A study on the value and feasibility of pursuing higher education as an adult.
Degrees of Opportunity: Education influences as children and adults
Immediate family members have the greatest influence on decisions about higher education.
Family members have the greatest influence on whether or not a person pursues higher education. The family influence starts in childhood but continues to be decisive in adult life.
- Looking back at their growing-up years, adults most often point to their mother (70%) or their father (61%) as someone who substantially influenced whether they pursued higher education. Next are teachers (32%), followed by friends, siblings, grandparents, and school counselors (all around 20%).
- In adult life, immediate family continues to hold the greatest influence over
education decisions: for 51 percent of adults, their spouse or partner has the single greatest influence; for 9 percent, their children have the greatest influence. Notably, although career goals are often a motivation for seeking more education, only 4 percent of adults say their boss has the most influence on whether or not they go back to school.
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