TORONTO, ONTARIO -- (Marketwired) -- 08/28/13 -- Editors' note: Two videos are associated with this press release.
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, 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 returning to 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), not having good enough marks to go to their post-secondary program of choice (58 per cent), and not having the money for college or university (51 per cent).
"Earning a post-secondary education is truly an investment in a student's future," said Jamie Golombek, Managing Director and Personal Finance Expert, CIBC. "Students need to know that there are many financial solutions available and people who want to help. Getting the right advice and support early on is critical to achieving academic and personal success."
Other key findings of the survey include:
-- Alarmingly, half of the students (49 per cent) say bullying is a problem in their school and 70 per cent want teachers, principals and vice principals to do more to curb bullying.-- A majority (58 per cent) believe peer pressure is important to achieving academic success, with girls more likely than boys believing so (63 percent versus 53 per cent);-- Girls are significantly more likely than boys to worry about "heading off in the great unknown" (65 per cent versus 56 per cent) and having sufficient funds to pay for post-secondary education (56 per cent versus 46 per cent);-- Four-in-ten (42 per cent) say they will definitely need a student loan, while a similar proportion (36 per cent) aren't sure if they'll need one or not.-- Nine-in-ten (91 per cent) students believe governments should do more to help graduates pay off their student loans.