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ERIC Number: ED278904
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1987-Mar-16
Pages: 30
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: 0
College Students Come of Age.
Epstein, Howard V.
Universities today attract a student population less homogeneous than those of past generations. The majority of all college students are women, and adults 25 years and older account for over 40% of all college enrollments. A study was conducted to examine inherent similarities and differences among college students with age a critical factor. Psychosocial and demographic characteristics of college undergraduates in three age groups (17-24, 40-45, and 46+) were studied. Subjects (N=105) completed questionnaires assessing purposes for pursuing a college degree, perception of life events which influenced college enrollment, reasons for college choice, and demographic data. Interviews were conducted with a subset of students. Using the Harvey-Houle paradigm (1978) as a frame of reference, students in each age group were found to place a high value on the role of a college education as the means for gaining knowledge. All three age groups identified "valuing of education" and "work experience" as the two greatest influences in their decisions to go to college. Students in all three groups identified "availability of a specific program of study" as the primary reason for choosing a particular college. These findings suggest that the adult learner is really not so different from younger learners in relation to factors motivating individuals to become college students. (The study instrument is appended.) (NB)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers; Tests/Questionnaires
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Society on Aging (33rd, Salt Lake City, UT, March 13-17, 1987).