Thursday, May 17, 2007


Today, Key Educational Resources released the results of a survey of 400 incoming college freshman on their attitudes, lifestyle and outlook for the future. The survey provides a unique comparison of how attitudes of this year's college-bound freshman differ from those of their boomer parents.

Some highlights include:

• Students are more concerned about the environment and healthcare than their boomer parents

• Overall, this generation is less optimistic that their futures will be bright compared to their parents

• Today's students devote far more energy and time to the college selection process than their boomer parents




CLEVELAND, Ohio – May 16, 2007 – What’s on the mind of the college class of 2011? Making ends meet financially, keeping up with their workload and getting good grades. What did their boomer parents worry about? Surprisingly, making ends meet, grades and their workload. But that’s where the similarity ends.

In a recently completed survey by Key Education Resources, a division of KeyBank, some stark differences emerged in how college-bound students view the world and their place in it. Key asked students planning to attend college this fall how they felt about everything from their futures to which social issues most concern them. Parents of those students were also asked to look back to when they were heading off to college and provide their thoughts.

Of the more than 400 members of the college class of 2011 polled, 18 percent of students said that their number one social concern is the environment while their parents were much more concerned about the job market as they entered college. Twenty-nine percent of parents said it was their top concern, whereas only 11 percent of students today ranked it number one.

The amount of time and energy spent on the college selection and application process has also mushroomed in a generation.

Thirty-six percent of today’s students report spending a lot of time on the process, or that it’s all consuming. Only 12 percent of their parents felt that way about their college planning process. Also, 53 percent of parents said their moms and dads didn’t help them at all in the process, whereas only 9 percent of today’s students said their parents provided no help. But both groups (25-percent) agreed that “making ends meet financially” was their biggest concern upon entering college.

“Clearly, many students and parents feel overwhelmed by the college selection and financing process,” said Rick Vonk, president of Key Education Resources. “But even with all of the information to consider, there’s a way to simplify the process.”

Vonk recommends focusing on three main areas.

Choose appropriate curriculum and get good grades

· The more college preparatory courses you take and the better grades you get, the better the odds you’ll be accepted by your school of choice and land a scholarship.

Decide what you want in a school and let that drive the selection process

· The best college for you is one that suits your specific needs and not necessarily one that lands on some particular ranking or carries a certain prestige. Important criteria to consider – a school’s location and size, the curriculum, campus life, and whether to attend a private, public, or community college. There are many web tools available to help you start the process.

Shop around for the best way to pay for school

· A sound strategy is to apply for scholarships and grants (free money) first. Then look to fill the gap between what your school costs and what you have in hand (grants, scholarships, work study, money from savings, or gifts, or from a campus job) with federal or private loans. Each will offer different borrower benefits and repayment plans that may be more or less attractive to you.

The survey also found students today are less optimistic than their parents were about having bright futures (42 percent vs. 63 percent), yet they still believe they will be able to accomplish their dreams. They are also slightly more likely to choose a job they’re passionate about over one that simply pays well (91 percent vs. 86 percent).

When it comes to the most important people in their lives – mothers and fathers were at the top of the list for both generations, but we’ve seen a rise in the importance of siblings and a decline in the importance of significant others over the years. Today’s students said their siblings are the most important people in their lives, while parents said their significant other was the most important person in their life when entering college.

What hasn’t changed from one generation to the next is what would give students the greatest fulfillment in their lives after graduation. Building a strong family, service to others, and marriage topped the list for both groups.

For more information on the survey or tips on how to save for college, visit

About Key Education Resources

Key Education Resources, the education financing arm of KeyBank, is one of the largest education loan providers in the U.S. In business for more than 50 years, Key Education Resources provides federal education loans, private loans, monthly payment plans and education consolidation loans for students and families in K-12, undergraduate, graduate and professional education institutions. For more information, visit

About KeyCorp

Cleveland-based KeyCorp (NYSE: KEY) is one of the nation’s largest bank-based financial services companies, with assets of approximately $93 billion. Key companies provide investment management, retail and commercial banking, consumer finance, and investment banking products and services to individuals and companies throughout the United States and, for certain businesses, internationally. For more information, visit

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Note to Editors: For up-to-date company information, media contacts and facts and figures about Key lines of business, visit our Media Newsroom at


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