CIRP First-Year Student Survey Fall 2009
Office of Institutional Research

Prepared by Mary Ann Weaver and Shaina Harris
February 26, 2010

 

Click below 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 2009, this survey was completed by 219,864 students from 297 institutions across the nation. This number included 273 of Earlham’s first-year students. The data provides interesting findings that 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, the responses of Earlham’s first-year students are compared to the responses of Earlham's peer schools. See Appendix for a list of the institutions represented in Earlham's peer group.

Women comprise 58% of Earlham’s first-year student respondents which is similar to our peer group (57%). Looking at the ethnicity of the first-year students who completed the CIRP survey, 7% were African-American compared to 6% in the peer group sample. Our peer group had a higher percentage of Asians (11% compared to 9% at Earlham). 10% of the Earlham respondents and 4% of the peer group respondents indicated they considered themselves from a race other than one of the options on the survey.

In religious preference, 5% of Earlham first-year respondents were Quaker (versus 0.2% nationally and 1% in the peer group), 4% were Jewish, and 6% reported being Muslim. Catholic affiliation among the first-year Earlham students was 7% compared to 14% at our peer institutions and 27% nationally. 27% of the Earlham respondents reported their religious preference as one of the various Christian denominations.

Only 3% of the Earlham respondents' homes are less than ten miles from Earlham; 54% come from hometowns over 500 miles away from Earlham. These findings confirm that Earlham continues to be a “national” institution. Nationwide, a mere 14% of students attend an institution more than 500 miles from their home. In compliance with Earlham’s housing policy, 96% of the Earlham first-year students are living in college housing. This compares to 80% of students nationally.

Parental income estimated to be below $25,000 was reported by 20% of these new students at Earlham; income of $50,000 or more by 62%. Students were asked to estimate how much of their first year educational expenses they expect to cover from family resources.  Based on their responses, 45% of the Earlham first-years expect family resources to cover over $10,000 of their college expenses compared to 65% of students from our peer institutions and 31% nationally.  Student expectations of financial aid that does not need to be repaid is greater at Earlham and our peer institutions than it is nationwide.  Over half of Earlham first-year students (59%) and 52 % of students from our peer institutions expect to receive over $10,000 in grants and scholarships compared to 26% of the students nationwide.

The study revealed several aspects of the students' family. Among Earlham students, 29% reported having parents who are divorced or separated compared to 19% from our peer group institutions. Earlham students tend to come from well-educated families. 44% of the fathers of entering students hold graduate degrees compared to 23% nationally and 50% of the peer group. Of the Earlham students' mothers, 44% have graduates degrees (19% nationally and 40% of the peer group). All but 7% of Earlham first-year students' fathers have at least a high school diploma while the peer group has 3%. Nationally, 9% of the fathers do not have a high school diploma.

There continues to be a sizeable number of students' parents with careers in education with 13% of their fathers and 15% of their mothers in the field of education. The college teacher profession is most popular for the fathers (7%) while the mothers are more inclined to be secondary education teachers (6%). 4% of Earlham students' mothers are college teachers compared to 2% of the mothers of the students from our peer institutions and 0.5% nationally.

A Master's degree is the eventual educational goal of 41% of these first-year Earlhamites; 34% plan to seek an Ed.D. or Ph.D. (versus 18% nationally); an additional 5% of these entering students expect to earn a doctorate in a medical field. This is a smaller percentage than at our peer group institutions where 13% plan to get a medical degree.

Earlham is the first college choice for 62% of entering students. In 2009, 59% of students in the peer group and 61% nationwide were attending their first-choice college. Among Earlham’s entering students, 9% did not apply at any other college; 29% applied at seven or more other colleges. Responses from the peer group students show that 40% of their students applied to seven or more other colleges and 12% applied only to the school they are attending. Nationwide, 11% applied to only one college and 16% applied to seven or more.

How did students spend their time in the last year? We see that the biggest block of time was spent socializing with friends. 64% of Earlham’s entering students spent six or more hours per week socializing; 23% spent sixteen or more hours per week. More than half of the respondents (56%) spent six or more hours a week studying or doing homework, and 23% of these students spent more than sixteen hours a week studying. These figures are much higher than the national percentages yet lower than the peer group. Only 34% of students nationally reported spending more than six hours studying, and a mere 7% spent over sixteen hours a week on homework. 66% of the students from our peer group spent more than six hours studying; 21% spent over sixteen hours a week on homework. Many of the Earlham students held a job during the last year. 11% of the Earlham students spent sixteen or more hours working for pay each week while 28% spent six or more hours doing the same. Among Earlham students, 64% spent one or more hours in student organizations which is slightly less than the peer group (70%) and more than the national norm (56%). Table 1 shows the mean scores for the time spent on various activities in high school. Students from our peer group reported spending more time on exercise or sports and partying than the Earlham students. Earlham students spent more time reading for pleasure and doing volunteer work.

Table 1

Time spent during a typical week doing the following activities in high school

Activity
Earlham
Peer Group
Socializing with friends
5.3
5.4
Studying/homework
5.0
5.2
Exercise or sports
4.5
4.9
Reading for pleasure
3.3
3.1
Watching TV
3.0
3.4
Working (for pay)
2.8
2.7
Volunteer work
3.0 2.8
Household/childcare duties
2.6
2.6
Partying
2.4
2.8
Playing video computer games
2.3
2.1

Scale: 8=Over 20 hours; 4=3 to 5 hours; 1=None

Table 2

Political Views

Political Views

% Earlham

% Peer Group

% All Institutions

'09 Male

'09 Female

'09 Total
'08 Total

Far left

15
11
12
18
7.7
2.8

Liberal

52
63
58
58.2
50.6
29.0

Middle of the road

28
20
23
20.1
27.8
44.4

Conservative

4
4
4
3.3
13.1
21.8

Far right

1
1
1
0.4
0.9
2.0

Earlham students continue to prove that they are much more liberal than their national counterparts. While 12% of Earlham first-years students reported being "far left", only 8% of the peer group students and 3% of the national sample have "far left" political views. Although the percentage of "middle of the road" responses is a little less than our peer groups responses, it is still a little more than half of the national response. Only one percent of Earlham students reported having political views that were "far right", which continues the trend of the past four years.

Table 3

Probable Career Occupation

Occupation

Earlham

Peer Group %

All Institutions %

Male %

Female %

Total %

Accountant or actuary

0 1 0.4 0.9
2.3

Actor or entertainer

1 1 0.7 1.1
1.3

Architect or urban planner

1 0 0.4 1.1
0.8

Artist

0 3 2 1.5
2.7

Business executive (management)

10 4 6 5.7
6.4

Business owner or proprietor

3 1 2 1.7
2.6

Business sales representative or buyer

0 0 0 0.2
0.8

Clergy (minister, priest)

0 0 0 0.1
0.2

Clinical psychologist

1 3 2 1.7
1.4

College teacher

4 3 3 1.3
0.5

Computer programmer or analyst

0 0 0 0.6
1.7

Conservationist or forester

1 0 0.4 0.8
0.3

Dentist (including orthodontist)

0 1 0.4 0.2
1.1

Engineer

2 1 1.0 2.2
7.7

Farmer or rancher

0 1 0.4 0.3
0.3

Foreign service worker

2 8 5 3.5
0.8

Homemaker (full-time)

0 0 0 0.1
0.1

Lawyer (attorney) or judge

10 3 6 6.3
3.6

Musician (performer, composer)

1 0 0.4 0.7
1.5

Nurse

0 1 0.4 0.4
4.7
Pharmacist
1 1 0.7 0.7
1.9

Physician

2 6 4 9.4
6.7

Policymaker/Government

4 1 3 3.1
1.0

School counselor

0 1 0.4 0.2
0.4

Scientific researcher

4 2 3 5.1
2.1

Social, welfare, recreation worker

3 4 4 1.0
1.1

Teacher (elementary)

0 1 0.4 1.2
4.1

Teacher (secondary)

4 4 6 3.1
4.4

Therapist (physical, occupational, speech)

2 3 3 1.5
3.4

Veterinarian

0 1 0.4 0.9
1.2

Writer or journalist

6 4 4 5.1
2.7

Semi-skilled trades

1 0 0.4 0.2
0.2

Other career

6 8 7 0.1
8.6

Undecided

18 29 24 29.2
14.4

Early on in their academic studies, it may be difficult for first-year students to consider what careers they expect to pursue. However, Earlham students seem to be leaning more toward some of the “helping” professions such as foreign service worker compared to the peer group and the national sample. The peer group sample had a greater percentage of students (9%) expecting to be physicians compared to 4% of Earlham students and 7% of the national sample. A smaller percentage (14%) of the nationwide sample are undecided about their probable career compared to Earlham students (24%) and the students from peer institutions (30%).

Table 4

Reasons Noted as Being Very Important in Choosing Their College

Reasons

Earlham

Peer Group %

All Institutions %

Male %

Female %

Total %

College has a very good academic reputation

65 54 60 78.4
63.6
A visit to campus
50 54 52 61.0
41.4

Offered financial assistance

57 59 58 47.1
44.7

Wanted to go to a school the size of this college

44 66 58 60.4
39.8

Graduates get good jobs

36 37 37 52.5
56.6

Good social reputation

38 29 32 40.4
39.3

Cost of attending this college

35 38 36 26.0
41.6
Grads gain admission to top graduate schools
27 43 37 44.3
34.6

Information from a Web site

12 17 15 23.4
19.2

Religious affiliation/orientation of college

10 20 16 3.2
7.8

Admitted through early action/decision

15 12 13 29.7
12.9

High School counselor advised me

14 10 12 12.3
10.3

Rankings in national magazines

10 9 9 24.6
18.5
Could not afford first choice college 10 7 8 7.1
12.2

Not offered aid by first choice

6 9 7 6.7
8.9

Teacher advised me

10 8 9 7.5
7.8
Parents wanted me to come 14 6 9 12.0
18.8

Private college counselor advised me

10 6 7 6.5
3.6

Wanted to live near home

6 8 6 6.7
20.1

Relatives wanted me to come

5 1 8 3.5
7.3

Earlham’s good academic reputation was very important for 60% of the Earlham students in making their decision to come to Earlham.  Earlham's size and offer of financial aid are also important deciding factors. While students from the peer group were influenced more by the academic reputation of their school, the jobs that graduates obtain, and the graduate schools that grads attend also affect their decision.  Admissions early action or decision policies were also more influential for the peer group students as well as the national magazine ranking of their college choice.

Table 5

Probable Major Field of Study (Percentage of Students)

Probable Major

'09
'08
'07
'06
'05
'04
'03
'02

'01

'00

'98

'96

'94

'92

'90

'88

'86

'84

'82

'80

English

4
6
5
3
6
7

6

7

6

6

7

9

5

6

9

5

4

4

4

4

Fine Arts

4
6
3
5
9
4

6

7

7

5

6

1

3

2

5

5

2

2

5

4

Languages & Literatures

6
7
11
10
6
5
6

7

5

3

4

3

2

3

5

4

4

--

6

4

Philosophy

1
1
2
2
2
2

1

3

3

3

3

0

1

1

3

3

2

--

2

1

Theology/Religion

0
1
1
1
0
0

2

1

2

2

1

1

0

2

0

1

0

--

1

2

Other Humanities
3
1
1
3
1
2
0
2
--
--
--
--
--
--
--
--
--
--
--
--

Humanities Total

18
21
23
24
24
20

21

27

23

19

21

14

11

14

22

19

17

--

21

16

Biological Sciences

12
15
18
12
10
12

16

10

13

18

10

7

14

15

7

7

13

6

8

17

Engineering

1
1
2
1
0
0

1

1

1

1

1

3

2

1

1

2

3

5

3

5

Health Professions

3
5
3
4
6
6

3

4

5

2

5

7

7

4

7

2

5

8

7

1

Math/Comp. Sciences

3
2
2
2
1
1

3

3

4

6

4

3

1

1

1

0

1

3

1

2

Physical Sciences

5
4
4
2
1
3

3

4

3

2

8

3

3

3

3

2

4

2

8

6

Other Natural Sciences

1
0
0
2
0
0

0

0

0

2

0

1

0

1

1

1

0

2

3

1

Natural sciences Total

25
27
29
21
19
22

26

22

26

31

28

14

27

25

21

14

27

26

30

42

Anthropology/Sociology

4
6
4
2
4
5

4

2

3

3

2

5

9

3

5

4

1

--

3

3

Business

7
5
5
6
3
3

2

4

4

2

7

5

3

3

4

3

5

5

5

3

Economics

1
2
1
2
2
2

1

0

1

1

0

0

0

0

1

1

0

--

2

2

Education

4
4
2
4
4
6

6

7

3

4

9

5

7

4

6

5

3

4

3

2

History

4
4
2
6
2
2

2

3

3

2

3

3

1

2

5

2

4

--

2

0

Political Science

11
8
8
6
8
9

6

5

8

10

3

4

6

8

7

12

11

--

9

6

Psychology

9
7
5
9
12
8

7

7

6

6

9

8

9

8

5

9

6

--

10

5

Other Social Sciences

5
4
6
5
5
3

4

6

6

5

6

3

2

2

5

5

4

--

3

2

Social Sciences Total

45
40
33
40
40
38
32

34

34

33

39

33

37

30

38

41

34

--

37

23

Other Fields

4
3
4
3
6
2

3

3

2

3

2

3

1

3

3

5

2

5

2

6

Undecided

6
9
13
12
11
14

17

15

14

15

11

17

18

17

14

22

17

15

11

12

Social sciences still continue to have the greater showing in students' probable majors, with Political Science (11%) and Psychology (9%) being the most popular. Only 6% indicated that they were undecided about their probable major.


Table 6

Objectives Considered to be Essential or Very Important

 

Peer Group %'s

National Norm %'s

Earlham %’s

Objective

'09
'09
'09
'08
'07
'06
'05

'04

'03

'02

'01

'98

'94

'90

'86

'82

'78

'74

Improve understanding of other countries and cultures 73.6
49.4
75
80.2
77.1
73.8
79.6
76.5
77
--
--
--
--
--
--
--
--
--

Help others in difficulty

73.2
69.1
74
77
80.2
71.4
75.5
71.3
70

66

71

72

76

75

67

80

75

66

Develop a meaningful philosophy of life

62.2
48.0
30
66.9
64.7
63.7
65.2
65.2
60

64

68

69

71

71

68

71

73

78

Keep up to date with political affairs

55.3
36.0
59
59.1
56.5
54.3
56.8
59.3
51

47

52

44

49

73

--

--

47

52

Help to promote racial understanding

42.0
33.1
53
56
53.6
48.3
58.8
55.2
50

49

55

56

60

73

55

69

58

--

Influence social values

45.3
42.1
53
55.4
53.7
47.7
54.4
54.5
47

50

56

48

56

67

46

49

38

40

Raise a family

65.8
74.7
53
53.5
61.1
53.7
55.8
52.6
56

53

57

67

55

59

55

51

54

41

Become an authority in my field

46.1
58.5
50
53.3
49.2
40.7
49.4
43.5
48

40

53

56

59

57

63

65

65

55

Obtain recognition from colleagues for contributions

40.6
56.3
44
47.5
43.5
27.2
42.4
35.8
31

30

42

41

42

39

--

--

37

27

Be very well off financially

58.1
78.1
58
44.3
40.7
37.6
30.0
29.4
35

36

33

40

34

28

28

29

30

20

Participate in a community action program

41.1
29.8
45
43
39.9
35.3
42.6
39.7
38

34

42

44

46

48

--

--

41

36

Becoming a community leader

40.8
35.8
51
39.8
33.1
28.2
41.2
34.2
32

31

39

36

--

--

--

--

--

--

Be involved in programs to clean up the environment

37.2
26.9
39
39.4
47.0
38.0
37.8
36.2
33

38

41

37

44

63

38

46

46

35

Influence political structure

25.7
20.8
30
36.4
33.8
32.2
35.4
38.7
32

29

35

30

30

41

--

--

19

23

Write original works

22.7
16.0
23
26.9
30.1
21.3
27.2
30.6
29

33

27

32

31

29

--

--

25

26

Create artistic work

18.5
16.2
22
25.9
26.1
22.4
26.8
27.7
29

29

31

26

31

25

22

26

28

30

Become successful in own business

32.6
41.9
32
24.3
23.9
22.5
22.9
20.3
16

18

20

29

19

20

23

25

32

19

Make a theoretical contribution to science

21.7
21.6
15
21.1
22.0
14
16.4
17.7
16

14

17

18

17

14

--

--

14

15

Become accomplished in one of the performing arts

18.4
16.1
22
18.9
19.7
17.7
19.6
21.3
24

19

19

19

25

21

18

20

22

22


"Improving understanding of other countries and cultures" was an essential or very important life goal for 75% of the first-year students at Earlham, even if the percentage has gone down from 80%. Either way, both Earlham's and the peer group are considerably higher than the national percent of 49%. Coming very close, "Helping others in difficulty" is also a very important objective for 74% of these students as it is for 69% of the students in the national sample and 73% of students in the peer group. "Developing a meaningful philosophy of life" is an essential or very important life objective for 30% of the Earlham students compared to 48% nationally. Although "raising a family" and "being very well off financially" currently rank highest among these values for the national sample, only 53% of the Earlham sample feel that raising a family is essential or even very important and and 58% indicate being very well off financially is important to them. "Influencing social values" is a goal of Earlham students which is not as important to students from other schools. "Helping to promote racial understanding" has always been considered of greater importance to Earlham students compared to the national average. In accordance with last years responses, Earlham students were less concerned with "being successful at a business of their own" and "obtaining recognition from colleagues". Overall, the importance of each goal differed among Earlham students and the national sample, once again confirming the distinctiveness of the Earlham population. More 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 %
Total %
Only volunteers should serve in military 73 81 82 73.7 62.8
Dissent is a critical component of the political process 36 71 79 80.7
61.5

Students from disadvantaged social backgrounds should be given preferential treatment in college admissions.

54 45 50 41.3
37.4

Colleges have the right to ban extreme speakers from campus

32 24 31 70.1
40.7

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

44 24 27 36.5
55.3

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

36 23 20 20.2
27.6

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 a liberal view with regard to government and institutions. The Earlham sample bears more similarities with the peer group sample, yet it remains clear that the Earlham students have more liberal attitudes than even their peer group. Gender differences are evident in the responses of Earlham students. In addition, Earlham females also were less likely to feel that an individual can do little to bring change in society.

Table 8

Views on Social Issues: Lifestyles

Agree strongly or somewhat that...

Earlham

Peer Group

National

Male %

Female %

Total %

Total %

Total %

Same sex couples should have the right to legal marital status

72 86
80
82.4
64.9

Abortion should be legal

72 78
83
79.9
58.0

Marijuana should be legalized

71 55
59
61.5
45.6

Racial discrimination is no longer a major problem in America

20 12
13
15.9
23.2

Although 82% of Earlham students agree that same sex couples should have the right to legal marital status, just 65% 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 are much stronger than the national group. In issues regarding homosexual relationships, there are only small gender differences among the Earlham students. Overall, Earlham respondents and the peer group share similar views toward these social issues. Historical 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 "Frequently" or "Occasionally"

Activity

Earlham

Peer Group %

All Institutions %

Male %

Female %

Total %

Performed volunteer work

81 92 86 82.1
84.4

Studied with other students

86 88 87 91.9
87.7

*Used the Internet for research or homework

69 77 74 86.3
76.0

*Socialized with a different ethnic group

72 79 76 73.0
69.8

Attended a religious service

63 62 61 67.1
75.8

Came late to class

65 58 56 60.6
60.5

Performed community service as part of a class

62 60 60 60.0
58.4

*Discussed politics

54 57 55 51.7
35.6

Tutored another student

46 56 51 62.8
56.4

Played a musical instrument

49 48 48 50.6
44.5

Drank wine or liquor

82 50 58 59.5
43.9

*Discussed religion

33 39 36 38.2
31.8

Participated in political demonstrations

41 47 43 36.0
25.7

Drank beer

47 49 41 53.7
38.0

Was a guest in a teacher's home

32 42 39 32.8
21.5

*Asked a teacher for advice after class

22 22 32 37.0
28.0

*Was bored in class

35 30 32 34.5
39.5

*Felt overwhelmed by all they had to do

20 29 25 32.4
28.2

*Voted in a student election

22 22 21 26.2
22.6

*Felt depressed

29 10 8 7.0
6.9

*Smoked cigarettes

9 9 6 3.4
4.4
*Percentage reporting frequently only. Other percentages are responses of "frequently" or "occasionally".

During the year prior to coming to college, the activities among college students nationwide appear to be similar, although Earlham students were more likely to have participated in organizing demonstrations, discussing politics, playing a musical instrument, accepting an invitation to a teacher’s home, and discussing religion. Students in the national sample were more likely to be bored in class. The greatest difference seen between Earlham and the national sample was in the percentage of students who participated in political demonstrations or discussed politics. Among students from the national sample, 26% participated in political demonstrations frequently or occasionally compared to 43% at Earlham. And 55% of the Earlham students often discussed politics during high school compared to 36% of the national sample.

The greatest gender difference among Earlham students is seen in students who drank wine or liquor where 50% of the females felt this way during the previous year and only 89% of the males felt the same way. Females were much more likely than males to have used the internet for research or homework. Males were less likely to have studied with other students, attended a religious service or consulted with a teacher outside of class. Males were more likely to socialize with a different ethnic group, perform community service as part of a class or come late to class.

In comparison with the peer group, a smaller percentage of Earlham students drank beer, wine or liquor. Earlham students were more likely to have participated in political demonstrations. In contrast, students at peer institutions were more likely to have used the internet for research, studied with other students and tutored other students.

Table 10

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

Area

Earlham%

Peer Group %

All Institutions %

Male

Female

'09 Total
'08 Total

Academic ability

75 ? 75
74.7
87.6
69.6

Cooperativeness

81 76 78
70.9
75.5
74.3

Creativity

61 64 62
69.4
62.3
55.5

Understanding of others

69 71 71
67.9
71.2
67.4

Self understanding

72 73 73
64.6
65.0
58.5

Self-confidence (intellectual)

75 55 61
61
66.0
60.2

Drive to achieve

69 62 70
60.8
80.3
75.5

Writing ability

28 63 64
53.7
61.8
46.2

Leadership ability

68 61 63
52
64.9
61.8

Self-confidence (social)

57 43 61
45.5
48.7
52.3

Physical health

72 26 57
42.4
60.3
55.9

Artistic ability

36 41 39
42
36.3
28.9

Emotional health

57 46 51
41.1
56.5
55.3

Public speaking ability

54 43 47
38.2
47.1
37.2

Mathematical ability

36 28 31
37.8
48.6
44.1

Spirituality

43 38 40
37.2
23.0
38.4

Computer skills

42 21 30
25.6
31.5
39.4

The Earlham sample rated themselves higher than the national sample in their academic ability, artistic ability, creativity, self understanding, and writing ability. Students from the national sample rated themselves higher in their drive to achieve and physical and emotional health. Computer skills and mathematical skills were also rated higher by the national sample.

Earlham students rated their creativity, cooperativeness, writing ability, self-confidence (social), self understanding, artistic ability, and spirituality higher than students at peer institutions. However, students from the peer institutions gave themselves higher ratings in all other areas.

Compared to the Earlham entering class in 2008, the students from the entering 2009 class rated themselves higher in self-confidence (social) and drive to achieve.

There are significant gender differences seen among the Earlham students in many areas. Only 21% of the females rated their computer skills as above average compared to 42% of the males. Females rated their mathematical ability, physical health, emotional health, and self-confidence lower than the males. The Earlham males rated their academic ability, writing ability, artistic ability and spirituality lower than the females.


Table 11

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

Activity

Earlham

Peer Group %

All Institutions %

Male %

Female %

Total %

Socialize with someone of another racial/ethnic group

70 89
81
81.8
65.0
Study Abroad 49 76
63
63.3
30.6

Make at least a "B" average

66 69
68
74.8
66.2

Be satisfied with this college

53 69
64
70.1
56.4

Participate in student clubs/organizations

42 69
57
66.1
45.9
Communicate regularly with professors 45 59
53
63.4
37.2

Get a job to help pay for college expenses

41 64
54
45.2
49.3

Perform volunteer or community service work

36 60
49
48.1
30.8

Play varsity/intercollegiate athletics

38 69
52
26.3
13.7

Change career choice

9 28
25
29.2
12.8

Participate in student protests or demonstrations

17 22
19
13.3
6.0

Change major field

9 19
15
23.4
13.5

Seek personal counseling

10 13
11
10.1
8.5
Participate in student government 9 13
11
9.1
7.1

Transfer to another college before graduating

8 1
4
2.6
6.8

Work full time while attending college

6 5
5
2.1
6.8

Join a social fraternity or sorority

3 2
2
11.9
10.9

There are remarkable differences between Earlham students and the national sample when looking at the students' expectations at college. For example, only 30% of the national sample feel there is a very good chance that they will do study abroad compared to 63% of the Earlham students. Additionally, Earlham students are much more likely to expect to communicate regularly with professors and to perform volunteer work. Earlham students also expect to socialize with someone of another ethnicity more so than students from the national sample.

Comparing Earlham students to students from our peer institutions, one of the greatest differences is the percentage who expect to participate in intercollegeiate athletics where 52% of Earlham first-years expect to do so compared with 26% of the peer group students. The students from our peer institutions are more likely to expect to make a "B" average, to be satisfied with their college choice and to participate in student clubs or organizations.

The gender differences are most noticeable in the areas of students' expectations of studying abroad and performing volunteer work. Females are much more likely to expect to be participating in these activities. They are also much more likely to be satisfied with Earlham. More Earlham femalesmales (69%) are planning to participate in varsity sports than females (38%).

While 19% of first-year Earlham students expect to participate in student protests, only 13% of the students from peer institutions and 6% from the national sample anticipated the same. Students from our peer institutions were more likely to expect to change their major while in college and to participate in student organizations.

The percentage of first-year students who expect to get a job to help pay for college expenses is similar among Earlham students, the peer group and the national sample. 11% of Earlham first-year students indicate that there is a very good chance they will seek personal counseling.

 

APPENDIX

Peer Group
Bates College
Beloit College
Carleton College
Colorado College

Conneticut College

Grinnell College
Guilford College
Hamilton College
Macalester College
Occidental College
Rhodes College
Scripps College
University of the South
Washington & Lee
Whitman College
 

Created by Mary Ann Weaver
weavema@earlham.edu
February 26, 2010