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The GW Hatchet


The GW Hatchet

Serving the GW Community since 1904

The GW Hatchet

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Students’ college choices unaffected by Sept. 11, study shows

Posted 6:21 p.m. Sept. 17

by Bernadette Simpao

(U-WIRE) WASHINGTON – Students applying to colleges were not significantly swayed by the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks when choosing which college they wanted to attend, according to a recently released study.

The Art & Science Group, a research company located in Baltimore, found that students’ college decisions were more affected by the nation’s economic downturn than by the terrorist attacks.

Of the 500 high school seniors bound for four-year colleges that were included in the survey, only five 5 percent said that last year’s terrorist attacks seriously affected their college choice. In contrast, half of the students surveyed said they were negatively affected by the recent economic conditions.

Rick Hesel, one of the people in charge of conducting the survey, attributes this gap to the different kinds of impacts Sept. 11 and the economy had on different families.

“Most students didn’t know someone directly affected by 9/11, so it didn’t hit home quite like the economy does,” said Hesel. “There’s no doubt in my mind that the students felt the emotional impacts of Sept. 11, but it wasn’t enough to seriously affect college choice.”

Students were so affected by the economy that 25 percent of those surveyed discussed the economic conditions and their impact with their parents.

Hesel also said that because of the economic conditions, students also are more likely to work while in school.

“A significant number — about 25 percent — want to work to help pay the bills,” he said. “And their parents are urging them to do so.”

The study also indicated that the attacks had little to no impact on students’ decisions to study abroad. Only five percent of students said that Sept. 11 affected their interest in studying internationally, while one-third of the students said they were actually more interested in going abroad.

Students in the Washington, D.C. area tend to agree with the results of the study, despite the close proximity of the city to the Pentagon which was partially destroyed when American Airlines Flight 77 struck the building’s “E-ring” or outer wall.

“I was living overseas at the time,” said Eddie Kryschtal, a freshman at The George Washington University. “Sept. 11 was scary and all but it didn’t really bother me about coming here to D.C.”

Larissa Buerano, a freshman at Georgetown University, said she didn’t think about Sept. 11 when deciding where she wanted to apply.

“I don’t think you have to fear terrorism, and it shouldn’t change what you do,” she said.

Hegel agrees.

“Young people feel they’re immortal,” Hesel said. “How many of them are thinking about death? Very few. And it would be horrible if young people changed their minds because of something like this.”

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