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AP/Viacom survey: money a big factor in young adults' school, career choices

students worry about money

Money is a significant factor in young adults' decisions regarding their education and future careers, and many expect their lives to be harder than their parents' lives, according to a recent study [PDF file] by Viacom and The Associated Press.

Forty percent of respondents who had graduated high school said money was "a big factor" in deciding whether to continue their education past high school, 38 percent of respondents who attended college said money was a big factor in choosing which colleges to apply to, and 43 percent of respondents who attended college said money was a big factor in deciding which college to attend.

Forty-four percent of all respondents said money was a big factor in choosing a career.

Thirty-five percent of current college or higher education students said student loans are a major source of funding to finance their education, 35 percent say scholarships are a major source of funding for their education, and 31 percent say a part-time or full-time job is a major source of funding.

Among current college students who had seriously considered dropping out of college in the past three months, 58 percent said financial problems were a factor.

Fifty-six percent of respondents say they expect it will be harder for them to buy a house than it was for their parents, 42 percent said it will be harder to raise a family, 45 percent said it will be harder to earn enough money to support the lifestyle they'd like to lead, and 53 percent said it will be harder to save money for their retirement. More than half (53 percent) of respondents said there are many things that they and their family want to buy but can't afford.

Thirty-seven percent said they worry "a lot" about their parents' finances, and 33 percent said they worry "a little" about them. Twenty-seven percent said they worry a lot in a typical week about having enough money to make it through the week, and 38 percent said they worry a little about it.

The AP/Viacom study is based on a combination of peer-to-peer interviews and a telephone poll of more than 1,100 U.S. 18- to 24-year-olds conducted by GfK Roper Public Affairs & Corporate Communications between February 18 and March 6, 2011.

 

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