HS_Hopes-Worries-hedr_0309_0046_v1This is the week that many high school seniors have both longed for and dreaded. Notification letters are going out from colleges and universities all over the country. Many of us can guess how applicants are feeling just about now. But the Princeton Review decided to take a more scientific approach by surveying more than 8,000 college applicants.

 Here’s what they found in their annual College Hopes & Worries survey.

  • Stress levels are high – 71 percent reported “high” or “very high” stress about the application process.
  • They’re worried about college costs –  88 percent said financial aid will be “very necessary” and 74 percent said the state of the economy has affected their college choices.
  • They’re afraid they may not get enough financial aid – applicants are worried that they will get accepted at their first-choice college but not be able to afford it, 
  • They’re focused on getting a job: applicants identified “a potentially better job and higher income” as the number-one benefit of a college degree, rather than the education itself.

The Princeton Review also interviewed nearly 4,000 parents of college-bound students. They said Harvard College is their “dream school” for their child, while applicants listed Stanford University as their number one pick. But about half of the parents would like to see their child stay within 250 miles from home. Not so for their children. The majority said they would rather venture farther from home.