Higher Education Consultants

2013 Report: The Attitudes of Second-Year College Students

Exploring the mindsets behind the "sophomore slump"

Read this report on the attitudes and attributes held by second-year college students that contribute to the "sophomore slump"—a term that broadly definesthe somewhat-common-and-lackluster performance of a substantial portion of second-year college students.Download the report (below) to explore a range of attitudes and attributes held by second-year college students that contribute to the "sophomore slump"—a term that broadly defines the somewhat-common and lackluster performance of a substantial portion of second-year college students.

The report is based on student survey responses drawn from a sizable sample of second-year students at four-year and two-year institutions nationwide in 2012. The survey used for this study was the Second-Year Student Assessment™, an early-alert, motivational assessment that is part of Noel-Levitz's Retention Management System Plus™.

Among the findings:

  • Only three-quarters of second-year students at four-year private and public institutions were able to affirm that they "felt energized" by the ideas they were learning in most of their classes.
  • Only two-thirds of second-year students at two-year public institutions were able to affirm the statement, "I have many friends and feel at home here."
  • Only a slight majority of respondents across institution types, led by male students, indicated they had the financial resources they needed to finish college.
  • Many second-year students across institution types were interested in gaining work experiences related to their major. However, students across institution types tended to be dissatisfied with the availability of work experiences associated with their career interests.

See the report below for these and many more findings. 

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