This year's batch of college freshmen worked harder in high school than other recent classes, taking tougher courses, spending more time on homework, and taking more notes, a study suggests. The ranks of drinkers and partiers shrunk, while fewer kids reported arriving late to class in the annual survey. All this may show "the increased complexity of going to college during a recession," says a researcher. "What we're seeing, perhaps, is a little more (seriousness about) what you're called to do in college."
Indeed, the 204,000 new college freshmen surveyed last fall most often cited finding "a better job" as their main reason for attending college; it's been an increasingly popular reason over the past few years. For the first half of the decade, on the other hand, students said they went "to learn more about things that interest me." USA Today offers details of the survey. Among this year's class:
- 39.5% said they spent at least 6 hours weekly on homework as high school seniors, compared to 37.3% in 2010.
- 71% took one or more Advanced Placement courses; the figure was 67.9% in 2009.