Needing Assistance with Educational/Occupational Plans

When students register for the ACT, they can complete a brief needs assessment where they can indicate whether they need assistance with deciding their educational and occupational plans. Overall, 61% of females and 62% of males indicated that they need assistance from colleges in this area.

Percent of ACT-Tested High School Graduates Who Indicated Needing Assistance in Deciding Their Educational/Occupational Plans by ACT Composite Score and Gender, 2013

  • As ACT Composite score increases, a greater percentage of students indicated that they need assistance with deciding their educational and occupational plans.
  • At the highest ACT Composite score ranges, a greater percentage of females than males indicated that they need assistance with deciding their educational and occupational plans.
Chart showing Percent of ACT-Tested High School Graduates Who Indicated Needing Assistance in Deciding Their Educational/Occupational Plans by ACT Composite Score and Gender, 2013

Graph reads: 57% of females from the ACT-tested graduating class of 2013 with an ACT Composite score in the range of 16–19 indicated that they need assistance with deciding their educational and occupational plans.

ACT Composite
Score Range
FemaleMale
1–1557%60%
16–1957%59%
20–2361%62%
24–2767%65%
28–3274%68%
33–3675%68%

Note: Based on 70% of the ACT-tested high school graduating class of 2013 who reported gender and answered at least one item of the five-question needs assessment when they registered for the ACT.


Percent of ACT-Tested High School Graduates Who Indicated Needing Assistance in Deciding Their Educational/Occupational Plans by Planned Major Status and Gender, 2013

  • Compared to students who either selected a planned major or left the question blank, a greater share of students who were undecided about their planned major choice indicated that they need assistance with deciding their educational and occupational plans.
  • Regardless of whether the students selected a planned major, more than half of all ACT-tested high school graduates indicated that they need assistance with deciding their educational and occupational plans.
Chart showing Percent of ACT-Tested High School Graduates Who Indicated Needing Assistance in Deciding Their Educational/Occupational Plans by Planned Major Status and Gender, 2013

Graph reads: 72% of males from the ACT-tested graduating class of 2013 who were undecided about their choice of planned major indicated that they need assistance with deciding their educational and occupational plans.

Planned Major StatusFemaleMale
Selected a Planned Major60%61%
Undecided75%72%
Missing61%55%

Note: Based on 70% of the ACT-tested high school graduating class of 2013 who reported gender and answered at least one item of the five-question needs assessment when they registered for the ACT.


Percent of ACT-Tested High School Graduates Who Indicated Needing Assistance in Deciding Their Educational/Occupational Plans by Certainty of Planned Major Choice and Gender, 2013

  • As certainty of planned major choice increases, the percentage of students who reported that they need assistance with deciding their educational and occupational plans decreases.
  • With the exception of students who were not sure of their planned major choice, there are no appreciable gender differences in the share of students who indicated that they need assistance with deciding their educational and occupational plans.
  • A greater percentage of females than males who were not sure of their planned major choice indicated that they need assistance with deciding their educational and occupational plans.
Chart showing Percent of ACT-Tested High School Graduates Who Indicated Needing Assistance in Deciding Their Educational/Occupational Plans by Certainty of Planned Major Choice and Gender, 2013

Graph reads: 49% of females from the ACT-tested graduating class of 2013 who were very sure about their choice of planned major indicated that they need assistance with deciding their educational and occupational plans.

Certainty of Planned Major ChoiceFemaleMale
Not Sure77%74%
Fairly Sure66%65%
Very Sure49%50%

Note: Based on 59% of the ACT-tested high school graduating class of 2013 who reported gender, selected a planned major, indicated their level of certainty of their planned major, and answered at least one item of the five-question needs assessment when they registered for the ACT.


Percent of ACT-Tested High School Graduates Who Indicated Needing Assistance in Deciding Their Educational/Occupational Plans by Planned Major Area and Gender, 2013

  • The percentage of students who indicated that they need assistance with deciding their educational and occupational plans varies considerably by planned major area.
  • Areas such as Engineering; Computer Science and Mathematics; and English and Foreign Languages have both some of the largest shares of students who indicated that they need assistance with deciding their educational and occupational plans and some of the smallest shares of students who were very sure of their planned major choice.
  • Across the 18 planned major areas, gender differences in the percentage of students who indicated that they need assistance deciding their educational and occupational plans are prevalent but not sizable.
Chart showing Percent of ACT-Tested High School Graduates Who Indicated Needing Assistance in Deciding Their Educational/Occupational Plans by Planned Major Area and Gender, 2013

Graph reads: 63% of males from the ACT-tested graduating class of 2013 who selected a planned major in the area of Business indicated that they need assistance with deciding their educational and occupational plans.

Planned MajorFemaleMale
Area, Ethnic, and Multidisciplinary Studies70%68%
Engineering65%61%
Computer Science and Mathematics65%62%
English and Foreign Languages64%64%
Architecture63%62%
Business63%63%
Sciences: Biological and Physical63%64%
Communications63%62%
Arts: Visual and Performing61%60%
Engineering Technology and Drafting61%59%
Ag. and Natural Resources Conservation60%59%
Social Sciences and Law60%60%
Philosophy, Religion, and Theology59%56%
Health Sciences and Technologies57%62%
Health Administration and Assisting57%62%
Education57%60%
Community, Family, and Personal Services55%53%
Repair, Production, and Construction50%49%

Note: Based on 59% of the ACT-tested high school graduating class of 2013 who reported gender, selected a planned major, and answered at least one item of the five-question needs assessment when they registered for the ACT.