The Utah Foundation releases the results of a new survey analyzing the attitudes of high school graduates toward higher education, finding that a vast majority of respondents expect to obtain college degrees or trade certificates.
More non-White graduates and female graduates indicated that they would be in college or job training within six months of completing high school than White graduates and male graduates; this is mainly due to the latter graduates performing church missions and service work. Respondents believe that their own personal motivation is the most important factor in their post-secondary plans. Interestingly, counselors and teachers seem to play a more important role in the decisions for graduates with lower family incomes and whose parents have lower educational attainment.
Respondents strongly indicated that they were pursing education to get a job later, learn new job skills, and learn about subjects that are interesting and challenging. Over half of the graduates themselves expected to receive a bachelor’s degree and over one-third expected to go even further into graduate school. However, Utah’s greatest percentage increase in post-secondary education over the past ten years is from the completion of trade certificates.