Professional & Graduate Studies

2019 College Senior Survey

Back of female graduate's head with mortarboard.

Graduating college is a milestone achievement. It’s a time for graduates to reflect on what they’ve learned as well as look forward to starting a new chapter in their lives. We surveyed 2,000 college seniors and recent college graduates from around the country to get a sense of their college experience, what they studied, employment outlook, student loans and what, if anything, they would’ve changed throughout their years as a college student. 

College seniors survey infographic with information on college acceptance rates.
On average, college students applied to four colleges and were accepted by two. However, it’s interesting to note that 35% of college seniors and recent graduates said they wish they went to a different school. Respondents cited cost, lack of fulfillment within their studies and a disappointing campus life as the top reasons why they didn’t like their school.  

College student survey infographic with information on why students selected a particular college.

Students also had regrets when it came to selecting their major. Twenty percent of respondents said they did not study a major they intended to pursue. A lack of job opportunities was the top reason why students opted out of going with their first choice. Employment outlook was high on the minds of students, as 62% said the job market influenced the major they selected. Even if money wasn’t a factor, 55% of respondents said they would still stick with the major they selected. And when it comes to the current job market, 55% said they have a negative outlook or expressed negative feelings toward it. 

College student survey infographic with information about cost of college and financial aid sources.

Along with job opportunities, student loans were high on the minds of respondents, which is certainly understandable considering 71% of respondents said they took out student loans and the average student loan amount is $25,893. A majority of respondents (71%) received financial assistance from their parents or family. 

College graduates certainly have a lot to think about once they step off of campus and into post-graduate life, and earning a college degree is one of the best tools to have in order to take that next leap in life, wherever it make take you. For information on academic programs at MidAmerica Nazarene University, visit our academic programs page. 


Survey data was compiled from 2,000 respondents who identified as college seniors or recent college graduates from across the country. Respondents were 53% male and 47% female between the ages of 20 to 24 years old. Of respondents, 65% attended a public university, 26% attended a private university and 9% attended a community college, vocational, technical school or other.

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