Nearly two-thirds of this year's freshmen believe that "being very well-off financially" is a very important goal in life. At the same time, nearly as many say that a very important reason for deciding to go to college was "to be able to make more money."
These trends were discovered in a study of entering freshmen conducted by the University of California, Los Angeles, and the American Council on Education. Questionaires completed by 190,151 students at 362 institutions were statistically adjusted to represent the nation's total of approximately 1.7 million full-time freshmen.
Changes in student values are accompanied by similar changes in their career plans. More 1979 freshmen than in any previous class are planning careers in business -- 19.7 percent, compared with 19.3 percent last year, and 11.6 percent in 1966.
Most of the new freshmen attracted to careers in business are women. Since 1966 the number of women in business has increased from 3.3 percent to 16.7 percent, while men's interest has increased only slightly, from 18.5 percent to 23 percent.
In all of the four fields traditionally dominated by men -- business, engineering, law, and medicine -- the numbers of women pursuing careers in these fields has more than quadrupled. By contrast, the proportion of men has been quite stable, changing only from 48.9 percent in 1969 to 50.0 percent in 1979.