21-22 Alumni Survey Report
Posted in: JA Impact
These are the findings of an Ipsos poll conducted between June 13-15, 2022. For this survey, a sample of 7,427 Americans age 18+ from the continental U.S., Alaska, and Hawaii was interviewed online in English. This includes 1,003 Junior Achievement Alumni. The poll has a credibility interval of plus or minus 1.4 percentage points for all respondents and 3.8 percentage points for Junior Achievement
GENERAL IMPACT OF JA
According to the survey, just under one in five Americans (18%) have participated in the Junior Achievement (JA) program at some point during their kindergarten through twelfth-grade education.
As part of their experience, more than three-in-four (76%) JA Alumni report that a volunteer from JA came to visit their class, after-school program, or another setting to teach them about money, jobs, or business. Among those who report that a volunteer came to their class, nearly two-thirds (64%) say they remember the concepts the volunteer taught them about money, jobs, or business. More than half (56%) say they are currently in a career or job, or have worked in a similar position, to the one their JA volunteer had.
Ninety-two percent report that JA was a great experience overall, and nearly as many (91%) report that JA motivated them to learn. Strong majorities of JA Alumni report that JA played an important role in believing they can achieve their goals (90%), their personal development (87%), and gave them confidence in new situations (85%).
EDUCATION AND CAREER PATH
When it comes to education, jobs, and careers, similar proportions report JA positively influenced their decision to pursue higher education (84% overall – 83% White JA Alumni, 86% Black JA Alumni, 85% Hispanic/Latino JA Alumni), their professional development (84% overall – 84% White JA Alumni, 87% Black JA Alumni, 84% Hispanic/Latino JA Alumni), and their career path (81% overall – 80% White JA Alumni, 89% Black JA Alumni, 82% Hispanic/Latino JA Alumni). Ninety percent say it exposed them to different ways of thinking, 89 percent say it motivated them to succeed in their professional lives, and 88 percent say JA widened their horizons. Similarly, 88 percent say it made them think of new work opportunities or career paths. Four in five report that their careers are extremely fulfilling (80%).
In terms of aligning education with career outcomes, nearly three-in-four (73%) JA Alumni who graduated from college say they work in a field they studied in college (71% White JA Alumni, 72% Black JA Alumni, 78% Hispanic/Latino JA Alumni). Research by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York shows that just one-in-four (27%) American college graduates say they work in the field they studied in school. Additionally, more than two-thirds (69%) of JA Alumni say they currently work in their dream career (72% White JA Alumni, 69% Black JA Alumni, 69% Hispanic/Latino JA Alumni). Research by MidAmerica Nazarene College shows that only 25 percent of Americans say they are in their “dream career.”
CONFIDENCE WITH MONEY
Most JA Alumni (82%) agree that they have a strong financial footing (83% White JA Alumni, 77% Black JA Alumni, 82% Hispanic/Latino JA Alumni). Slightly more (84%) agree that their experience with Junior Achievement helped with their financial literacy (85% White JA Alumni, 89% Black JA Alumni, 77% Hispanic/Latino JA Alumni).
Just under half of JA Alumni agree that they live paycheck to paycheck, with very little savings if there were an emergency (46%). Research from The Lending Club indicates that nearly two-thirds of Americans (64%) are living paycheck to paycheck.
Eighty-four percent of JA Alumni report being financially independent from their parents, and this number increases with age. Younger JA Alumni are less likely to say they are financially independent from their parents (74%) than older JA Alumni (91%). For instance, just over two-thirds (68%) of JA Alumni between the ages of 18 and 29 say that they are financially independent from their parents. Research from Pew shows that about one-in-three (34%) Americans in that age range say the same.
Half of JA Alumni took out loans to pay for college (50%), and the average age reported for paying off their student loans is 30 years old. Three-quarters of JA Alumni report they own a home, condo, or apartment (74%), including 66% of JA Alumni aged 34 and under. Of those who own homes, 29 years old is the average age they became first-time homeowners. Research from the National Association of Realtors shows that the average age of first-time homeowners in the U.S. is 33.
Nearly three-quarters of JA Alumni report they are saving for retirement (73%), including 65 percent of those ages 18-34. According to research by the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards and Morning Consult, the percentage of Americans saving for retirement during that age range is 40 percent. The average age JA Alumni report beginning to save for retirement is 30 years old.
When it comes to entrepreneurship, more than half of JA Alumni report that they have started or owned a business (or multiple businesses) at least once in their life (51% overall – 45% White JA Alumni, 53% Black JA Alumni, 67% Hispanic/Latino JA Alumni). More than a quarter (27%) of alumni say JA positively influenced their decision to start or run a business, and a little over one-third (36%) say JA positively influenced their perceptions of business owners or leaders in their community.
ABOUT THE STUDY
These are the findings of an Ipsos poll conducted between June 13-15, 2022. For this survey, a sample of 7,427 Americans age 18+ from the continental U.S., Alaska, and Hawaii was interviewed online in English. This includes 1,003 Junior Achievement Alumni.
The sample was randomly drawn from Ipsos’ online panel, partner online panel sources, and “river” sampling and does not rely on a population frame in the traditional sense. Ipsos uses fixed sample targets, unique to each study, in drawing a sample. After a sample has been obtained from the Ipsos panel, Ipsos calibrates respondent characteristics to be representative of the U.S. Population using standard procedures such as raking-ratio adjustments. The source of these population targets is U.S. Census 2019 American Community Survey data. The sample drawn for this study reflects fixed sample targets on demographics. Posthoc weights were made to the population characteristics on gender, age, race/ethnicity, region, and education.
Statistical margins of error are not applicable to online non-probability polls. All sample surveys and polls may be subject to other sources of error, including but not limited to coverage error and measurement error. Where figures do not sum to 100, this is due to the effects of rounding. The precision of Ipsos online polls is measured using a credibility interval. In this case, the poll has a credibility interval of plus or minus 1.4 percentage points for all respondents and plus or minus 3.8 percentage points for Junior Achievement Alumni. Ipsos calculates a design effect (DEFF) for each study based on the variation of the weights, following the formula of Kish (1965). This study had a credibility interval adjusted for design effect of the following (n=7,427, DEFF=1.5, adjusted Confidence Interval=+/-2.9 percentage points).