FARGO, N.D. — Carrie Johnson, the North Dakota State University Extension Service’s personal and family finance specialist, has been named the Family and Consumer Sciences Research Journal Emerging Scholar for 2016.
She was selected for a paper titled “Perceived Value of College as an Investment in Human and Social Capital: Views of Generations X and Y.” The article met the criterial of being on an original topic, demonstrating high standards for research design and methodology, and having the potential to make a lasting contribution to theory and/or practice in family and consumer sciences.
Johnson and the article’s co-authors (Michael Gutter, University of Florida; Yilan Xu, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign; Soo Hyun Cho, South Dakota State University; and Sharon DeVaney, Purdue University) examined how 1,000 adults with student loans perceived college. The authors investigated the similarities and differences between the adults in Generations X (born roughly from the early 1960s to the late 1970s) and Y (born in the 1980s and 1990s).
Generation Y (millennials) ranked social capital – meeting new people, the college experience and better work environment – higher than human capital as reasons for getting a college education. In contrast, Generation X ranked human capital – making more money, increasing skills and knowledge, getting better jobs and showing intelligence – higher than social capital as reasons for getting a college education.
The authors also looked at the two groups’ satisfaction with student loan debt and found that the Generation Y adults were less satisfied with their student loan debt than those from Generation X.
“This award is a huge honor and came as a surprise,” Johnson says. “I think doing research that can have an effect on consumers and practitioners is a very important part of my job. To be recognized early in my career is exciting and keeps me motivated to continue researching consumer issues and how individuals make decisions when it comes to their finances.” She joined the NDSU Extension Service in 2016.
Johnson, also an assistant professor in NDSU’s Human Development and Family Science Department, has been invited to receive the award during the American Association of Family and Consumer Sciences’ annual conference in Dallas, Texas, June 25-28.
— NDSU Agriculture Communication
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