Youth survey: 96% say they make their own success

“If you’ve got a business — you didn’t build that,” said President Obama at a campaign stop in Virginia. “Somebody else made that happen.”

Young people think they’ll be the authors of their own success, according to the Horatio Alger Association’s 2012-2013 State of Our Nation’s Youth survey: 96 percent of high school students and graduates agree that their own actions, rather than luck, shape their ability to succeed. Most expect to work in the private sector and/or be self-employed.

Those surveyed, ages 14 to 23, were not much interested in presidential politics. Only 57 percent of high school students said they cared who wins the election, down from 75 percent in 2008. Graduates and students were much more concerned about the economy and jobs compared to 2008. That’s not surprising: 39 percent of high school students and 28 percent of graduates not in college can’t find work.

Other results:

48 percent of high school students get news online.  Just 15 percent read printed news.

63 percent of high school students are taking college preparatory classes, but 24 percent of recent grads who took college prep needed remedial education classes to meet college requirements.

37 percent of high school students reported receiving mostly A’s, up from 25 percent in 2008.

97 percent of students aspire to further education after high school, up from 93 percent in 2008.

Despite everything, 60 percent of high school students are hopeful about the country’s future compared to 53 percent in 2008.

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