A recent survey of students from the first college graduating class of the new millennium has found this class of 2001 is learning-oriented, service-motivated, and fairly religious.
The survey, which was conducted by Lou Harris and Associates, found that these students, now in their freshman year, are conventional in its domestic interests, looks forward to marriage (96 percent by age 26) and children (91 percent). The class expresses a desire to do work that helps others (65 percent). That desire could come from a religious orientation. Nearly nine out of ten class members believe in God (89 percent), and 74 percent believe in life after death, according to a report from Sightings (Feb. 23), the computer newsletter of the Public Religion Project.
Even if the class is motivated by religious interests, none of them listed religion as a future profession. Among class members who have decided on a college major, business tops the list, followed by the natural sciences, engineering, psychology, and sociology. Medicine is the top career choice for the class. Other interests of this class include: preserving the environment; learning as a lifelong priority, and staying physically fit. Only 3 percent feel that “money buys happiness.”
When asked how they spend their time in a typical week (in hours), there is no reference to religious activities, even though to a question regarding church attendance, more than half indicate that they attend religious services, while 32% say they never attend services.