Bellevue University Study: As Nearly 1 in 3 Americans Struggle to Get By, More Eyeing Return to School

To get ahead, 60 percent of Americans are contemplating going back to school according to a recent consumer study conducted by Bellevue University

  • Nearly 1 in 3 Americans say they are struggling to make ends meet.
  • Less-educated people are struggling more than Americans who have college degrees – 41 percent of Americans without a college degree are having a hard time getting by. 
  • In contrast, 30 percent of adults across the nation who hold a two-year degree say they are having a tough time paying bills, and 27 percent of Americans with a four-year degree are finding it hard to manage. 
  • Americans age 25-54 are struggling the most, with 36 percent of people across the nation in this age group saying they are having a tough time getting by. 
  • Education is on the minds of Americans – 60 percent of Americans have given some thought or a lot of thought to going back to school. People age 25-44 are the most serious about getting a degree, with 70 percent contemplating a higher education.
  • 2 out of 3 people who don't have a degree are considering going back to school, and more than half of people with a two-year or four-year degree are thinking about returning to college.
  • Single adults, who have never been married, are most likely to go back to school, with 73 percent of American singles contemplating a higher education.  American adults who are divorced or separated are also giving education a lot of thought, with 64 percent thinking about making a commitment to college. 

BELLEVUE, Neb., Feb. 2, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Bellevue University, an award-winning leader in educating adult learners, today released the results of a recent U.S. consumer study, which shows that, although nearly one in three (1 in 3) Americans are struggling to make ends meet, they are looking to get ahead through education. 

The study revealed less-educated Americans are struggling more than those with college degrees.  More than 40 percent of Americans without a college degree are having a hard time getting by.  In contrast, 30 percent of adults across the nation who hold a two-year degree say they are having a tough time paying bills, and 27 percent of Americans with a four-year degree are finding it hard to manage. 

"According to our research, Americans age 25-54 are struggling the most, with 36 percent of people across the nation in this age group saying they are having a tough time getting by," said Dr. Mary B. Hawkins, president of Bellevue University.  "Getting a college degree has never been more important than it is right now.  In today's world, a good job requires a good education.  Over the next 10 years, nearly half of all new jobs will require a level of education beyond a high school degree."

"The good news is 60 percent of Americans are considering going back to school. People age 25-44 are the most serious about getting a degree, with 70 percent contemplating a higher education," she continued. 

The study also revealed that 2 out of 3 people who don't have a degree are considering going back to school, and more than half of people with a two-year or four-year degree are thinking about returning to college.

Single adults, who have never been married, are most likely to go back to school, with 73 percent of American singles contemplating a higher education.  American adults who are divorced or separated are also giving education a lot of thought, with 64 percent thinking about making a commitment to college. 

According to the Labor Department, four-year-college graduates make 54 percent more, on average, than people who attended college but did not graduate.  "It has become clear that completing some form of higher education is the best insurance against poverty and unemployment," said Dr. Hawkins. "While overall unemployment rates are hovering around 10 percent, only 4.5 percent of college graduates are unemployed." Additionally, people with four-year college degrees earn more money.  These realities help understand the reasons why less-educated Americans are struggling more than those who hold college degrees."

The future of American prosperity relies on a better-educated workforce, according to the current White House Administration.  With this in mind, Bellevue University also announced today a nationwide campaign – Make It Happen Now – designed to help achieve America's ambitious national goal of once again having the world's highest percentage of adults with a college degree by 2025.

"To help our people, and our nation, prosper, we're launching Make it Happen Now, a campaign aimed at removing the barriers to getting a college degree so the country can once again benefit from the world's most educated workforce," said Dr. Hawkins.

To help achieve the national goal, Make It Happen Now aims to engage the Americans from the pool of 38 million who have some college credit and are thinking about returning to school.  It will help them organize their personal goals, think through the steps they need to take to achieve their goals, and solidify their commitment to themselves and their future.

About the Study
This survey was conducted by Bellevue University (www.belleveu.edu). For this research, 1,642 interviews were fielded among nationally representative Americans aged 18 and older, using an email invitation and an online survey. Quotas were set to ensure reliable and accurate representation of the total U.S. population ages 18 and older.

About Bellevue University
Bellevue University is a recognized national leader in providing post-secondary education opportunities for working adults. A private, non-profit institution, Bellevue University serves students at learning sites in three states, as well as worldwide through its award-winning online learning platform. Bellevue University is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools. For more information, visit www.bellevue.edu.

About Make It Happen Now
Bellevue University's nationwide campaign – Make It Happen Now – is designed to help achieve America's ambitious national goal of once again having the world's highest percentage of adults with a college degree by 2025.  In a single generation, the United States has fallen from first place to 12th in global graduation rates for young adults.  Make It Happen Now will accelerate efforts addressing the nation's education deficit and facilitate personal commitments from people across that nation to help achieve the national objective of producing eight (8) million more college graduates over the next decade in order to compete globally and keep up with other countries that are developing high-tech, high-skill jobs. 

To help working adults and business leaders understand the higher education crisis in America and take steps to combat it, Bellevue University has launched a new online destination website – www.makeithappennow.org – to provide helpful tips to motivate and support people who want to advance their education and live better lives, step-by-step strategies for overcoming personal challenges that get in the way of going back to school, and regular news updates.  For more information, visit www.makeithappennow.org.

 

 

SOURCE Bellevue University



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