This may not come as a shock to most people, but a new Cornell study revealed that college freshman are all about the Benjamins. What may come as a shock, however, is the class of 2016 seems to care more about being wealthy than last year’s freshman. According to The Cornell Daily Sun, the university’s survey showed that 86% of their newbies feel being wealthy is very important or essential–a 13.4% increase compared to the class of 2015. When the university compared the results with other schools’, it was shown that the change was not unique to Cornell.
When looking back to last year around this time, a large number of students were participating in Occupy Wall Street protests throughout the country, and did not seem to be concerned about their own personal wealth as much as the wealth of one percent of the nation, so this can be seen as quite a shift. Students and professors at Cornell offered up explanations as to why the change occurred. According to one student, they don’t want to deal with the financial struggles they have seen their parents go through this decade.
Economics professor Dan Benjamin told the Sun its a result of the economy as a whole, including employment opportunities, or lack thereof.
Another economics professor, Aaron Bodoh-Creed told the Sun he was shocked that it took so long for students to respond this way.“We are four years into a very serious recession, and I would have expected that undergraduates, who are looking to get jobs after they finish Cornell, would be much more worried about their economic well-being,” he said.
Both professors agreed, however, that the attention being brought to the economy by the election, especially the Republican Party’s criticism of the Obama administration’s handling of it, may be a reason as to why students seem to be showing more concern for their financial well-being.
But it could also just be that students are clueless about salaries. A new report from Credit Donkey shows that the average expected starting salary among teens today is $73,000.Teens seem to be aware that there is a recession but this doesn’t seem to be factoring into their thoughts on money, work, education, capitalism, entrepreneurship and the American dream. According to the report, 56% of people 14-28 think they will be as financially well-off or more so than their parents. Amy Tennery of TheJaneDough wrote of the findings, “This staggering lack of financial literacy among our nation’s bright new workers is not encouraging. Of course, reports on average starting salaries for college graduates occasionally vary, but this report should give you an idea of just how wrong these crazy kids are.”