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ERIC Number: EJ1096723
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2016
Pages: 13
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-1088-8691
College Expectations for All? The Early Adult Outcomes of Low-Achieving Adolescents Who Expect to Earn a Bachelor's Degree
Martin, Anne; Gardner, Margo
Applied Developmental Science, v20 n2 p108-120 2016
Critics of the college-for-all ethos argue that it encourages low-achieving adolescents to develop unrealistically high expectations. This argument posits that low-achievers waste time and money, and risk disappointment and self-recrimination, pursuing college when they are unlikely to complete it. The present study uses two national data sets--Add Health and the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth 1979--to test the proposition that expecting to earn a bachelor's degree (BA) puts low-achieving students at risk of disadvantageous early adult outcomes. Youth reported their educational expectations in high school, and their income-to-needs ratios and depressive symptoms were measured approximately a decade later. Results in both data sets suggest that the expectation of a BA was advantageous for all students, regardless of achievement level. Low-achievers who expected to earn a BA had higher educational attainment, higher income-to-needs ratios, and fewer depressive symptoms than low-achievers who did not expect to earn a BA.
Psychology Press. Available from: Taylor & Francis, Ltd. 325 Chestnut Street Suite 800, Philadelphia, PA 19106. Tel: 800-354-1420; Fax: 215-625-2940; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Assessments and Surveys: National Longitudinal Survey of Youth
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A