Item: The University of Cincinnati "Master Plan calls for [(U.S.) $223 million for] the development of a living campus Main Street that will serve not only as a social hive with shopping, restaurants and recreation but will also be home to vital commercial and academic services like a bookstore, banking, visitor assistance, counseling and advising, as well as the student union. It's a legacy, designed by award-winning landscape architects and planners Hargreaves Associates, to enhance and extend the quality of life beyond current boundaries" (http://www.uc.edu/ucinfo/webstree.htm). The plan also includes $36.6 million for new student housing with "two to four individual bedrooms, living room, kitchen, private bath, meeting space and storage space as well as state-of-the-art communications capabilities" (http://www.uc.edu/ucinfo/webhouse.htm).
Item: Xavier University in Cincinnati breaks ground on its $15 million "family room," the Charles P. Gallagher Student Center. "The new university center will be open 24 hours all week…. It will feature food service, a performance theater, offices, space for student organizations and meeting areas" (http://www.cincypost.com/news/1998/xavier121198.html).
Item: Centre College in Danville, Kentucky, whose alumni include two American Vice Presidents, will host a 90 minute vice-presidential debate on October 5 at its Norton Center of the Arts. In order to provide required facilities and appropriate amenities for 2,000 journalists and all major television news networks, the College needs to raise nearly one million dollars, or approximately $1,000 for each of it is 1,050 students. " ‘Worth every educational dime,’ says Centre Spokesman Mike Norris. ‘…if you can get your name in the public consciousness, that is a benefit.’ This is in marked contrast to College brochures that once advised "Centre may not be for you." Arlene Levinson, "Centre College gains limelight" Kentucky Post, July 25, 2000.
Brave New Universities. Not so long ago, communities of scholars thought the American academy provided refuge from most vicissitudes of the market economy. These scholars dwelled largely at institutions of higher learning: universities and liberal arts colleges. Most immersed themselves in study and in teaching. Occasionally they might publish a scholarly article, book or review, but a rather small minority produced the bulk of scholarly publications. (Ladd & Lipset 1975) For most, the primary mission of the University remained "the diffusion and extension of knowledge rather than the advancement. (Newman 1996:3)." Rhetorically, scholars in the liberal arts and sciences generally embraced the idea that their institutions were places that valued education for its own sake, not necessarily for its immediate utility. The academy was a place where students and faculty could learn together and reflect upon the philosophical implications of that learning for the conduct of private and civic affairs of the broader society.
Of course higher education had a practical side. Specialized programs, schools, or colleges found within and without the universities provided training for various occupations and professions from farming and business through engineering, law and medicine. Moreover, patrons and clients of these institutions--governments, businesses, churches and philanthropies--expected some useful returns. Ideally, graduates would combine the virtues of educated citizens with the practical skills or knowledge necessary to secure their desired livelihoods. And from the last decades of the nineteenth century American universities themselves began to combine the continental European idea of academic research to advance knowledge with the Anglo/American ideas that emphasized teaching, learning and citizenship (Sullivan 1999).
Much of this has changed in recent decades. In the aftermath of a great expansion in the 1960s and early 70s to accommodate the influx of postwar baby boomers, universities and other higher educational institutions found themselves facing increased costs. They had new facilities and infrastructure to maintain, and they had bid up salaries in order to staff courses for their larger student population or to recruit scholars and researchers of great repute. When the American economy entered a long period of "stagflation" in the mid-70s, therefore, higher education faced new financial problems. Increases in public appropriations lagged behind inflationary increases, as did profits and asset values of corporate and philanthropic donors. Moreover, the baby boomer population bulge was moving beyond the traditional college age. In order to support their expanded programs and operations Universities had to seek additional sources of revenue. Their efforts included recruiting and retaining new and non-traditional students, increasing alumni financial support, promoting revenue generating activities such as basketball and football teams or non-degree programs such as alumni travel or education in retirement. They also implemented businesslike evaluations of the revenue streams that stemmed from enrollments in particular academic programs, from research projects, from clinical income, or from other contracts for services.
The upshot of these developments gradually transformed higher education from a collegial to a corporate enterprise. Institutions of higher learning, particularly colleges and universities, had customarily been thought of as bodies of faculty and students primarily engaged in scholarly activities. Faculty committees and a few fulltime officers generally had administered these activities. As institutional life became more complex, however, a separate class of career academic administrators was needed to oversee the educational enterprise (Lazerson, Wagener, and Moneta 2000). Even though the higher education had always had a central role in preparing a skilled and adaptable workforce, educational administrators came to stress its economic benefits, both personal and societal, as the main justification for its receiving public and private subsidies (Bok 1993; Galbraith 1996; Sullivan 1999). Functionally, faculties began to adopt the role of employees and students the role of customers.
Still faculties remained an unusual class of employees, for most of their members, after a six-year trial period, had been granted career long tenure in their positions. Tenure had been established as a protection to encourage free inquiry in scholarly endeavors, especially teaching and research. As the need for new revenue became more pressing, however, the criteria for granting tenure tended to weight published scholarship and research supported by external funding more than factors like the quality of instruction or the impact of scholarly activities on communities outside the university. Indeed, the rewards for producing good research were often a diminution of responsibilities for teaching regularly scheduled classes (Bok 1993: chapter 8). Ironically, therefore, the surest way to gain tenure at research-oriented institutions was to demonstrate that one’s research was not merely of sufficient quality to merit publication but that it also satisfied the priorities of external funders. Exercise of independence in teaching and research, the original justification for tenure, was hardly a consideration (1).
During the 1980s the academy itself was affected by the conservative turn in American politics. Many of the new private foundations were conservative, as were the policies of the Reagan and Bush administrations. American universities had sometimes been characterized as bastions of political liberalism during the 1960s and 70s, but this was accurate only for faculty in the social sciences, law, humanities, and to a lesser extent fine arts. Faculties of the physical and biological sciences, medicine, business, engineering, agriculture and other applied fields were substantially conservative; and overall, the political orientation of the faculty of the "divided academy" was, if anything, slightly conservative (Ladd and Lipset 1975:60)(2). Consequently, conservative governmental agencies and foundations found plenty of academics eager to take up their research agenda, and to the extent that they funded young dynamic faculty members seeking tenure, they might indirectly have tipped the ideological scales further to the right(3).
By the mid-1990s signs of a corporate culture pervaded most research and doctoral universities(4). The ratio of fulltime administrators to fulltime faculty had risen. Retiring faculty were replaced by part-timers and graduate students, especially in those disciplines which brought in fewer research dollars from external sources. Universities not only encouraged faculty to seek research dollars and contracts from external sources, but they also actively lobbied state legislatures and Congress to receive funds earmarked for their specific institutions. In fiscal 2000 earmarked appropriations from Congress alone exceeded one billion dollars (Brainard and Cordes 1999; Brainard and Southwick, 2000)(5). Administrators commonly likened students to "customers" whose patronage their institutions needed to attract and retain. Pressures increased to raise the teaching load of scholars who failed to bring in research dollars, and politically conservative academics attacked the professorate in general and the institution of tenure in particular (Huber 1992; Sykes 1988). Perhaps in response, efforts to unionize faculties also increased.
When popularly accessible computer mediated communication through the World Wide Web and multi-media browsers like Netscape Communicator and Microsoft Internet Explorer arose in the mid-90s, the corporate culture was the catalyst for profound changes in higher education. Higher education had always been a labor-intensive task, but heretofore there had been no fully acceptable way to cut labor costs by eliminating lectures and classroom discussions. The new technology had the potential to overcome this limitation and perhaps could at long last break the professorial guild. Indeed, the very manner in which the educational product had been marketed provided the justification for such changes. The anticipated savings, combined with high-tech delivery of the product, would certainly please their hard-pressed customers; and if the product still resulted in a sufficiently trained workforce, those savings alone would also please their patrons and clients (Taylor 1999).
Universities in Europe, Canada, Australia and advanced industrial sectors of other regions have experienced some of the same changes. Since at least the early 1980s, governments have prevailed upon institutions of higher learning to adopt entrepreneurial and market oriented objectives and to evaluate their programs and progress using short-term criteria like improved public service, customer satisfaction and economic benefit. Long-term goals like cultural enrichment, increased general knowledge, or the pursuit of wisdom have less importance in this new scheme, which some have dubbed "new managerialism." As in the United States, university administrators and clientele groups, rather than faculty, play central roles in specifying institutional objectives (Braun 1999).
In sum, the stage has been set for the adoption of Internet technologies to bring about profound changes in the conduct of teaching and research in higher education. The next section examines the likely changes. The final section assesses their likely consequences.
The Internet and Higher Education: The Internet and related media provide the opportunity to alter, enhance and otherwise improve traditional forms of instruction and research. Enthusiasts have urged faculty to use these new media in their courses, especially those for undergraduates. Suggested uses include placing syllabi and assignments online; developing web sites and courseware for teaching and to facilitate students’ research; computerizing classroom presentations to enhance or replace lectures and discussions; using e-mail and online discussions (synchronic and asychronic) to improve communication with traditional students on campus and/or to reach new students at a distance. Beyond this, remote access to digitized libraries and data bases can enhance or replace on-campus resources, both for coursework and for original research (Atieh 1998; Connick 1999; Harknett and Cobane 1997; Katz and Associates, 1999).
In a perfect world incorporating these media would be largely unobjectionable. We can imagine idyllic campuses where mentors guide students through the fundamentals of their academic disciplines, where rigorous study builds good character, and where students and mentors use the knowledge gained to contemplate questions of philosophic import. Combining this setting with access to the Internet's vast stores of information could lay the basis for an unusually well informed and well educated citizenry of good character, who, according to liberal democratic theory, would work toward producing a better life for all.
The most obvious problem with this scenario is its cost. No modern society has offered so rich an education to any but its elite, and arguably, none could do so without diverting substantial resources from other public and private commitments. In the United States an intimate association of students and teachers "without the distractions of family responsibilities, outside work or other competitive involvements" can be found only at leading private liberal arts colleges or at select undergraduate colleges of major public and private research universities (Trow 1997: 294). The cost of acquiring new information technology is unlikely to become a primary concern at these institutions. Notwithstanding the premium tuition they often charge, most have large waiting lists of qualified students who desire to matriculate. They will use the technology largely to enhance the value of the education that results from the close student-teacher relationships already in place, and if necessary, they can charge an additional premium for this enhancement.
Higher education for the masses takes place mostly at public institutions and generally focuses upon the transmission of knowledge. It has relatively little concern for building character or shaping society's leaders through personal interaction between students and mentors. Studies are less intense than at elite institutions, student to faculty ratios are larger, and in the United States most students combine their studies with substantial outside employment during the school year in order to meet educational and other expenses. Outside employment may enrich their studies, but that usually is not a requirement. The key concern is for students to gain skills and knowledge necessary to certify them as trainable employees in their chosen fields. While adopting information technology can enrich the curricula at these institutions, it costs money to do so. Adoption, therefore, tends to be justified as providing wider access to courses and inevitably, as cutting the per capita cost of delivering the educational product.
The second problem is that the great majority of undergraduates, the customers so to speak, are interested mostly in securing employment and a good income directly upon graduation or in gaining entry to graduate or professional programs to enhance their prestige and income. They are far less concerned about honing their study skills, developing philosophies of life, improving social and political values, becoming community leaders, participating in civic or cultural affairs, or realizing other benefits of a rigorous education. To gain a general education and appreciation of cultural ideas will suffice(6). That the majority of undergraduates view education as personal economic investments comports with the corporate marketing of education as an investment product.
This brings us to the third problem involved with simply adopting information technologies to enrich established curricula: the technologies themselves provide a means for new enterprises to upset the near monopoly that traditional institutions have enjoyed as providers of higher education. Where the current norms of mass education still bring students to a physical campus, instructional technologies that use the Internet do not require a traditional campus. Virtual institutions can maintain scanty physical plants devoid of expensive laboratories, classrooms, libraries, dormitories, or offices. By employing only a few fulltime (let alone tenured) faculty or librarians they can drastically reduce the customary labor costs of instruction. At the same time they can hold out the promise of access to higher education for everyone who can login to the Internet (Blaustain, Goldstein, Lozier 1999; Duderstadt 1999; Leonard 2000).
The United States is a market-dominated society where citizens commonly express an ideological bias against economic planning and regulation by government(7). Adopting information technologies for instruction via the Internet allows university administrators to respond to pressures from politicians, taxpayers, and students-cum-customers to decrease the cost of delivering higher education. Moreover, these technologies provide opportunities for new types of higher learning enterprises—private and public; for profit and not-for-profit—to emerge. Most of these enterprises strive to deliver higher educational products comparable to those of traditional university programs of mass education, but with greater efficiency and at less cost (Atieh 1998; Baker 1999; Blumenstyk 1998, 1999a; Chronicle 1998; Grimes 2000; NASCULGC 1998; Olsen 1999; Shea 1998). Others have branched out into the information technology support business, developing administrative and communication software, online courseware, and supporting materials for distance learning adaptable to needs of diverse and growing number of online educational institutions. Some, such as Unext, Knowledge Universe and CBT systems, are relatively new ventures. Others have arisen as established distance learning institutions, such as the Open University or the University of Phoenix, have placed many of their operations online; or, as traditional institutions, such as Duke, Stanford, Penn State, NYU, or the University of Illinois, have created new programs or schools for online distance learning (Applebome 1999; Baker 1999; Blumenstyk 1999b, 1999d; Grimes 2000; Olsen 1999).
In the United States today, online institutions that offer certificate or degree programs usually see "nontraditional students" –men and women aged 25 and over who are regularly employed--as their primary customers. The arguments for enrollment commonly focus upon economic advantages: 1) The job market is changing rapidly: most jobs that will be available in 10 years do not now exist. 2) The U.S. Department of Labor (or some other authority) predicts that the great majority—perhaps as many as 80 percent--of these new jobs will involve Information Technology. 3) In order to qualify for these jobs today’s workers will have to keep acquiring new skills and knowledge. 4) Even though we have greatly expanded the opportunities for higher education, the costs of matriculation have been rising faster than have workers’ incomes since the 1970s. 5) Distance learning via the Internet saves students time and money by pricing tuition competitively and by decreasing or eliminating indirect costs--transportation, home help, wardrobe, room, board, and the like. 6) Online courses are less disruptive of students’ family and social lives than are traditional programs because they offer flexible hours and self-paced learning. 7) Online education integrates expertise from business and industry into its programs and caters to the needs of people who must work for a living. 8) Students who successfully complete courses online learn as much as or more than students who complete similar courses in traditional college settings (Artieh 1998; Connick 1999; Russell 2000a, 2000b).
Reputable online institutions present information about institutional accreditation and about the quality of their courses and programs. They also explain access to library and reference materials. Information about faculty, virtual office hours and how to communicate with student support services may also be presented, as may testimonials from students who have successfully completed the courses or programs.
Missing, however, is the idea of a college or university as a place where learning extends much beyond formal coursework. There is little concern for developing leadership and character, for examining the nature of society or for pondering deeper philosophical questions. Nor is there much concern for the modern university’s role in the research to expand our knowledge. The appeal, after all, is to "people whose geographic location, work demands, physical or social conditions, personal circumstances, or family and community responsibilities impede their access to traditional university-level education (Atieh 1998:9)." Distance learning via the Internet is presented as the quintessential means of achieving success by fitting oneself to the job requirements set by corporate America (Blasi and Heinecke 2000; Hales 2000).
An online education may be found lacking in comparison to the traditional programs at elite colleges or universities, but it looks more competitive when compared to standard programs for mass education. While a few studies cast doubt on claims that students learn as much or more online as in standard programs, such instruction is relatively new, and there is good reason to believe that the pedagogy will improve (Carnevale 2000; Noble 1999). Similarly, claims that instruction online really costs less than does standard instruction also remain to be proved, but we have not yet completed the stage of heavy capital investment. Once this is done competition and economies of scale should drive down the costs of hardware and software (Gladieux and Swail 1999; Institute for Higher Education Policy 1999; National Center for Education Statistics 1997; White 1999).
If faculty and administrators at institutions that offer mass education fear that online learning may soon make significant inroads into the traditional student base, they must share part of the blame. Having marketed a college degree as an investment designed to produce a profitable return, they have helped to destroy the idea of a university as a gathering place where scholars and students engage in a mutual enterprise of learning and research, regardless of the immediate economic benefits. The idea of a university has begun to resemble that of an education factory designed to produce and disseminate knowledge with maximum efficiency. The immediate consequences will probably make little difference for the education of most students. They portend great changes for the professorate, however, and possibly for institutions of higher learning throughout the developed nations of the world.
Assessing the Consequences: Mindful that their patrons and clientele desire more bang for their educational dollar, yet faced with increased costs, institutions of higher learning have adopted more businesslike practices. Differential markets for higher education are openly acknowledged. The best students clamor to gain admission to the most prestigious--and often most expensive—undergraduate programs. Although some scholarships are available, those with both the skills to qualify and the money to pay have the best chances of gaining admission.
Institutions that offer programs primarily for the mass of traditional students are harder pressed to make ends meet. Increasingly, they evaluate the quality of courses or programs by the number of students enrolled and retained. Productivity involves achieving higher ratios of students to fulltime faculty, often using low paid teaching assistants to break large classes into smaller discussion sections. Threatened by the potential loss of many traditional students to less expensive two-year community colleges or to virtual educational institutions, they have sometimes ignored or lowered their standards for admission in order to maintain enrollments(8). Alternatively, they have begun to offer distance learning courses on their own or in partnership with other educational providers (NASULGC 1999; Olsen 1999; Young 1999).
Stuck with maintaining both their physical plants and a semi-permanent labor force, however, campus-based educational institutions with traditional four-year degree cannot match the prices that efficient competitors--well-managed two-year community colleges and online educational providers-- can offer the mass education market for accredited courses, certificates, and degrees. The good will and prestige that accrue to graduates of traditional programs at established non-elite institutions justify some premium for their tuition, but accrediting boards and systematic studies have concluded that competing institutions offer satisfactory course content and instruction. In short, those that provide distance education to non-traditional students cannot be dismissed as "digital diploma mills" (Noble 1998; Olson 1999; White 1999).
In order to survive --perchance to thrive--in the new environment, traditional institutions have two general strategies. The first is to emphasize the cultural values rather than the direct economic benefits that education ideally fosters in its graduates and in the nation: democracy, equality, diversity, social mobility, scientific progress, moral enlightenment, enriched quality of life and the like. These hark back to the Newman’s idea of a university, and they form part of the attraction of elite institutions.
The second strategy is to model institutional practices more closely on the operations of profitable private corporations. This involves de-emphasizing non-economic values and adopting hard-nosed businesslike criteria to measure performance.
Non-elite institutions might have succeeded with the former strategy if they had adopted it when faculty still played decisive roles in university administration. It still might succeed for specific schools or subject areas, where non-elite institutions can establish programs of excellence for niche markets. As an overall strategy, however, it stands the proverbial "snowball’s chance in hell" of success. Most faculties never succeeded in making the case that new information technologies should be used primarily to enhance teaching and research, not to eliminate classrooms, undergraduate laboratories, libraries, and personnel. How could they? They had for the most part accepted the economic rationalization that institutions of higher education deserved public and private subsidies because they provided skills that increased the earning power of their graduates and made the nation’s economy a more successful competitor in the global market. Congruent with this rationalization, programs of alternative financing, such as student loans or incentive for increased enrollments have expanded while public funds for scholarships and direct institutional subsidies have shrunk as proportions of higher educational budgets. Higher education had been marketed as an economic investment, and, as we have seen, surveys indicate that most students have accepted this view.
Even though lip service is still paid to the idea of a university as a special place for study and thought, most educational institutions already have adopted aspects of the second strategy. They have revamped criteria for evaluating research, teaching and community service to reflect their impact on university budgets. They have downsized fulltime faculty through attrition and relied increasingly upon low paid part-time instructors and graduate students to teach underclass courses. They have begun replacing classroom lectures with interactive sessions on the Internet. They have cut research costs through use of digital libraries and networked computers, reduced support for non-lucrative scholarship, and they have begun to charge a fair price for services they formerly provided for free, such as computer setup and maintenance or access to special databases.
To differentiate themselves from online competitors, some have begun to invest heavily in value-added features of campus life. As the items cited at the top of this paper illustrate, this strategy appeals even to universities like Cincinnati and Xavier whose students are mostly commuters. Finally, they have expanded investment in revenue-producing enterprises, such as conference centers, alumni programs, university paraphernalia, varsity athletic enterprises and exclusive contracts for on-campus sales with food, beverage and clothing vendors.
As this strategy’s aim of reducing instructional costs comports with the economic values held by most students, public officials and conservatively inclined corporate and philanthropic donors, it has a better chance than the first to win the university plaudits for good management and to gain it capital investment for technological development. Whether or not these investments will actually produce the same or better educational results more cheaply than would modest investment in new informational technology, coupled with plant and personnel maintenance remains uncertain. But it certainly redirects extensive sums paid for labor supplied by faculty and staff to capital goods, consumer durables and other services supplied by business. In any case, most traditional campus-based universities have begun to implement this strategy, and the wild popularity of the Internet gives every reason to expect that the trend will continue (NASLGC 1999)(9).
The next stage in the evolution of higher education for the mass public will most likely result from full adoption of the corporate model of education as an investment product. We already have for profit institutions like the University of Phoenix, Jones International University, and Knowledge Universe using information technologies online for degree programs or implementing such online programs for other institutions. As underclass courses of traditional universities adopt more and more of the characteristics of those offered by online institutions, we can expect greater standardization. Why spend money for faculties at many institutions to develop and teach introductory courses that have essentially the same content? Wouldn’t it be cheaper to develop online courses that not only could be accessed at the students’ convenience but also could be taught by the world’s best teachers? Non-elite institutions no longer would need to limit their course instruction to their own—and let’s face it--sometimes undistinguished faculty. Eventually, many of their undergraduate programs—perhaps even entire schools or colleges –could be marketed as franchises of greater, more distinguished institutions (Blumenstyk 1999c; Duderstadt 1999). Indeed, these concerns have led an increasing number of American universities to assert ownership and control over the intellectual output of their faculty (Twigg 2000; Woody 1998).
Some analysts argue that Universities can use corporate-like management to balance short-term objectives demanded by the new educational market with established long term objectives of cultural enrichment (Braun and Merrien 1999; Katz and Associates 1999). Inexorably, however, the strategic logic of corporate management of the higher education market leads to ending professorial tenure as we know it. As competing institutions spend more and more money to recruit and retain their most profitable undergraduate customers, they cannot be expected to carry their workers through lean times as well as fat. Academic freedom needs to be protected, but in the new competitive market of higher education tenure must be balanced against economic exigency. When a department or program cannot produce sufficient income to cover its costs, its payroll must be downsized. This could be accomplished in a flexible decentralized fashion that arguably would not compromise academic freedom. The faculty members affected by the order to downsize could decide for themselves how to meet the cuts: whether to lay off colleagues, to retain everyone at reduced salary or to implement some other creative solution (Lively 1998; Margolis 1998; Wilson, 1999)
Barring an unexpected resurgence of support for cultural strategies to preserve the traditional campus-based university model, the lines between most traditional higher educational institutions and the upstart educational enterprises that rely upon information technology will soon disappear. While the particular mix of partnerships, mergers, buyouts, consolidations, spin-offs and the like cannot be specified as yet, established institutions will restructure their delivery of higher education in businesslike manners that maximize efficient use of information technologies for instruction and minimize the need for personal instruction by high priced professors. As basic courses in most disciplines will be available in a limited number of standardized forms, factors like ease of access and convenience of information delivery will be stressed. Institutions will strive to become the students’ portal to higher education, the only connection they’ll ever need, at least for their undergraduate training. A good local or branch campus will stress advantages like the availability of personal consultation, meeting rooms, laboratory facilities, entertainment centers, low priced health clubs, and similar services and facilities, not unlike stressing the advantages offered by a good local or branch bank. Non-traditional students will find that the restructured institutions also offer plenty of programs that employ information technologies suited to part-time study. All of this will be offered at a suitably affordable price, at least according to the advertising campaigns.
Outstanding professors and researchers will still be found in the best undergraduate colleges and universities and in the best graduate programs. Gifted students will still be able to attend select undergraduate institutions on scholarship or for a higher price, but the public will have been relieved of most of the burden of supporting a tenured professorate. That intellectual class will no longer be allowed to draw pay to support its inclination to study and to think. Graduate and professional studies, which offer increased economic benefits to those who earn advanced degrees, will be supported by tuition and by grants or contracts for research. Students, politicians, donors, and taxpayers will be happy. The campus of the future will be hailed as a triumph of the free market. Why would anyone object?
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Reasons noted as very important in deciding to go to college
|Get a better job||76.9%||76.6%||77.1%|
|Make more money||74.6%||78.5%||71.3%|
|Gain a general education & appreciation of ideas||62.0%||55.9%||67.2%|
|Prepare for graduate or professional school.||49.0%||42.6%||54.5%|
|Make me a more cultured person||45.1%||39.4%||50.0%|
|Improve reading and study skills||41.5%||37.5%||44.9%|
Objectives considered essential or very important
|Being very well-off financially||74.0%||76.0%||72.4%|
|Raising a family||73.0%||71.1%||74.6%|
|Becoming an authority in my field||60.2%||61.8%||58.8%|
|Helping others who are in difficulty||59.9%||49.9%||68.3%|
|Obtaining recognition from my colleagues||49.8%||50.85||49.0%|
|Developing a meaningful philosophy of life||40.9%||40.2%||41.5%|
No other reasons or objective were cited by more than 40% of those surveyed. These included influencing social values, promoting racial understanding, becoming a community leader, keeping up with political affairs, running one's own business, having administrative responsibility for the work of others, and engaging in various community, environmental and artistic endeavors.