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Student Economic Behavior and Attitudes

Cliff, Norman
Publication Year:
Report Number:
ETS Research Bulletin
Document Type:
Page Count:
Subject/Key Words:
College Board, College Students, Economics, Educational Finance, Family Financial Resources, Parent Financial Contribution, Student Attitudes, Student Financial Aid, Study of How College Expenses Are Met (Questionnaire)


This fourth and last report of a series details the results of the analysis of students' (scholarship applicants') responses to a questionnaire inquiring into student economic behavior and feelings about college financing and financial aid practices. Using a conception of the family's response to the financial stimulus of having to pay for college as the resultant of an interactive process developed earlier, some implications of this conception for student economic behavior were tested against the data obtained from students. For example, it was shown that the amount contributed by the parents toward college expenses depends not only on indicators of the relative economic strength of the family but upon student spending patterns. The way in which student earnings fit into the overall family response was also investigated. Among the findings here were correlations of boys' earnings with their expenditure levels and girls' earnings with family economic status. Also described are the prevalence of working (mainly at routine jobs); the more or less comfortable financial status of most of the students; and their feelings about commuting. Other findings include a certain amount of dissatisfaction on the part of the students with the amount of guidance they received on scholarship matters; the values they feel are important in making decisions about college; and their feelings about the National Defense Education Act loan program.

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