Recruiting College-Bound Youth into the Military: Current Practices and Future Policy Options

Recruiting College-Bound Youth into the Military: Current Practices and Future Policy Options

Recruiting College-Bound Youth into the Military: Current Practices and Future Policy Options

Recruiting College-Bound Youth into the Military: Current Practices and Future Policy Options

Excerpt

The armed services prefer to recruit high qualty youth because they perform better and have lower attrition rates. Yet competition for this group is increasing because of fundamental changes in the civilian opportunities that these youth face. One of the most dramatic of these changes is the enormous increase in the relative returns from attending college that have occurred over the last 20 years. This report summarizes the findings of the first year of a two year project that seeks to provide input necessary for the development and expansion of programs intended to improve the services' ability to compete against post-secondary institutions and subsequent civilian skilled employment. Specifically, the report examines trends in college attendance and the economic returns from attending college, describes the options that the military currently offers to combine service and college, and enumerates the types of issues that would need to be considered in developing and expanding recruiting programs that target college-bound youth. The report should be of interest to those concerned about military recruiting as well as to the larger defense manpower research community.

This report was prepared under the sponsorship of the Office of Accession Policy, Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness. It was prepared within the Forces and Resources Policy Center of RAND's National Defense Research Institute, a federally funded research and development center sponsored by the Office of the Secretary of Defense, the Joint Staff, the unified commands, and the defense agencies.

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