May 4, 2016

McKenna Young
484-385-2913 (office)
[email protected]

In Advance of 2016 Presidential Election, Horatio Alger Association to Release 12th State of Our Nation’s Youth Survey 

Commissioned by the Association and conducted by Hart Research Associates and Dr. Gregory Wolniak of New York University, the survey examines key issues affecting young Americans

WASHINGTON, D.C. (May 4, 2016) – Horatio Alger Association of Distinguished Americans, Inc., a nonprofit educational organization honoring the achievements of outstanding individuals and encouraging youth to pursue their dreams through higher education, today announced that it will release the findings of its State of Our Nation’s Youth survey in September, in advance of the 2016 presidential election.

The survey, fielded and published every four years, analyzes important issues that impact young people and provides high school students and recent high school graduates with a channel by which to voice their opinions. Results equip key constituencies – including educators, policy makers, the media and more – with valuable data that lends insights into the viewpoints and attitudes of United States youth – many of whom are also first-time voters in a national election. The primary purpose of the survey is to better understand the key influences shaping the next generation of American leaders within the context of a presidential election cycle.

“As an educational non-profit organization providing scholarship assistance for America’s youth, it is crucial for the Association to assess key issues of importance to young people today,” said Terrence J. Giroux, executive director, Horatio Alger Association. “The valuable insights gained from the State of Our Nation’s Youth survey allow us to better understand and serve the next generation of American leaders,. “We are pleased to work with our trusted partners, Hart Research Associates and Dr. Gregory Wolniak, to issue this research and report on the changing views, challenges and hopes of young Americans.”

The 2016 survey marks the second time that leading research firm Hart Research Associates is partnering with renowned higher education research expert Dr. Gregory Wolniak to deliver the results and the eighth time that Hart Research Associates has partnered with Association on the State of Our Nation’s Youth survey. Dr. Wolniak is a clinical associate professor of higher education and the director of the Center for Research on Higher Education Outcomes (CRHEO) at New York University’s Steinhardt School. The two groups first collaborated in 2012, which was also the first year that the survey gathered data from college-aged respondents, in addition to high school students.

“We are proud to again partner with Horatio Alger Association, Dr. Wolniak and his team at New York University to report the findings of the 2016 State of Our Nation’s Youth survey,” said Peter Hart, founder, Hart Research Associates. “We have fielded the survey and are already beginning to gather and analyze the results with the goal of providing a comprehensive assessment of how young people view the world today. We look forward to sharing these important discoveries with the American public in September.”

The 2016 survey will focus on many of the same issues that were studied in 2012 in an effort to provide an accurate year-over-year analysis. This year’s study re-examines key topics such as politics, academics and educational aspirations, news and media, family and relationships, communication and technology and future outlook on the country. New topics are also being introduced, such as career/technical education, parental involvement in school and education, the impact of social media and cyber-bullying. Additionally, specific questions related to the 2016 presidential election were posed, including sentiment about the campaign news cycle, the impact of this election outcome on the direction of the country and important issues to this group of young voters.

“The State of Our Nation’s Youth survey is one of our most significant and important projects at the Center for Research on Higher Education Outcomes at New York University,” said Wolniak. “It is vital that we continue to ask these important questions of young people so that, as a society, we can not only work together to help them succeed, but to assist them in overcoming real challenges. Many of these young men and women will be first-time voters in the upcoming presidential election, and these results will provide an important snapshot of what really matters to them at this point in time in their lives. This insight will prove to be extremely valuable, not only in an ongoing conversation of critical issues affecting the country but also in the Association’s ongoing work of supporting young men and women pursuing higher education.”

Horatio Alger Association aims to educate young people about the limitless opportunities afforded to them by the free-enterprise system. Since the establishment of its scholarship programs in 1984, the organization has awarded more than $125 million in undergraduate, graduate and specialized scholarships to students across the United States (including all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico) and Canada. The Association also annually bestows the Horatio Alger Award upon outstanding business, civic and cultural leaders who have succeeded despite facing significant adversity, and who are committed to philanthropy and higher education. Scholarships are funded solely through the generosity of Association Members, Life Partners and friends.

For more information about Horatio Alger Association, please visit  To engage on social media, please “Like” the organization on Facebook (


About Horatio Alger Association of Distinguished Americans: 

Founded in 1947, the Horatio Alger Association of Distinguished Americans, Inc. is dedicated to the simple but powerful belief that hard work, honesty and determination can conquer all obstacles. The Association honors the achievements of outstanding leaders who have accomplished remarkable successes in spite of adversity by bestowing upon them the Horatio Alger Award and inducting them as lifetime Members. Horatio Alger Members support promising young people with the resources and confidence needed to overcome adversity in pursuit of their dreams through higher education. Through the generosity of its Members and friends, the Association awards more than $12 million annually in undergraduate and graduate need-based scholarships across the United States and Canada and provides college support and mentoring services to its Scholars. Since 1984, the Association has awarded more than $125 million in college scholarships to more than 22,000 deserving young people. For more information, please visit