Recruiting Youth in the College Market: Current Practices and Future Policy Options

By M. Rebecca Kilburn; Beth J. Asch | Go to book overview

Chapter Two

TRENDS IN INTENTIONS TO ENLIST
AND ATTEND COLLEGE

Chris Bourg


INTRODUCTION

The military's increasing need for high-quality members, combined with dramatic increases in the proportion of youth who enroll in postsecondary education, indicates that the armed services must recognize two- and four-year colleges as viable competitors in the recruiting market. Nontraditional recruiting strategies designed to attract potentially college-bound youth into the military must be based on an understanding of the changing postsecondary intentions and desires of American youth. This chapter provides some of that information by describing the trends in the two-year college, four-year college, and military intentions of high school seniors from 1976 to 1995, and by estimating models of the individual characteristics associated with high school students' stated postsecondary intentions.

The research presented in this chapter shows that there has been a dramatic increase in the past 20 years in high school students' intentions to graduate from a four-year college. During that same time, students' intentions with regard to graduating from a two-year college have become more definite: The proportion of students who state that they definitely do not intend to graduate and the proportion who definitely do intend to graduate from two-year colleges have both increased since 1976. Intentions to join the military have decreased overall.

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