1 Documening Uncerain Times: Pos-graduae Transiions of he Academically Adrif Cohor Richard Arum Esher Cho Jeannie Kim Josipa Roksa
3 Acknowledgmens This research projec is organized by he Social Science Research Council (SSRC) and was par of is collaboraive parnership wih he Council for Aid o Educaion, 29 collaboraing colleges and universiies, and he Pahways o College Nework. I was made possible by generous suppor from he Lumina Foundaion for Educaion, he Carnegie Corporaion of New York, he Teagle Foundaion and he Ford Foundaion. We are deeply graeful o he individuals who voluneered and consened o paricipae in his research sudy. The researchers are also appreciaive of inpu from he projec s advisory board: Pedro Reyes, professor and associae vice chancellor for academic planning and assessmen, Universiy of Texas; William (Bill) Tren, professor of educaional policy sudies, Universiy of Illinois; and Meredih Phillips, associae professor of public policy and sociology, Universiy of California a Los Angeles. While his research would no have been possible wihou he conribuions from he individuals and insiuions idenified above, he auhors of his repor are fully responsible for all findings presened, claims made, and opinions expressed. Address correspondence o Suggesed ciaion: Richard Arum, Esher Cho, Jeannie Kim, and Josipa Roksa Documening Uncerain Times: Pos-graduae Transiions of he Academically Adrif Cohor. New York: Social Science Research Council. Auhor Bios Richard Arum, coauhor of Academically Adrif: Limied Learning on College Campuses (Universiy of Chicago Press, 2011), is professor of sociology and educaion a New York Universiy and program direcor of educaional research a he Social Science Research Council (SSRC). He auhored Judging School Discipline: The Crisis of Moral Auhoriy (Harvard Universiy Press, 2003) and co-direced wih Adam Gamoran and Yossi Shavi a comparaive projec on expansion, differeniaion, and access o higher educaion in 15 counries, published as Sraificaion in Higher Educaion: A Comparaive Sudy (Sanford Universiy Press, 2007). Arum also successfully led recen effors o organize educaional sakeholders in New York Ciy o creae he Research Alliance for New York Ciy Schools (an eniy loosely modeled afer he Consorium on Chicago School Research, focused on on-going evaluaion and assessmen research o suppor public school improvemen effors). Esher Cho is program coordinaor for he Educaion Research Program of he Social Science Research Council. Before joining SSRC she worked as a consulan for he Cenre for Educaional Research and Innovaion (CERI) a he Organisaion for Economic Co-operaion and Developmen (OECD). She received her B.A. from Duke Universiy and Ed.M. from he Harvard Graduae School of Educaion. Jeannie Kim is a Sociology PhD candidae a New York Universiy. Before saring her graduae program, she worked as he program coordinaor for he Educaion Research Program a he Social Science Research Council. She received her B.A. from Brown Universiy and Ed. M. from he Harvard Graduae School of Educaion, afer which she worked as a eacher in Brooklyn for hree years. Josipa Roksa, coauhor of Academically Adrif: Limied Learning on College Campuses (Universiy of Chicago Press, 2011), is assisan professor of sociology a he Universiy of Virginia, wih a couresy appoinmen in he Curry School of Educaion. She is also a faculy affiliae a he Cener for Advanced Sudy of Teaching and Learning in Higher Educaion a he Universiy of Virginia and a fellow of he Naional Forum on he Fuure of Liberal Educaion. ACKNOWLEDGMENTS & AUTHOR BIOS 1
4 Execuive Summary graduaes enered he labor marke during an especially difficul ime in he recen economic hisory of he Unied Saes.
5 This repor describes pos-college ransiions of sudens originally profiled in Academically Adrif: Limied Learning on College Campuses (Universiy of Chicago Press, 2011). In our earlier research, we documened ha large numbers of sudens were progressing hrough higher educaion while experiencing few academic demands, invesing limied effor in heir academic endeavors and showing disurbingly low gains in academic performance as measured by he Collegiae Learning Assessmen (CLA). In he spring of 2011, we adminisered online surveys o nearly 1,000 sudens from he Academically Adrif cohor in order o explore he relaionship beween academic engagemen/growh 1 and performance on he CLA a he end of college and subsequen life-course oucomes. Our sample consiss of sudens who graduaed on ime, ha is, hey graduaed wihin six years of enering college, wih he vas majoriy having graduaed in four years. 2 Our curren research is noeworhy as hese graduaes enered he labor marke during an especially difficul ime in he recen economic hisory of he Unied Saes. Alhough school-o-work ransiions in he Unied Saes have long been recognized as challenging given he relaively weak insiuional linkages beween schools and employers, four-year college graduaes have ypically no been a source of concern among social scieniss in his counry. However, we found large numbers of graduaes facing difficul ransiions. In 2011, which for mos respondens was approximaely wo years afer bachelor s degree compleion: These financial circumsances indicae ha he ransiions of recen graduaes ino he labor marke have been fraugh wih challenges. Moreover, we found ha variaion in financial circumsances (as measured by unemploymen, college loan and credi card deb, living siuaion, and parenal assisance) was associaed wih sudens CLA performance, academic engagemen/ growh, and insiuional seleciviy: Graduaes who scored in he boom quinile of he CLA were hree imes more likely o be unemployed han hose who scored in he op quinile on he CLA (9.6 percen compared o 3.1 percen), wice as likely o be living a home (35 percen compared o 18 percen) and significanly more likely o have amassed credi card deb (51 percen compared o 37 percen). Graduaes who displayed high academic engagemen/ growh in heir undergraduae years were less likely o have credi card deb han graduaes who exhibied low academic engagemen/growh (38 percen compared o 56 percen). Graduaes of highly selecive insiuions were less likely o have borrowed loans o pay for college, were less likely o have credi card deb, and were less likely o live a home wih parens and relaives compared o graduaes of less selecive insiuions. 6.9% 65% 46% 74% 24% $34,900 of graduaes who were no enrolled full-ime in school were unemployed; of our sample repored having suden loans, owing on average $27,200, wih 15 percen of graduaes wih loans owing $50,000 or more; of our sample repored having credi card deb, owing on average $1,880; of our sample received financial assisance from parens; of graduaes repored living a home wih parens or relaives; average repored income for graduaes who were employed full-ime. Coninued on nex page 1 Academic engagemen/growh is a summary measure including aking courses wih reading and wriing requiremens, hours sudying and demonsraed growh on he CLA. For deailed informaion, please refer o he mehodological appendix percen of our sample for his analysis graduaed in 2009, 13 percen in 2010, and 1 percen in EXECUTIVE SUMMARY 3
6 Educaional experiences were also relaed o he degree of civic engagemen of graduaes as measured by reading he news and discussing poliics and public affairs: Graduaes who exhibied high academic engagemen/growh in college were significanly more likely o read he news and discuss poliics and public affairs compared o sudens who displayed low academic engagemen/growh. Graduaes who scored in he highes quinile on he CLA in heir senior year were more likely o read he news and discuss poliics and public affairs compared o sudens in he boom quinile. Graduaes of highly selecive insiuions were significanly more likely o read he news and discuss poliics and public affairs compared o graduaes of less selecive insiuions. The associaions found beween educaional experiences and life-course oucomes (such as employmen, financial saus, and civic engagemen), furher reinforce an appreciaion of he imporance of college academic achievemen and performance. Our findings indicae ha educaional experiences have significan consequences for individuals and he larger sociey. Paerns idenified in his repor sugges he need for developing policies and shaping insiuional pracices o improve he qualiy of undergraduae experiences as well as fuure sysemaic invesigaion of he relaionship beween college experiences and life-course oucomes of recen college graduaes.
7 Inroducion While our previous work in Academically Adrif: Limied Learning on College Campuses (Universiy of Chicago Press, 2011) and relaed repors Improving Undergraduae Learning and Learning o Reason and Communicae in College shed ligh on he sae of undergraduae educaion and learning in he Unied Saes, we now consider he ransiions of hese college sudens as hey graduae and ener he labor marke or coninue heir educaion in graduae school. How are sudens educaional experiences relaed o life-course ransiions, if a all? The hird phase of he CLA Longiudinal Sudy seeks o address his quesion by focusing on he labor marke, and financial and social experiences of individuals afer college. We measure performance a he end of college by senior year scores on he Collegiae Learning Assessmen (CLA). Academic engagemen/growh is a summary measure including aking courses wih reading and wriing requiremens, hours sudying and demonsraed growh on he CLA during college. We also examine a range of oher facors including insiuional seleciviy, college major and social background. 3 This wave of he sudy akes place a a paricularly difficul ime in hisory, as he respondens in our sample begin heir search for employmen during he oughes labor marke in nearly hree decades. The overall unemploymen rae has been a or above 9 percen since mid-2009 he longes i has been so high since he Grea Depression. According o he Bureau of Labor Saisics, even among college graduaes, whose unemploymen rae is much lower han ha of he populaion as a whole, he rae has doubled since he onse of he recession from 2.2 percen in May 2008 o 5.1 percen in November 2010 and 4.4 percen in November 2011 (U.S. Deparmen of Labor 2011). In his pioneering sudy of children born in he 1920s during he Grea Depression, Glen Elders documened he profound effecs ha hisorical change can have on human developmen no only in he formaive years bu also hroughou he life course (Elders, 1974). He found ha early experiences of economic hardships can have lifelong consequences. Given he curren recession, he findings idenified in his repor regarding he economic oucomes and financial circumsances of our sample of graduaes presen a paricular cause of concern. In addiion o he unique ime in hisory, i is imporan o noe ha respondens in our sample have graduaed wihin six years from four-year colleges and universiies. Therefore, while he rends presened in his repor are no represenaive of all college graduaes in general as many do no graduae on ime from four-year colleges where hey iniially enrolled as freshmen hey are mos likely an undersaemen of he exen of he difficulies experienced by his populaion. 3 For deailed informaion on he variables, please refer o he mehodological appendix. INTRODUCTION 5
8 Financial Circumsances of College Graduaes in he Economic Downurn COLLEGE GRADUATES WHO PERFORMED IN THE BOTTOM QUINTILE OF THE CLA WERE THREE TIMES MORE LIKELY TO BE UNEMPLOYED IN SPRING 2011 THAN THOSE WHO PERFORMED IN THE TOP QUINTILE.
9 Employmen Saus and Income Financial Circumsances Over he pas couple years, unemploymen for recen college graduaes, which radiionally is higher han all college graduaes who poenially have had decades of labor marke experience, has climbed and reached, according o some esimaes, 9.1 percen in 2010 he highes annual rae on record for young college graduaes aged 20 o 24 (Projec on Suden Deb 2011). For our cohor of sudens, he unemploymen rae is lower han his 2010 naional esimae: of he 623 paricipans in our sample who were in he labor marke and no enrolled full-ime in graduae school, 6.9 percen were unemployed in he spring of 2011 (Table 2). While recen graduaes of four-year insiuions are in a more favorable posiion in he labor marke han he broader populaion, only 53 percen of our sample (or 77 percen of graduaes no enrolled full-ime in graduae school) had secured full-ime employmen. Of paricular noe we found ha for hose no enrolled full-ime in graduae school, college graduaes who performed in he boom quinile of he CLA were hree imes more likely o be unemployed in spring 2011 han hose who performed in he op quinile (9.6 percen compared o 3.1 percen, see Figure 1). Among college graduaes working fullime, he average income was $34,900. Moreover, nearly a hird of our sample repored being enrolled in graduae school full-ime. I is likely ha he reasons for coninued school enrollmen are diverse and include for some he difficulies in finding saisfacory employmen opporuniies afer compleing college. Paerns of employmen and enrollmen in graduae school vary noably by college major (Table 2). Compared o business majors, social sciences and humaniies as well as science and mah majors were less likely employed full-ime and more likely enrolled in school full-ime. These findings highligh ha sudens majoring in business, who have been shown in our earlier work o exhibi limied growh in generic higher order skills as measured by he CLA, were less likely o ener graduae school in he firs wo years afer college han sudens majoring in science and mah or in social sciences and humaniies. However, average incomes of sudens majoring in business were higher han hose majoring in social science and humaniies, mah and science, educaion and social work as well as communicaions. Full-ime employed graduaes who majored in engineering/compuer science had he highes average annual income a $50,600. Suden borrowing has risen o $100 billion annually, more han doubling afer inflaion over he pas decade, surpassing naional credi card deb, and conribuing o oal U.S. suden loan deb approaching one rillion dollars (Cauchon 2011; Federal Reserve 2011; FinAid 2011). According o he Projec on Suden Deb (2010), college seniors who graduaed in 2009 carried an average of $24,000 in suden loan deb. Our figures are similar (Table 3). Sixy-five percen of our sample repored having college loans wih a mean deb of $27,200. Fifeen percen of hose wih college loans repored having a deb amoun of $50,000 or more and 44 percen repored having a deb amoun beween $20,000 and $50,000. Furhermore, we found ha many college graduaes have credi card deb as well. Nearly half of he respondens in our sudy repored having credi card deb averaging $1,880. Figure 1. Unemploymen by CLA Performance 10% 8% 6% 4% 2% 0% Unemploymen of Graduaes no Enrolled Full-ime in School Boom CLA quinile Middle (3) CLA quiniles Top CLA quinile Financial Circumsances of College Graduaes in he Economic Downurn 7
10 Parenal Educaion and Academic Performance College graduaes whose parens have graduae or professional degrees were less likely o have college loans or credi card deb han oher graduaes, paricularly hose whose parens had no college experience (Table 3). Our findings also show ha higher parenal educaion is associaed wih a greaer likelihood of receiving financial assisance afer college from parens as well as a lower likelihood of living a home. Among respondens whose parens compleed professional or graduae degrees: 52 percen repored having college loans and 40 percen credi card deb; 76 percen received financial assisance from heir parens and only 18 percen repored living a home. The resuls were significanly differen for hose graduaes whose parens had no college experience: hree-quarers of hem repored having college loans and 54 percen had credi card deb; fewer graduaes from hese backgrounds received financial assisance from heir parens (63 percen) and more were living a home (26 percen). Financial circumsances were also associaed wih he seleciviy of he insiuion aended (Figure 2). The higher he seleciviy of he insiuion, he less likely i was for graduaes in our sample o have aken ou suden loans, have credi card deb, and be living wih parens or relaives. Of graduaes from highly selecive colleges, 64 percen repored having college loans and 40 percen had credi card deb, while 72 percen of individuals who aended less selecive schools had college loans and 50 percen had credi card deb. A significanly higher proporion of graduaes from less selecive colleges and universiies also were living a home compared o hose from highly selecive insiuions. Likewise, sudens wih higher academic engagemen/ growh and performance on he CLA were less likely o have credi card deb. Thiry-eigh percen of sudens who exhibied high academic engagemen/growh repored having credi card deb, compared o more han half of he sudens who exhibied low academic engagemen/growh. Similarly, sudens scoring in he op quinile of he CLA in heir senior year were less likely o repor having credi card deb (37 percen), compared o sudens in he boom quinile of CLA performance (51 percen). Moreover, a significanly greaer proporion of individuals who performed in he boom quinile of CLA in heir senior year repored living a home (35 percen) han hose in he op quinile (18 percen, see Figure 3). These resuls poenially sugges ha high-achieving college graduaes are more successful in navigaing adul ransiions along his dimension. Figure 2. Forms of Suppor by College Seleciviy Figure 3. Forms of Suppor by CLA Performance 80% 60% 60% 50% 40% 40% 30% 20% 20% 10% 0% College Loans Credi Card Deb Living a Home Less selecive college Selecive college Highly selecive college 0% Credi Card Deb Boom CLA quinile Middle (3) CLA quiniles Top CLA quinile Living a Home
11 Race/Ehniciy In addiion o variaion in financial circumsances by parenal educaion and sudens educaional experiences, we observed racial/ehnic differences in he amoun of financial assisance graduaes received from parens and heir probabiliy of living a home (Table 3). Asian graduaes repored borrowing he leas amoun o pay for college, averaging $18,800, compared o African-American graduaes wih $28,600, whies wih $27,800 and Hispanics wih $24,500. Asian graduaes also received significanly more financial assisance from heir parens han any oher racial/ehnic group, reporing an average of $8,100 in parenal assisance, compared o $5,000 for African-American graduaes, $4,900 for whie graduaes, and $2,400 for Hispanic graduaes. While Hispanic respondens received he leas amoun of financial help from heir parens, hey were significanly more likely o live wih parens or relaives approximaely wo years ou of college. Fory-four percen of Hispanic graduaes in our sample repored living wih parens or relaives, while slighly less han a fifh of whie graduaes did. Figure 4. Job Search Mechanisms by Academic Engagemen/Growh 50% 40% 30% 20% 10% 0% College Insiuional Mechansim Low academic engagemen/growh Medium academic engagemen/growh High academic engagemen/growh Employmen Agency/Ad Job Search Diverse mechanisms exis for seekers of employmen o find posiions (Table 4). Mos college sudens have he advanage of college neworks, boh social and professional, as well as on-campus career ceners and online porals specific o heir insiuion. To examine he various ways ha recen college graduaes find employmen oday, we asked hose employed full-ime (who were no enrolled full-ime in graduae school) wheher heir curren job was found hrough college social neworks, employmen agencies and ads, or a prior job. Furhermore, o gauge how much imporance employers place on formal undergraduae academic performance, we asked hese individuals wheher hey were required o submi ranscrips o heir curren employers. Only 37 percen of he respondens repored ha heir curren employers had asked o see heir ranscrips. Tha nearly wo-hirds of hese recen graduaes employers did no require hem o submi ranscrips speaks o he perceived limied value and rus employers currenly place in his radiional record of academic achievemen in higher educaion. Generally, more respondens repored using an employmen agency or ad o find heir curren job han college social neworks. We also observed variaion by gender: a significanly higher percenage of males used college social neworks and insiuional mechanisms for heir curren posiion of employmen han females. Moreover, he higher he seleciviy of he insiuion aended, he more graduaes used college social neworks and heir alma maer (as opposed o employmen agencies and ads) compared o graduaes from less selecive colleges and universiies. Graduaes who exhibied higher academic engagemen/growh in college also were more likely o have found heir jobs hrough insiuional neworks han unaffiliaed job agencies and ads (Figure 4). These findings demonsrae he noable influence ha one s insiuion can have on he process of job search as well as placemen. Financial Circumsances of College Graduaes in he Economic Downurn 9
12 Social Circumsances and Experiences of College Graduaes GRADUATES WHO WERE MORE ENGAGED IN THEIR UNDERGRADUATE STUDIES OR PERFORMED IN THE HIGHEST QUINTILE OF THE CLA IN THEIR SENIOR YEAR WERE MORE LIKELY TO READ THE NEWS AND DISCUSS POLITICS AND PUBLIC AFFAIRS.
13 Civic Engagemen In recen years here has been subsanial dialogue abou he imporance of 21s Cenury skills and he role of higher educaion in fosering global compeencies o ensure ha sudens become acive and effecive members of sociey in an era of increasing global inerconnecedness and compeiiveness (Parnership for 21s Cenury Skills 2011). Civic lieracy is a key componen of 21s Cenury skills as i no only faciliaes undersanding of he inricacy of global issues bu also allows one o develop effecive and appropriae responses oward global challenges (Reimers 2009). Therefore, we asked our recen college graduaes how ofen hey read he news, discuss poliics and public affairs, and do voluneer work as measures of heir civic engagemen. Only he firs wo forms of engagemen will be discussed in his repor since he laer, alhough repored by 54 percen of graduaes, did no significanly vary along he dimensions we examined. Our findings reveal srong associaions beween parenal educaion, academic engagemen/growh, CLA performance, and pos-college civic engagemen (Table 5). Graduaes who exhibied higher academic engagemen/growh, performed in he op quinile on he CLA in heir senior year in college, and graduaes whose parens hold a professional or graduae degree were significanly more civically engaged. Parenal educaion is srongly associaed wih civic engagemen. Only fify-six percen of graduaes whose parens have a high school educaion or less repored reading he news a leas weekly, while 73 percen of graduaes whose parens hold graduae or professional degrees did. Similarly, a significanly larger proporion of graduaes wih parens holding graduae or professional degrees repored discussing poliics and public affairs a leas weekly. Socioeconomic background, ofen measured by parenal educaion, has been heorized o have a significan impac on educaional rajecories of children as i shapes peer climaes in school as well as he availabiliy of academic resources boh wihin he home and in school (Coleman 1966; Jencks 1972; Mare 1980). Our findings illuminae anoher dimension worhy of consideraion: he relaionship beween parenal educaion and one s pos-college civic engagemen. In addiion o parenal educaion, he insiuional conex of he graduaes is srongly associaed wih a greaer likelihood of reading he news and discussing poliics and public affairs. Approximaely 80 percen of graduaes from highly selecive insiuions repored reading he news and discussing poliics and public affairs a leas weekly, while only approximaely 50 percen of graduaes from less selecive colleges repored doing so. These resuls indicae ha boh family and school environmens are srongly relaed o an individual s awareness of and ineres in social issues and he curren sae of public affairs. Moreover, graduaes who were more engaged in heir undergraduae sudies or performed in he highes quinile of he CLA in heir senior year were more likely o read he news and discuss poliics and public affairs. Eighy-one percen of graduaes who had displayed high academic engagemen/growh in college repored reading he news a leas weekly, while only 67 percen of individuals wih low levels of academic engagemen/growh did (Figure 5). These findings sugges a srong relaionship beween academic performance and civic engagemen. Noably, we observe no differences in civic engagemen beween sudens from differen racial/ehnic groups. However, our resuls reveal variaion by gender: sevenyeigh percen of males repored reading he news a leas weekly compared o only 64 percen of females. Likewise, 70 percen of male college graduaes discuss poliics and public affairs a leas weekly, while only 57 percen of females repored doing so. Figure 5. Civic Engagemen by Academic Engagemen/Growh 100% 80% 60% 40% 20% 0% Reads News Discusses Poliics and Public Affairs Low academic engagemen/growh Medium academic engagemen/growh High academic engagemen/growh Social Circumsances and Experiences of College Graduaes 11
15 Personal Relaionships and Living Arrangemens In his secion of he repor, we presen findings concerning personal relaionships and living arrangemens of college graduaes in our sample. We are paricularly ineresed in he exen o which individuals find romanic parners while aending college. Seveneen percen of our respondens were married or cohabiing and almos a hird were in a serious romanic relaionship. Noably, among married and cohabiing respondens, 42 percen me heir spouse/parner in college. Similarly, among hose in a serious romanic relaionship, 39 percen me heir parner in college. A higher proporion of males are married, cohabiing or in a serious relaionship wih a parner from college han females (Table 6). However, a lower percenage of males are married or cohabiing overall. These findings may poenially reflec he disproporionae disribuion of males and females on college campuses oday. Graduaes who performed in he highes CLA quinile in heir senior year in college were more likely married or cohabiing and doing so wih an individual hey me a college han sudens in he boom quinile of CLA performance (Figure 6). Nearly 20 percen of hose respondens who performed in he op quinile of he CLA repored being married or cohabiing while only 11 percen from he boom quinile did. More han half of he graduaes from he op CLA quinile were married or cohabiing wih a parner from college. Graduaes in he highes CLA quinile were also more likely rening wih college friends or a parner. These findings sugges ha, for recen college graduaes, academic engagemen/growh and performance is associaed wih pos-college living arrangemens, which poenially are relaed o employmen and financial circumsances. We also observed a noable variaion in living arrangemens by race/ehniciy. No graduaes of Hispanic background repored rening wih college friends, bu Hispanic graduaes had he highes percenage of individuals living a home (44 percen). African-American graduaes had he lowes percenage of rening wih college friends or a college parner and he second highes rae of living a home. Some respondens living a home afer graduaion were already residing a home while in school. Of hose who moved ou during college (eiher ino campus housing or independenly), a significanly higher percenage of African-American and Asian respondens moved back home compared o whie sudens. Figure 6. Marriage/Cohabiaion and Romanic Parner from College, by CLA Performance 60% 50% 40% 30% 20% 10% 0% Married or Cohabiing Boom CLA quinile Middle (3) CLA quiniles Top CLA quinile Married or Cohabiing from College Social Circumsances and Experiences of College Graduaes 13
16 Conclusion These findings reinforce he imporance of rigorous educaional experiences as well as he commimen of praciioners and policymakers o focus on improving he qualiy of higher educaion.
17 Our findings arrive a a unique ime of economic crisis in he Unied Saes. The individuals in our sudy graduaed from college and began heir job search during he oughes labor marke in decades. Despie having graduaed on ime from four-year colleges and universiies, a high percenage of graduaes repored being unemployed. In addiion, our findings reveal he difficul financial siuaion ha many college graduaes are experiencing oday, in par refleced in he high levels of suden loan deb. Our sudy highlighs he srong associaion beween educaional experiences and life-course oucomes, paricularly labor marke oucomes, financial circumsances and civic engagemen. These findings reinforce he imporance of rigorous educaional experiences as well as he commimen of praciioners and policymakers o focus on improving he qualiy of higher educaion. The descripive findings for academic engagemen/ growh and performance sugges he need for furher mulivariae analysis where associaions of hese facors wih life-course oucomes are esimaed afer conrolling for prior individual-level differences. In addiion, fuure reporing of in-deph inerviews on qualiaive dimensions of hese graduaes experiences will shed furher ligh on he difficulies curren graduaes face in making a range of differen ransiions afer college as well as he relaionship beween educaional experiences and life-course oucomes. CONCLUSION 15
18 Mehodological Appendix Presened analyses are based on he Deerminans of College Learning (DCL) daase. The daase began wih a cohor of freshmen enering four-year insiuions in he fall of The respondens were followed hrough heir college careers, wih resuls repored in Academically Adrif: Limied Learning on College Campuses and relaed repors. Sudens who paricipaed in he 2009 wave of daa collecion (ypically during heir senior year) were conaced for follow-up surveys in 2010 and Once respondens signed new consen forms for his phase of he projec, hey were adminisered he survey elecronically. The surveys were conduced by Harris Ineracive and conain informaion regarding a range of pos-college experiences, including respondens labor marke oucomes, coninuing educaion informaion, civic engagemen and social neworks. 967 respondens compleed he survey in The sample in his repor is resriced o 925 respondens who compleed a bachelor s degree by he ime of he survey. The majoriy (86 percen) of respondens compleed heir bachelor s degrees by 2009 and hese individuals were hus surveyed approximaely wo years afer compleing heir degrees. In addiion, 13 percen of graduaes compleed heir bachelor s degrees in 2010 and 1 percen in The DCL sample coninues o include a range of insiuions from all four regions of he counry, of varying sizes, seleciviy, and missions, from liberal ars colleges and large research insiuions o a number of Hisorically Black Colleges and Universiies (HBCU s) and Hispanic Serving Insiuions (HSI s). Moreover, he sample represens recen college graduaes across he naion reasonably well along several key dimensions. Table 1 repors seleced demographic characerisics and pos-college oucomes of he DCL sample, compared o a naionally represenaive sample from he Beginning Possecondary Sudens (BPS) Longiudinal Sudy, cohor. To synchronize he comparison, he BPS sample is resriced o sudens who were 19 years old or younger by December 31, 2003, and who iniially enrolled in a four-year insiuion. The sample is also resriced o sudens who compleed bachelor s degrees by he las survey wave, approximaely six years since enry ino higher educaion (which is he same ime-frame as he DCL sample). I is worhwhile o noe ha among our college graduaes 86 percen compleed heir bachelor s degrees wihin four years, while in he BPS sample only 71 percen did so. Consequenly, our sample includes a larger proporion of sudens who graduaed wihin four years, which may explain some of he differences observed in Table 1. Women are overrepresened in our sample a 71 percen, compared o 56 percen in he BPS sample. Moreover, our respondens had slighly more educaed parens, wih 41 percen of respondens having parens wih professional/graduae degrees, compared o 34 percen in he BPS sample. The proporion of whie vs. nonwhie respondens and respondens for whom English was no he primary language growing up are similar in he wo samples, as is college GPA, wih sudens in boh DCL and BPS samples leaving college aaining or approaching a B+ average cumulaive GPAs. Afer college, labor marke oucomes of college graduaes in he BPS and DCL samples are remarkably similar, including unemploymen, full-ime employmen and income. A higher proporion of sudens in he DCL sample, however, repor aending graduae school. A he same ime, a higher proporion of sudens in he naional sample repor being married (14 percen compared o 8 percen in our sample) as well as living a home (29 percen compared o 24 percen in our sample). While here are some differences across he samples, overall, here are many similariies, wih sudens in our sample in many respecs approximaing characerisics of he naional sample. We describe sudens pos-college experiences separaely for differen groups based on heir sociodemographic backgrounds and academic experiences and performance, including: gender, race/ ehniciy, parenal educaion, college major, college seleciviy, 2009 CLA score quiniles and academic engagemen/growh. We used -ess adjused for clusering of sudens wihin insiuions o idenify saisically significan differences across groups. Race/ ehniciy is divided ino five caegories: whie (reference), African-American, Asian, Hispanic, and oher racial/
19 ehnic groups. Parenal educaion corresponds o he highes degree aained by eiher paren and is caegorized ino high school or less (reference), some college (includes associae and echnical degrees), bachelor s degree, and graduae/professional degree. College major indicaes sudens self-repored major a he ime of graduaion, aggregaed ino he following broad caegories: Business (reference), Educaion/Social Work, Engineering/Compuer Science, Communicaions, Healh, Social Science/Humaniies, Science/Mah, and Oher. College seleciviy is a measure of he average combined mah and verbal SAT scores (on he 1,600 scale) a he 25h percenile for he incoming freshman class a each insiuion. Daa on SAT scores were obained from he Inegraed Possecondary Educaion Daa Sysem (IPEDS) daabase. Insiuions were separaed ino hree caegories: highly selecive, selecive, and less selecive. Highly selecive colleges and universiies are defined as insiuions wih sudens scoring higher han 1,150 on heir combined SAT a he 25h percenile; less selecive colleges are defined as schools wih sudens scoring lower han 950 on heir combined SAT a he 25h percenile. Selecive schools fall beween hese cuoffs. The CLA measure represens sudens scores on he performance ask of he Collegiae Learning Assessmen (CLA) in heir senior year in college (i.e., spring 2009). This variable is divided ino quiniles, wih he cuoff scores differing from previous repors since hey are based on respondens who paricipaed in he 2011 follow-up survey. The op quinile includes sudens who scored 1,403 or higher on he CLA ask assessmen. The boom quinile includes hose who scored 1,076 or less. The middle hree quiniles include all sudens whose scores fall beween hose wo cuoff scores. Academic engagemen/growh is a summary measure based on sudens demonsraed growh on he CLA during college, courses aken wih reading and wriing requiremens, and hours sudied. Demonsraed growh on he CLA represens sudens who gained more han 9.7 poins on he CLA scale beween 2005 and 2009 (i.e., freshman and senior years in college); reading and wriing requiremens indicae wheher sudens ook more han five courses during heir ime in college where hey repored reading more han 40 pages a week and wriing more han 20 pages in a semeser; hours sudied reflecs sudens repors of he number of hours spen sudying alone in a week. The high academic engagemen/growh caegory includes sudens who showed demonsraed growh on he CLA, ook more han five reading and five wriing courses, and sudied alone 10 or more hours per week. Low engagemen/growh caegory includes sudens who did no show demonsraed growh on he CLA, ook less han 5 reading and 5 wriing courses, and sudied alone 5 hours or less per week. The middle caegory includes all oher possible combinaions of sudens CLA performance and hose academic experiences. Table 2 presens employmen and enrollmen paerns of recen college graduaes, divided ino four caegories: employed full-ime (working 35 or more hours per week), employed par-ime (less han 35 hours per week), unemployed, and aending graduae school full-ime. Respondens no enrolled in graduae school full-ime are classified as working full-ime, working par-ime or unemployed. Average income for full-ime employed graduaes and unemploymen rae of hose in he labor force are also repored in Table 2. Table 3 repors he percenage of college graduaes wih differen ypes of deb and financial suppor, as well as he amoun of deb owed or financial suppor received. Informaion on college loans is based on sudens responses o he following quesions: Did you ake ou any suden loans o help pay for your bachelor s degree? And If yes, how much are you currenly in deb, i.e., how much do you owe in he form of suden loans? Informaion on credi card deb is based on he following quesion: Currenly, abou how much in oal do you owe on credi cards? And financial assisance from parens is based on he promp: Please indicae how much financial help you have received from your paren figures or oher adul relaives during he pas 12 monhs (e.g., have your parens or relaives helped you wih schooling expenses, buying a car, emergencies such as being ou of work, sick or injured, given you money o make a down paymen on a house, provided you your own place o say by covering he ren or given you oher large financial or valuable gifs)? We repor he percenage of sudens who received any help and he amoun of help received among hose who received financial assisance from parens. The response caegories for quesions regarding amoun of college loans, credi card deb, and financial assisance from parens included ranges of $10,000. We re-coded each of hese variables ino a coninuous measure by using he average for each caegory. We also asked sudens abou heir curren living siuaion and repor he percenage of sudens who are living wih heir parens or relaives. Moreover, from hose who are living a home, we creaed a subcaegory of hose who eiher lived on campus or off campus independenly during college, and have reurned home since graduaion. In Table 4, we examine he various ypes of mechanisms recen graduaes wih full-ime jobs (who are no enrolled METHODOLOGICAL APPENDIX 17
20 full-ime in graduae school) uilized o find heir curren posiions of employmen. The survey iem asked paricipans how hey found heir jobs. The responses were collapsed ino five caegories: college social neworks (i.e., friends from college), college insiuional mechanisms (i.e., college personnel or career placemen cener), employmen agency/ad, prior job (i.e., former employer, company ransfer, or neworking on a job), and oher. In addiion, we asked respondens wheher heir employers asked o see heir college ranscrips when hey were being hired. Table 5 explores he civic engagemen of recen graduaes by frequency of reading he news, discussing poliics and public affairs as well as voluneering. Respondens were asked how ofen hey read he newspaper eiher online or in prin; response caegories included daily, weekly, monhly, and I don read newspapers. They were also asked how ofen hey discuss poliics and public affairs wih family and friends (eiher in person, by phone or via he Inerne); response caegories included every day, a leas once a week, a leas once a monh, and less han once a monh. In addiion, paricipans were asked how many hours in a monh on average hey paricipaed as voluneers. These measures are recoded as dummy variables o indicae hose who read news and discuss poliics and public affairs daily or weekly. The voluneer measure indicaes wheher or no an individual voluneers some amoun of ime in an average monh. Table 6 repors college graduaes personal relaionships (focusing in paricular on relaionships originaing in college) and living arrangemens. Paricipans were asked o indicae heir curren living siuaion. Response caegories included owning, rening on my own, rening wih my parner/spouse, rening wih college friends/roommaes, rening wih friends/roommaes oher han hose me in college, living wih parens or relaives, and oher. The percenage of graduaes who repored living wih parens/relaives is presened in Table 3. In Table 6, we focus on he percenage of graduaes who repored rening wih college friends or college parners. Moreover, respondens were asked heir curren relaionship saus, represened by four caegories: married, cohabiing, in a serious romanic relaionship, or single. For paricipans who were in a relaionship (i.e., no single), we asked where hey me heir spouses/ parners and repor he percenage who me heir spouses/parners in college.
21 Table 1. Characerisics and pos-college experiences of college graduaes in he DCL and BPS samples Background Characerisics Gender Female Male Race/ehniciy Whie African-American Hispanic Asian Oher English no primary language Parenal educaion High school or less Some college Bachelor s degree Professional/graduae degree College GPA Pos-college experiences DCL Sample BPS Sample Currenly enrolled in graduae school Currenly enrolled in graduae school full-ime Unemployed (no enrolled in graduae school) Employed full-ime (no enrolled in graduae school) Income (working full-ime, no enrolled in graduae school) Marial Saus Married No-married Single Cohabiing Serious relaionship Living wih parens , , Noe: Deerminans of College Learning (DCL) daase and he Beginning Possecondary Sudens (BPS) Longiudinal Sudy are resriced o radiional-age sudens who enered four-year insiuions in he Fall of 2005 (DCL) or during he academic year (BPS) and compleed bachelor s degrees wihin six years of enry. METHODOLOGICAL APPENDIX 19
22 Table 2. Percenage of college graduaes in differen employmen and enrollmen caegories, by seleced characerisics (2011) Employed Full-Time a Employed Enrolled Par-Time a Unemployed a Full-Time Income for Full-Time Employed b Unemployed c All Gender Male Female Race/ehniciy African-American Asian Hispanic Whie Oher Parenal educaion HS or less Some college Bachelor s degree Professional/graduae degree College Seleciviy Less selecive college Selecive college Highly selecive college College Majors Business Educaion/Social Work Engineering/Compuer Science Communicaions Healh Social Sciences/Humaniies Science/Mah Oher Academic engagemen/growh Low Medium High 2009 CLA quinile Boom quinile Middle (3) quiniles Top quinile ** * * 36.69* ** * * * * * ** ** * ,872 (15,709) 39,214** (17,550) 33,012 (14,486) 37,727 (17,997) 32,879 (17,457) 25,833* (9,003) 34,970 (15,126) 34,231 (17,871) 38,696 (18,179) 35,330 (14,177) 34,864 (15,438) 33,453 (15,841) 32,419 (16,740) 37,203* 15,037 32,740 (15,659) 37,794 (15,146) 28,500** (11,886) 50,625** (15,697) 32,037 (12,346) 40,714 (17,728) 32,200* (14,933) 31,721 * (15,025) 30,238** (11,313) 34,024 (14,458) 35,055 (15,924) 35,000 (15,725) 35,000 (14,453) 34,741 (16,048) 35,097 (16,179) * * Toal N Noe: 6 cases were excluded from his analysis ha did no fall ino one of he employmen/enrollmen saus caegories. Comparison caegory a Individuals assigned o his caegory only if no enrolled full-ime in graduae school b Analysis resriced only o hose in full-ime employmen c Analysis resriced o hose in he labor marke (i.e., excluding hose full-ime enrolled in graduae school) p<.10, *p<.05, ** p<.01
23 Table 3. Percenage of college graduaes wih differen ypes of deb and financial suppor, by seleced characerisics (2011) All Gender Male Female Race/ehniciy African-American Asian Hispanic Whie Oher Parenal educaion HS or less Some college Bachelor s degree Professional/graduae degree College Seleciviy Less selecive college Selecive college Highly selecive college College Majors Business Educaion/Social Work Engineering/Compuer Science Communicaions Healh Social Sciences/Humaniies Science/Mah Oher Academic engagemen/growh Low Medium High 2009 CLA quinile Boom quinile Middle (3) quiniles Top quinile Toal N College Loans a ** * ** * ,194 (17,529) 26,622 (17,576) 27,406 (17,529) 28,647 (18,571) 18,824** (12,064) 24,524 (12,440) 27,753 (17,757) 27,381 (18,683) 29,730 (16,898) 26,308 (16,490) 27,343 (18,653) 26,566 (17,511) 28,025 (18,066) 25,925 (17,296) 28,758 (17,520) 24,655 (17,164) 27,667 (16,976) 20,128 (14,303) 24,615 (15,095) 29,595 (18,498) 29,293 (18,192) 28,158 (18,350) 25,182 (16,158) 27,128 (18,408) 27,230 (17,763) 26,000 (15,037) 27,149 (17,522) 26,132 (16,998) 30,421 (18,898) Comparison caegory a Resriced o college graduaes who repored borrowing o pay for college b Resriced o college graduaes who repored having credi card deb c Resriced o college graduaes who repored receiving parenal assisance p<.10, *p<.05, ** p<.01 Mean College Loans a 547 Credi Card Deb ** ** * 1,880 (2,573) 1,726 (2,603) 1,948 (2,562) 2,095 (1,605) 1,765 (3,465) 2,842 (2,517) 1,751 (2,567) 2,583 (3,791) 2,406 (3,215) 2,253 (3,072) 1,845 (2,303) 1,498* (2,095) 1,991 (2,648) 2,075 (2,541) 1,441 (2,566) ** 36.59** 42.86* 46.13** 36.09** 45.35* 2,021 (2,975) 2,057 (2,179) 1,445 (1,738) 2,933 (4,180) 3,238 (4,655) 1,770 (2,270) 1,635 (2,432) 1,615 (1,586) * * 2,349 (2,962) 1,764 (2,308) 2,488 (3,879) ** ** ,104 (6,863) 4,794 (6,445) 5,235 (7,034) 5,000 (6,813) 8,074** (9,151) 2,425 (2,290) 4,918 (6,648) 5,357 (6,788) 5,195 (6,810) 4,760 (6,426) 4,490 (6,398) 5,714 (7,375) 4,768 (6,169) 5,859 (7,476) 4,190 (6,165) 5,537 (7,598) 4,750 (6,766) 5,535 (7,782) 3,742 (6,225) 5,446 (7,389) 4,702 (5,975) 6,459 (8,145) 4,318 (5,980) 5,800 (7,844) 5,135 (6,926) 4,863 (6,117) ** 1,995 (2,006) 1,858 (2,573) 1,857 (3,228) ,198 (6,189) 5,301 (6,917) 5,535 (7,329) ** 17.89** ** 16.39** 909 Mean Credi Card Deb b Parenal Financial Assisance Mean Parenal Financial Assisance c 663 Living a Home * ** 33.33** 43.75** * ** ** Moved back Home ** ** 28.79* * ** * ** METHODOLOGICAL APPENDIX 21
24 Table 4. Percenage of full-ime employed college graduaes using various job search mechanisms, by seleced characerisics (2011) College Social Neworks College Insiuional Mechanism Employmen Agency/Ad Prior Job Oher Employer Asked for Transcrip All Gender Male 12.68* 23.94** 19.72** Female Race/ehniciy African-American Asian Hispanic Whie Oher Parenal educaion HS or less Some college Bachelor s degree Professional/graduae degree College Seleciviy Less selecive college Selecive college * Highly selecive college * 27.03* College Majors Business Educaion/Social Work Engineering/Compuer Science * Communicaions ** Healh Social Sciences/Humaniies Science/Mah Oher Academic engagemen/growh Low Medium High ** CLA quinile Boom quinile Middle (3) quiniles Top quinile Toal N Noe: This analysis is resriced o respondens who are no enrolled full-ime in graduae school and are employed full-ime. Comparison caegory p<.10, *p<.05, ** p<.01