America's Jewish Freshmen: Current Characteristics and Recent Trends Among Students Entering College

By Linda J. Sax

Higher Education Research Institute (HERI), June 2002

This report uncovers key data on the demographic backgrounds and personal attitudes of Jewish young adults in the United States as they arrive on college and university campuses. The study analyzes nationwide responses to the 1999 Freshman Survey, comparing Jewish young adults to their non-Jewish counterparts and to students with one or more Jewish parents who do not identify with Judaism or any other religion. The author explores trend lines over the past three decades offering a snapshot of the similarities and differences between the baby boom generation and their college-age children. She also offers recommendations on how Hillel: The Foundation for Jewish Campus Life should respond this data.

Some the key findings include: 1) Jewish students in the United States (as opposed to other countries) are more likely than non-Jews to attend residential colleges and universities, often at greater distances from home; 2) Jewish freshmen are drawn to the prospect of attending graduate and professional schools in disproportionate numbers; 3) Jewish freshmen display high levels of volunteer intent and political awareness and are disproportionately liberal; 4) Jewish freshmen are likely to come from highly educated and economically advantaged families; 5) Jewish freshmen display strong interest in artistic and cultural expression and are disproportionately drawn to the arts, especially students from unaffiliated, intermarried backgrounds.

Topic: Socioeconomic Status, Programming, College Organizations, Young Adults, Generational Issues, Survey, Higher Education, Demography, University Organizations, Campus Organizations, Students

Funder: Hillel: The Foundation for Jewish Campus Life , Leonard and Tobee Kaplan

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Genre: Report

Coverage: United States

Language: English

Copyright Holder: Author

Copyright Information: Download for personal use, freely distribute link

Bibliographic Information:
Sax, Linda J. America's Jewish Freshmen: Current Characteristics and Recent Trends Among Students Entering College. Higher Education Research Institute (HERI). June 2002:


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