A longitudinal study of the academic attitudes of American teenagers is raising questions about what motivates the millennial generation to attend college. And the findings suggest that this generation may have a much more pragmatic and practical motivation than many believe. The study by Susan A. Dumais found that the millennial generation is much less engaged in school than the previous generations. As Mark Bauerlein suggests in his analysis of the study, this "conclusion contradicts the characterization of X-ers as slackers and Millennials as sincere go-getters." But he goes on to point out the problem with trying to describe generations: "While X-ers rated academic values (attending class, getting good grades, graduating) more highly than Millennials did, Millennials rated continuing one’s education more highly than did X-ers. In other words, even though they didn’t care as much about academic behaviors themselves as X-ers did, Millennials considered just going to college more important."
Read Mark Bauerlein's article about the study.