Prepared for the Institute of Education Sciences’ National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), this brief report authored by Abt researchers looks at the connection between students’ views of college affordability in high school and their subsequent college enrollment or employment three years after high school. The findings are derived from the NCES High School Longitudinal Study of 2009 (HSLS:09). Abt found:
- Students are more likely to attend college within three years of high school if they think their family can afford it.
- Students are also more likely to attend any college within three years of high school if at least one of their parents earned a college degree or certificate.
- Eighty percent of those who believed their family could afford college attended, compared to 59 percent of those who did not think their family could afford college.
- Within each level of parental education, larger percentages of students who believed their family could afford college attended college, while the percentage of students who did not think their family could afford college but still wound up attending college was smaller.