Two long-standing U.S. institutions ended their work in 2011: NASA Space Shuttle Program and the Oprah Winfrey Show. NASA’s 30-year running space shuttle program ended with Endeavor’s final trip to the international space station. Despite the tragedies of the Challenger and Columbia space shuttle disasters, the ending of the space shuttle program marks the end of the U.S. government sponsoring human space travel program. Yet, hope is on the horizon as Space X, a private space company, continues to make efforts for travels to the stars. Oprah Winfrey’s show ended its 25 year run on daytime television. Oprah’s show was a phenomenon that changed how daytime talk television was produced and how it entertained a nation. Who can forget the now iconic image of “you get car, your get car, everybody gets a car”. Oprah’s show featured audience engagement often displayed in popular shows today such as the Ellen DeGeneres Show.
Economic Recovery and Paying for College
The U.S. Census reported that real household income declined from 2010 to 2011 by 1.7%. According to the census the median household income in 2011 was $50,054. Student’s median self-reported parental income ranged from $75,000 to $99,999. Despite the higher median incomes for college going students, many families perceived the financial stresses. In 2011, TFS asked incoming students if the current economic situation significantly affected their college choice and 63.9% of respondents “agree strongly” or “agree somewhat”. When asked about their ability to finance their education, 11.9% of students responded that they have “major concerns” while 55.5% said that they had “some concerns”. Overall, students expressed some type of concern about the ability to pay for college.
Working During College
Regardless of the real or perceived differences in affording college, slow recovery influenced student college choice. How did the financial circumstance inform choices about whether or not to work during college? TFS reported that 49.1% of students said there was a “very good chance” that they would get a job to pay for college expenses while 32.6% said there was “some chance” that they would get a job. When asking students specifically about working full-time, we found that only 6.9% of students said there was a “very good chance” that they will work full-time while attending college while 22.5% said there was “some chance” that they would work full-time. In light of Occupy Wall Street, which began in September 2011, only 6.0% said that there was a “very good chance” that they would participate in student protests or demonstrations while 25.2% said there was “some chance”. Finally, to get a sense of student engagement with learning during this time, we found that 67.5% of students said there was a “very good chance” to make at least a ‘B’ average while 29.3% said there was “some chance” that they would make at least a ‘B’ average. Students appeared to be concerned about their parents’ ability to pay for college and would consider taking a job themselves in order to pay for college expenses. However, the portion of students going to work full-time was much smaller. In sum, the perception of the slow economic growth affected many across the board in particular with college choice as well as their consideration to work on-campus.
Did you know?
Students spend an average of 6 to 10 hours socializing with friends.
Students spend an average of 3 to 5 hours studying or doing homework.
Students spend an average of 1 to 2 hours working for pay.