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One In Four High School Students Undecided On College/University Education

Lack of career advice, mentors and paying for post-secondary education among the major concerns for returning high school students, new study finds.

TORONTO, Aug. 28, 2013 /CNW/ - High school students, getting set for class next week, feel enormous pressure to succeed academically, and 24 per cent don't even know if they will go to college or university, according to a Big Brothers Big Sisters/CIBC Academic Success Survey.

Of those uncertain of pursuing college or university, 64 per cent wish they had an adult in their lives to advise them on their career options. As many as one in five have no concrete future plans.

The survey, conducted by Ipsos Reid for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Canada and CIBC, found that overall students seemed enthusiastic about returning to high school and confident (93 per cent) in their abilities to succeed academically. However, the findings also reveal that students are well aware of the hard economic realities of today's jobs market and feel worried about doing well enough (63 per cent) so that they can get into college or university.

Nearly half (44 per cent) say the pressure to excel in high school is so great that they wish everyone would just back off. The survey found that 88 per cent believe that students with mentors are more likely to succeed than those without one.

"We may think Canada's high school students are care free and not worried, but the fact is they're not," said Bruce MacDonald, President and Chief Executive Officer of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Canada. "Given the pressures of high school life and so many students being unsure about pursuing higher education, mentoring is more important than ever."

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Canada and CIBC commissioned the survey to examine how students entering Grades 10, 11 and 12 perceive the importance of academic success and positive role models. It also explored their enthusiasm for returning to school, their confidence levels and career plans, and what's stressing them out the most. The poll took place in late July.

The survey identified three major sources of stress: finding a job in their chosen field (68 per cent), the pressure to do well so that they can get into post-secondary education (63 per cent), and not having the money for college or university (51 per cent).

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