Since 2000, we have conducted longitudinal scholarship research to learn about the experiences of Mitchell Scholars and Alumni. The scholarship application process provides baseline demographic data on family background, high school academic performance and extracurricular activities, and college financing. To continue to evaluate the impacts of the programs and resources we provide Scholars, we conduct a survey each year throughout college asking about Mitchell Scholars’ college academics and extracurricular activities, summer work opportunities, community engagement, and college financing issues.
In a similar vein, our Alumni survey collects information on graduate study, careers, families, and personal goals. It serves as another vital way through which Alumni can let us know how we can help them – and vice versa. Over time, this annual study has documented the ways members of the Mitchell Institute family navigate college and careers, the educational and professional choices they make after college, and the effect of combining scholarship aid with support services and informal mentoring. We take these findings and apply them to make sure we’re offering the help that Scholars and Alumni need.
Summary Findings from 2020 Mitchell Institute Longitudinal Survey
(for more detail, see PDF below)
- Around two-thirds (64%) of Alumni respondents currently live in Maine.
- Over 60% of Mitchell Scholars graduating from college say they plan to live in Maine–the highest that number has ever been.
- Alumni have a diverse range of career paths: the two most popular career areas are education (23%) and healthcare (20%).
- COVID-19 greatly affected Scholars’ ability to build connections on campus, to access on-campus services (such as career offices), to earn income, and to piroritize their mental health.
- A majority (62.3%) of current Scholars expect to borrow less than $20,000 for their undergraduate degrees. $20,000 is a commonly used benchmark of “manageable” student debt.
2020 Longitudinal Survey Findings
A brief summation of findings from our 2020 Mitchell Scholar Longitudinal Study.