Public Release: 

Book: 'Aspiring Adults Adrift'

Tentative transitions of college graduates

University of Chicago Press Journals


IMAGE:  "Aspiring Adults Adrift " paints a detailed picture of a group of young people who face a difficult transition to adulthood. view more

Credit: The University of Chicago Press

On its publication in 2011, Richard Arum and Josipa Roksa's Academically Adrift hit college campuses like an earthquake. Their landmark--and troubling--study of undergraduates' learning, socialization, and study habits instantly became the focal point of the ongoing national discussion about the goals, effectiveness, and cost of higher education in America, debated at length on op-ed pages, news programs, and campuses big and small.

Now Arum and Roksa are back, with similarly startling data from the final two college years and first two post-collegiate years of the same cohort of undergraduates. Aspiring Adults Adrift paints a detailed picture of a group of young people who face a difficult transition to adulthood--having trouble finding decent jobs or settling into the stable relationships and financial security that have long been markers of adulthood. Yet at the same time, Arum and Roksa show that this generation is remarkably upbeat about its prospects, retaining a sense of hope and potential amid struggle.

Like Academically Adrift, this will be a book that no one who writes about higher education (to say nothing of parents or scholars) will be able to ignore, as Arum and Roksa compel us to once again re-examine the aims, approaches, and achievements of undergraduate education.

The book will be published on September 2, 2014 (findings presented are embargoed until the 2nd). Please contact Levi Stahl ( if you would like to get a copy or arrange an interview with the authors.


Richard Arum is professor in the Department of Sociology with a joint appointment in the Steinhardt School of Education at New York University. Josipa Roksa is associate professor of sociology and education and associate director of the Center for Advanced Study of Teaching and Learning in Higher Education at the University of Virginia. They are available for interviews.

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