JJ Astor on Business
Winning in the future, with a nod to the past.

College Attendance Motivators

Next week I will be speaking to business students at a local university on the topic of entrepreneurship. From time to time I’ve had the honor of being asked to speak at this university, and every time I end up learning a lot from the class. About a year ago, I decided to be proactive about learning from them and I asked the class to help me with an experiment. Going into it, I had very low expectations of the conclusiveness of my informal study. Since then, I have conducted this same experiment with three more classes, a total of about 100 college students. The results floored me.

Here’s what happened. First, I instructed them to raise their hands if they knew college was definitely the right place for them to be. Generally all but one student raises their hand. “Now keep your hands raised if you’d still be in college even if none of your friends or family went to college and none of those people expected you to go to college.” About a third of all the students lower their hands. I continue, “Now keep your hands raised if you’d still be here in college if the studies showed that going to college had no impact on your future salary or earnings.” Ninety-nine of the one hundred students I conducted this experiment with lowered their hand. One student, 1%, claimed he was in college because of reasons other than family/friend influence or expected monetary gain.

Granted this is not a scientific study by any means. But I have to admit, the first time I conducted it, I was amazed by the results. I’ll leave the analysis to you, and possibly, for future posts.

So what did the student say who was there because of internally driven reasons? He told me that he loves learning and that after careful consideration and a study of the alternatives, he decided that college would provide the learning structure and accountability he needed to maintain a solid pace of learning.

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One Response to “College Attendance Motivators”

  1. I’ve always felt that I’m in that 1% of students who are there because I love learning..


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