For a detailed summary report, please contact:
More students taking AP courses The proportion of students who had taken at least one Advanced Placement course rose from 67.9 percent in 2009 to 71.0 percent in 2011. Those who had taken five or more AP courses rose from 18.7 percent in 2009 to 21.7 percent in 2011. Discussing college-course content outside class More students indicated that as college students, they expected to discuss course content with their peers outside of class, a behavior that has been linked to retention and greater academic gains in college. This figure rose from 46.9 percent in 2010 to 48.8 percent in 2011. Alcohol consumption at all-time low The proportion of students who said they drank beer as high school seniors dropped from 38.4 percent in 2010 to 35.4 percent in 2011, while those who said they drank wine and/or liquor dropped from 43.3 percent in 2010 to 41.1 percent in 2011. More hours spent studying in high school The proportion of students who reported spending six or more hours a week studying or doing homework as high school seniors rose to 39.5 percent, from 37.3 percent in 2010.Many of these behaviors have connections to degree completion, which is further explored in HERI's recently released report "Completing College: Assessing Graduation Rates at Four-Year Institutions." Challenges of financing college The economic downturn continues to affect students' ability to pay for college. Fewer incoming students reported financing college through grants or scholarships (69.5 percent, down from 73.4 percent in 2010). Students also reported receiving less aid. Only 26.8 percent of students received $10,000 or more in grants or scholarships in 2011, compared with 29.2 percent in 2010. As students search for other ways to pay for college, it comes as no surprise that loan usage continues to surge. In 2001, 5.6 percent of students reported that they expected to use $10,000 or more in loans to cover the costs of their first year of college. By 2011, this figure had more than doubled, to 13.3 percent. "Scholarships and grants are fundamental to closing the gap between college costs and what students and families can manage to pay out of pocket," said Sylvia Hurtado, co-author of the report and director of UCLA's HERI. "This combination of fewer funds from scholarships and the increased high usage of loans exaggerates the problem of paying for and completing college." The 2011 Freshman Norms report is based on the responses of 203,967 first-time, full-time students at 270 of the nation's baccalaureate colleges and universities. The data have been statistically adjusted to reflect the responses of the 1.5 million first-time, full-time students entering four-year colleges and universities as first-year students in 2011. Since 1966, the first year the survey was conducted, more than 15 million students have completed CIRP surveys at 1,900 colleges and universities. The CIRP Freshman Survey is the largest and longest-running survey of American college students. To view a summary or to order a copy of the monograph "The American Freshman: National Norms Fall 2011" (J.H. Pryor, L. DeAngelo, L. Palucki Blake, S. Hurtado and S. Tran), Click Here. The Higher Education Research Institute is one of the premier research and policy organizations on postsecondary education in the country. Housed in the UCLA Graduate School of Education & Information Studies, the institute is an interdisciplinary center for research, evaluation, information, policy studies and research training in postsecondary education. Please visit our blog (www.heri.ucla.edu/blog) and follow us on Facebook (www.facebook.com/hericirp) and Twitter (www.twitter.com/heriucla). For more news, visit the UCLA Newsroom and follow us on Twitter.