Today's college freshmen are more interested in making money and being financially well-off than any other class in recent years, according to the 16th annual survey of entering freshmen conducted by the University of California at Los Angeles and the American Council on Education.
Nearly two-thirds of the 1981-82 freshmen (65.2 percent), compared with 63.3 percent last year and only 43.5 percent in 1967, report that ''being well-off financially'' is a very important goal in life. At the same time, 67.0 percent (compared with 63.4 percent last year and 49.9 percent in 1971) say that a very important reason for deciding to go to college is ''to be able to make more money.''
The number of students labeling themselves conservative increased from 17.1 to 19.6 percent, while the number labeling themselves liberal dropped from 19.6 to 18.1. But the majority, almost 60 percent, still label themselves middle-of-the-road.
The fall 1981 survey is based on questionnaires completed by 284,938 new freshmen from 537 two- and four-year colleges and universities.
Student interest in pursuing business careers has almost doubled since 1968 ( 20.7 vs. 11.3 percent).