

7.1
8.4
7.9
5.4
8.4

Undecided

37.5
30.7
33.5
27.6
14.5

The Earlham respondents are more likely to want to be educators than those in the peer group sample and they are twice as likely to want to be foreign service workers than those in the national sample. Much like our peer group, Earlham students are more interested in careers as writers, journalists or scientific researchers. Business and engineering professions are popular career goals for the national sample but are not as common among the Earlham sample. Earlham students are about twice as likely as their national counterparts to be undecided about a career. Gender differences are not as prominent as in years past. More equal number of men and women are interested in becoming business executives, social welfare workers, and teachers. However there remains a higher percentage of men desiring careers as computer programmers compared to women. And unlike in recent past years, there are more men than women interested in pursuing careers as physicians.

Table 3

Reasons Noted as Very Important in Deciding to Attend College

Reasons

Earlham

Peer Group %

All Institutions %

Male %

Female %

Total %

To learn more about things that interest me

86.1
92
89.6
89.1
76.9

To gain general education

74.8
85.1
80.9
82.9
65.4

To become a more cultured person

52.5
72.4
64.2
61.6
40.7

To prepare myself for graduate or professional school

46.7
56
52.2
64.3
57.4

To get a better job

43.1
45.7
44.6
55.6
70.1

To improve reading and study skills

41.5
44.6
43.3
46.9
40.6
To get training for a specific career
29.5
34.5
32.4
36.1
70

To make more money

33.9
28.2
30.5
47.2
69.4

Parents wanted me to go

25.4
21.1
22.9
27.5
35.1

Wanted to get away from home

19.7
16.8
18
21.2
21.6

Role model/mentor encouraged me

10.7
13.3
12.2
10.4
13.5
There was nothing better to do
8.1
3.4
5.4
4.2
3.9

Could not find a job

1.6
1.7
1.7
2.1
5.7

There could be many reasons why a high school graduate decides to attend college. Earlham first-years students consider learning more about what interests them and gaining general education to be very important reasons in deciding to attend college. Many (52%) are interested in preparing themselves for graduate or professional school. Earlham students are much less interested in the benefit of making more money, getting a better job or getting training for a specific career. While we are grateful that there are only 5.4% of first-year students at Earlham who came because there was nothing better to do, it is somewhat alarming that 8.1% of the male respondents in this new class came for this reason.

Table 4

Reasons Noted as Being Very Important in Choosing Their College

Reasons

Earlham

Peer Group %

All Institutions %

Male %

Female %

Total %

A visit to campus
65.3
62.6
63.7
59.9
37.6

College has a very good academic reputation

54.1
58
56.4
75.2
55.1

Wanted to go to a school the size of this college

46.3
62.1
55.6
56.9
32.9

Offered financial assistance

47.5
46.6
47
42.1
33.6

College offers special educational programs

32.5
39.1
36.4
19.2
21.8

Good social reputation

34.7
31.2
32.7
33
27.8

Religious affiliation/orientation of college

10.9
20.1
16.4
2.1
5.6

Admitted through early action/decision

7.5
18.5
14
24.5
8.8

Information from a Web site

12.4
10.4
11.2
15.4
12

High School counselor advised me

8.3
7.5
7.8
8.0
6.4

Rankings in national magazines

8.3
5.7
6.8
22.5
13

Relatives wanted me to come

5.9
4.0
4.8
6.1
8.8

College has low tuition

3.4
5.2
4.5
3.1
20.6

Wanted to live near home

4.2
4.6
4.4
5.9
16.8

Not offered aid by first choice

5.9
2.9
4.2
4.8
5.9

Teacher advised me

5.9
2.9
4.1
5.4
4.3

Private college counselor advised me

2.5
5.2
4.1
3.9
2.2

The most popular reason students gave as a very important deciding factor in choosing Earlham was the visit to campus. Respondents also indicated that the size of the college and its good academic reputation were influential. About 56% of the Earlham students noted Earlham's good academic reputation as a very important reason for choosing Earlham, whereas a higher percentage (75.2%) of the peer group sample of students considered academic reputation an important reason for choosing their college. The small size of Earlham was very important to 55.6% of the incoming students in choosing to come here. This aspect was more important for the males than the females. Only 32.9% of the national sample felt the size of the college was very important in choosing a college. Of course financial assistance was also important to 47% of Earlham students. The early-action program, religious affiliation, and special educational programs were more important for students in choosing Earlham than for students in the national sample. A much greater percentage of students from our peer group and the national sample felt that rankings in national magazines was a very important reason for choosing their institution. Low tuition and the desire to live close to home were more important to students in the national sample than to students at Earlham. The Quaker religious affiliation was a more important reason for choosing Earlham for the women than it was for the men. Students from our peer group were slightly more influenced by their school's web site and less influenced by special educational program offerings.


Table 5

Probable Major Field of Study (Percentage of Students)

Probable Major

'76

'78

'80

'82

'84

'86

'88

'90

'92

'94

'96

'98

'00

'01

'02

'03

English

5

4

4

4

4

4

5

9

6

5

9

7

6

6

7

6

Fine Arts

5

4

4

5

2

2

5

5

2

3

1

6

5

7

7

6

Languages & Literatures

--

4

4

6

--

4

4

5

3

2

3

4

3

5

7

6

Philosophy

--

0

1

2

--

2

3

3

1

1

0

3

3

3

3

1

Theology/Religion

--

1

2

1

--

0

1

0

2

0

1

1

2

2

1

2
Other Humanities
--
--
--
--
--
--
--
--
--
--
--
--
--
--
2
0

Humanities Total

18

14

16

21

--

17

19

22

14

11

14

34

19

23

27

21

Biological sciences

23

15

17

8

6

13

7

7

15

14

7

10

18

13

10

16

Engineering

2

3

5

3

5

3

2

1

1

2

3

1

1

1

1

1

Health professions

2

9

1

7

8

5

2

7

4

7

7

5

2

5

4

3

Math/Comp. Sci.

1

0

2

1

3

1

0

1

1

1

3

4

6

4

3

3

Physical sciences

5

5

6

8

2

4

2

3

3

3

3

8

2

3

4

3

Other nat. sciences

1

1

1

3

2

0

1

1

1

0

1

0

2

0

0

0

Natural sciences total

34

33

42

30

26

27

14

21

25

27

24

28

31

26

22

26

Anthropology/Sociology

--

2

3

3

--

1

4

5

3

9

5

2

3

3

2

4

Business

2

4

3

5

5

5

3

4

3

3

5

7

2

4

4

2

Economics

--

1

2

2

--

0

1

1

0

0

0

0

1

1

0

1

Education

7

3

2

3

4

3

5

6

4

7

5

9

4

3

7

6

History

0

3

0

2

--

4

2

5

2

1

3

3

2

3

3

2

Political science

5

7

6

9

--

11

12

7

8

6

4

3

10

8

5

6

Psychology

--

8

5

10

--

6

9

5

8

9

8

9

6

6

7

7

Other social sciences

15

4

2

3

--

4

5

5

2

2

3

6

5

6

6

4

Social sciences total

29

32

23

37

--

34

41

38

30

37

33

39

33

34

34
32

Other fields

6

4

6

2

5

2

5

3

3

1

3

2

3

2

3

3

Undecided

16

18

12

11

15

17

22

14

17

18

17

11

15

14

15

17

In terms of probable majors of this group of entering students, the social sciences continue to make a strong showing here. Notable major preferences this year include Biology (16%), Psychology (7%), Education (6%), English (6%), Fine Arts (6%) and Language or Literature (6%).


Table 6

Objectives Considered to be Essential or Very Important

Earlham %’s

 

Peer Group

Natl

Objective

'69

'74

'78

'82

'86

'90

'94

'98

'01

'02

'03

'03

'03

Improve understanding of other countries and cultures
--
--
--
--
--
--
--
--
--
--
77.3
68.6
44.4

Help others in difficulty

77

66

75

80

67

75

76

72

71

66

70.2
65.5
63.7

Develop a meaningful philosophy of life

87

78

73

71

68

71

71

69

68

64

60.3
55.9
39.3

Raise a family

66

41

54

51

55

59

55

67

57

53

55.6
65.5
74.8

Keep up to date with political affairs

68

52

47

--

--

73

49

44

52

47

50.5
53.7
33.9

Help to promote racial understanding

--

--

58

69

55

73

60

56

55

49

49.7
42
30.5

Become an authority in my field

57

55

65

65

63

57

59

56

53

40

47.6
58.7
60.3

Influence social values

54

40

38

49

46

67

56

48

56

50

47.1
42.5
38.6

Integrate spirituality into my life

--

--

--

--

--

--

--

--

45

46

44.3
37.6
40.4

Participate in a community action program

21

36

41

--

--

48

46

44

42

34

37.9
31.5
22.8

Be very well off financially

23

20

30

29

28

28

34

40

33

36

34.9
50.1
73.8

Be involved in programs to clean up the environment

--

35

46

46

38

63

44

37

41

38

32.6
27.9
17.4

Influence political structure

34

23

19

--

--

41

30

30

35

29

32.1
28.5
20.1

Becoming a community leader

--

--

--

--

--

--

--

36

39

31

31.7
35.4
32.1

Obtain recognition from colleagues for contributions

33

27

37

--

--

39

42

41

42

30

30.7
47.5
52.7

Write original works

29

26

25

--

--

29

31

32

27

33

28.9
25.5
15.4

Create artistic work

26

30

28

26

22

25

31

26

31

29

28.8
21.3
16.3

Become accomplished in one of the performing arts

19

22

22

20

18

21

25

19

19

19

24.4
22.2
15.9

Make a theoretical contribution to science

10

15

14

--

--

14

17

18

17

14

16.4
16.9

17.1

Become successful in own business

20

19

32

25

23

20

19

29

20

18

15.9
28.3
40.4

Have administrative responsibility for others' work

12

9

17

--

--

16

16

27

13

16

14.6
24.6
39.1

"Improving understanding of other countries and cultures" was an essential or very important life goal for 77.3% of the first-year students at Earlham. This is a significantly higher percentage than the national sample (44.4%). "Helping others in difficulty" is also a very important objective for 70.2% of these students as it is for the 63.7% of the students in the national sample and 65.5% of students in ourpeer group. "Developing a meaningful philosophy of life" is an essential or very important life objective for 60% of the Earlham students compared to 39.3% nationally. However there has been a decline in students' interest in developing a meaningful philosophy of life over recent years and this value is ranked at its lowest point in the history of the survey both for Earlham and nationally. Although "raising a family" currently ranks highest among these values for the national sample, only 55.6% of the Earlham sample feel that raising a family is essential or even very important. "Influencing social values" and "being involved in programs to clean up the environment" are goals of Earlham students which are not nearly as important to students in the national sample but more similar to the peer group sample. "Helping to promote racial understanding" has always been considered of greater importance to Earlham students compared to the national average, though recent years show there has been less importance placed on this issue compared to the early 1990's. "Being very well off financially" is much more important to the national sample of students and somewhat more important to the peer group sample than to the Earlham sample, though we are beginning to see a trend towards more importance being placed on financial status. Earlham students were less concerned with "being successful at a business of their own" and "obtaining recognition from colleagues". "Integrating spirituality" into their lives was slightly more important to students at Earlham than the national sample and peer group sample. In general, the importance of each goal to the Earlham students was much different than the importance to the national sample, once again confirming the distinctiveness of the Earlham population. Trends for past years can be found at http://www.earlham.edu/~ir/cirp_trends/objectives.htm


Table 7

Views on Social Issues: Government and Institutions

Agree strongly or somewhat that...
Earlham
Peer Group
National
Male %
Female %
Total %
Total %
Male %
Female %
Total %

The Federal government should do more to control the sale of handguns

79.5

89.1
85.1
82.5
67.6
83.7
76.5

Wealthy people should pay a larger share of taxes than they do now.

71.3

80
76.4
63.5
52.6
53.5
53.1

The death penalty should be abolished

73.4
78.2
76.2
55.9
28.8
35.8
32.6

Colleges should prohibit racist/sexist speech on campus

35
61
50.2
51.2
53.5
62.5
58.4

Abolish affirmative action in college admissions

36.7
34.8
35.6
50.1
58.4
48.2
52.8

There is too much concern in the courts for the rights of criminals

21.5
16.5
18.6
38.7
63.3
59.3
61.1

Realistically, an individual can do little to bring about changes in our society.

24.6
16.7
19.9
20.9
32.3
24.6
28.1

Federal military spending should be increased

12.3
7
9.2
19.3
43.5
34.3
38.4

 

Earlham students' views on the death penalty and the rights of criminals are quite different from those of the national sample and the peer group. Earlham students in general have very liberal views on issues of government and institutions. Females in the Earlham sample tend to be even more liberal than their male counterparts, but both sexes are more liberal than their national peers. The Earlham sample is more in line with the peer group sample, yet it remains clear that the Earlham students have more liberal attitudes than even their peer group.

Table 8

Views on Social Issues: Lifestyles

Agree strongly or somewhat that...

Earlham

Peer Group

National

Male %

Female %

Total %

Total %

Male %

Female %

Total %

Same sex couples should have the right to legal marital status

84.4
91.9
88.8
80.6
50.2
66.9
59.4

Abortion should be legal

82.3
87.9
85.5
78.1
55
54.1
54.5

Marijuana should be legalized

64.2
61.6
62.7
56.6
44.3
34.3
38.3

People should not obey laws which violate their personal values

54.9
48.2
51
37.9
39.1
30.9
34.5

Racial discrimination is no longer a major problem in America

9.8
5.2
7.1
15.3
27.4
18.3
22.4

It is important to have laws prohibiting homosexual relationships

6.5
5.8
6.1
11
34.6
19.2
26.1

The activities of married women are best confined to home and family

8.2
4.1
5.8
10.7
28.1
16.5
21.7

Although 88.8% of Earlham students agree that same sex couples should have the right to legal marital status, just 59.4% of the national sample agree with this idea. The majority of the new Earlham students also agree that abortion and marijuana should be legalized. These views contrast sharply with the national group. In issues regarding homosexual relationships there are very little gender differences among the Earlham students, unlike the national sample where almost twice as many males as females feel it is important to have laws prohibiting homosexual relationships. This can result in more opportunity for misunderstandings and confusion about behavior among the Earlham male students. Previous year data on this topic can be seen on a CIRP trends chart at http://www.earlham.edu/~ir/cirp_trends/agree.htm


Table 9

Activities Engaged in by Students in the Past Year

Activity

Earlham

Peer Group %

All Institutions %

Male %

Female %

Total %

Performed volunteer work

88.5
92.6
90.9
90.4
83.1

Visited art gallery or museum

86.9
84.7
85.6
80.4
57.1

Studied with other students

81.1
86.8
84.5
89.8
86.8

*Socialized with a different ethnic group

77
71
73.5
71.4
68.9

Attended a religious service

72.5
74.1
73.5
71.3
80.4

Came late to class

70.5
58
63.1
65.8
62.6

Participated in organized demonstrations

59.3
64.2
62.2
43.9
46.5

Played a musical instrument

58.2
60
59.3
52.5
42.6

*Discussed politics

59.8
53.7
56.2
43.4
22.5

Tutored another student

45.9
56.1
51.9
59.9
54.4

Drank wine or liquor

45.5
54.5
50.8
62.2
50.7

Drank beer

42.6
39.8
40.9
53.5
44.8

*Discussed religion

47.5
45.1
46.1
34.5
29.6

*Was bored in class

41.8
39.2
40.3
38.5
40.1

Overslept and missed class or appointment

32.8
34.1
33.6
31
32.4

*Felt overwhelmed by all they had to do

25.4
38.1
32.9
30.3
26.5

Was a guest in a teacher's home

36.1
30.1
32.6
35.9
24.6

*Asked a teacher for advice after class

30.1
32.6
31.5
33.2
24.1

*Voted in a student election

14.8
26.9
21.9
26.4
21.5

*Felt depressed

6.6
13.6
10.7
8.6
7.4

*Smoked cigarettes

8.9
6.3
7.4
5
6.3

*Percentage reporting frequently only. Other percentages are responses of "frequently" or "occasionally".

The most common activities among Earlham students during the past year were performing volunteer work, studying with other students, and visiting an art gallery or museum. Earlham students were more likely to have discussed politics, visited an art gallery, been a guest in a teacher's home, or played a musical instrument than their national counterparts. A slightly smaller percentage (73.5%) of Earlham students attended a religious service compared to the national sample (80.4%). It should be noted that involvement in religious activities nationally is at its lowest point in 35 years. However, 46.1% of Earlham students indicated that they discussed religion some time during the past year. This compares to 29.6% nationally. Some gender differences could be noted in the activities engaged in by these Earlham students in the past year. The men were more likely to frequently smoke cigarettes and come late to class whereas the Earlham women were more likely to vote in a student election and to feel overwhelmed by all they had to do.

This year the percentage of Earlham students who drank wine or liquor during the last year is almost identical to the national percentage, although somewhat less than the peer group sample. Comparing these student responses to the responses of the students who entered Earlham in 2002, we see a dramatic difference in the percentage of male Earlham students who drank wine or liquor during the past year. While 60.9% in 2002 reported drinking wine or liquor, only 45.5% of the entering students in 2003 reported the same. And in 2001, 73% of Earlham females reported drinking wine or liquor compared to 54.5% of Earlham females in 2003, 65% of all Earlham entering students and 54% nationally.

We see similar differences in the consumption of beer where 62.7% of the males entering Earlham in 2002 reported drinking beer in the last year while only 42.6% of the 2003 Earlham males reported the same. According to The American Freshman: National Norms for Fall 2003, freshmen entering college in Fall 2003 reported lower rates of drinking nationally than any freshman class in the history of the survey.

Table 10

Areas in Which Student Rated Self Above Average or Top 10%

Area

Earlham

Peer Group %

All Institutions %

Male %

Female %

Total %

Academic ability

82.1
76.1
78.6
87.3
69.7

Cooperativeness

75.4
75
75.2
72.3
72.9

Understanding of others

72.4
73
72.7
70.2
65.7

Creativity

70.7
69.9
70.2
66.3
57.7

Self understanding

65.9
59.7
62.2
63.2
55.6

Self-confidence (intellectual)

72.4
50.9
59.7
66.3
59.8

Drive to achieve

52.5
65.1
59.9
75.4
71.6

Writing ability

58.1
55.7
56.7
62
46.6

Leadership ability

56.1
54.3
55
63
60.6

Persistence

48.8
56
53
67.1
63

Emotional health

57.7
44.3
49.8
53.6
54.5

Physical health

56.9
44.3
49.5
57
56.6

Spirituality

45.1
46.9
46.1
36.7
38.3

Artistic ability

43.1
47.2
45.5
37.8
29.8

Risk taking

40.7
39.8
40.1
41.2
43.3

Self-confidence (social)

43.1
36.9
39.5
46.1
49.9

Public speaking ability

44.7
34.3
38.6
44.2
36.3

Mathematical ability

49.6
29.9
38
48.3
45

Computer skills

47.2
21.6
32.1
30.9
38.8

Popularity

35
18.2
25.1
36.2
38.1

Religiousness

26
24.4
25.1
22.3
31

Self-ratings of academic abilities continue to remain high among the Earlham students, though not as high as the peer group sample. The Earlham sample also rated themselves considerably higher than the national sample in their artistic ability and creativity. Although 46.1% of the Earlham students ranked their "spirituality" as above average which is higher than the national and peer group samples, Earlham students ranked their "religiousness" as similar to the peer group sample and slightly lower than the national sample. Earlham men saw themselves better in mathematics and computer skills. Earlham women ranked themselves lower in physical health and intellectual self-confidence than the Earlham men. The women also rated themselves as having more persistence and a greater drive to achieve than the men, although both men and women rated themselves much lower than the national norm in both of these areas. Social self-confidence and popularity were areas in which fewer Earlham students considered themselves above average compared to the national and peer group samples. And Earlham women were less likely to rank themselves above average than the men in these areas.

Table 11

Students Estimate chances are Very Good That They Will...

Activity

Earlham

Peer Group %

All Institutions %

Male %

Female %

Total %

Get a bachelor's degree

84.9
88.4
86.9
86.6
79.5

Socialize with someone of another racial/ethnic group

79.8
90.6
86.2
79.7
66.2

Be satisfied with this college

63.6
73.4
69.3
65.4
52

Study abroad

57.1
75.6
68
54.3
21.9

Participate in student clubs/organizations

59.2
64
62
59.9
41.1

Make at least a "B" average

68.9
57
61.9
65.1
59.4

Perform volunteer or community service work

37
59.3
50.2
41.7
25.3

Get a job to help pay for college expenses

34.5
57
47.8
44.6
47

Participate in student protests or demonstrations

28.6
34.9
32.3
19.8
6.3

Change career choice

31.1
29.8
30.3
27.9
13.3

Play varsity/intercollegiate athletics

29.4
21.6
24.8
27.7
15.9

Change major field

18.5
23.8
21.6
22.8
14.4

Seek personal counseling

5.9
12.8
10
8.6
7.6

Work full time while attending college

4.2
3.5
3.8
1.9
6

Transfer to another college before graduating

4.2
1.7
2.7
2.8
7.1

Drop out of college

0
.6
.3
.5
.8

Join a social fraternity or sorority

.8
.6
.7
8.6
9.8

Compared to the national and peer group sample, there is a greater percentage of new Earlham first-year students who feel the chances are very good that they will socialize with someone of another racial or ethnic group, perform volunteer work, and participate in student protests or demonstrations. Students at Earlham are three times more likely to expect to study abroad than the national sample. It is also more likely that an Earlham student will change their career choice or major field than the national sample. Students in the national survey are more likely to work full time and transfer to another college, than the Earlham or peer group sample. Fortunately 69.3% of the Earlham first-year respondents indicate that the chances are very good they will be satisfied with Earlham. This compares to 52% of the national sample and 65.4% of the peer group sample feeling they will be satisfied with the college they are currently attending.

 

APPENDIX


Peer Group
 
 
Bates College
Beloit College
Carleton College
Centre College
Colorado College
Connecticut College
Denison University
Franklin & Marshall College
Grinnell College
Guilford College
Hamilton College
Haverford College
Kalamazoo College
Knox College
Lawrence University
Macalester College
Oberlin College
Occidental College
Pitzer College
Reed College
Scripps College
Trinity College
University of the South
Washington and Lee University
Whitman College