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Americans wish they had studied, networked more in college: poll

Students take their seats for the diploma ceremony at the John F. Kennedy School of Government during the 361st Commencement Exercises at Ha
Students take their seats for the diploma ceremony at the John F. Kennedy School of Government during the 361st Commencement Exercises at Ha

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Americans wish they had studied more in college, view admissions tests as a necessary evil and would tell their children to finish their degrees rather than follow in the path of Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg who dropped out, a poll released on Monday showed.

Nearly half of the adults questioned in the survey said they wished had made more of an effort in college, while another 40 percent said they should have done more networking, which is more typically associated with the professional world.

But only four percent wished they had had more sex and a mere one percent said they should have taken more drugs, according to the 60 Minutes/Vanity Fair poll.

When it came to the standardized aptitude tests (SAT) taken by teenagers applying to colleges, 39 percent described it as a necessary evil. Smaller numbers said they were either a waste of time or a failed ideal.

When offered a choice of a college movie they wished their school years had resembled, one quarter of the people questioned chose the Matt Damon-Ben Affleck Oscar winning film "Good Will Hunting," while "The Social Network" about Zuckerberg had 21 percent. Eleven percent chose the fraternity house comedy "Animal House" or the comedy "Legally Blonde."

Many parents said they did not want their children to emulate college dropouts like Zuckerberg.

Forty-five percent said that, if their child was offered a dream job while in college their advice would be to stay in school, while 27 percent would withhold an opinion and 23 percent would tell them to take the job.

And while the Greek social and housing system of fraternities and sororities is popular on some campuses, 86 percent said they would not care if they found out a friend had been a member. Three percent said they would think less of the person, while two percent would think more highly.

The telephone poll of 861 adults was conducted March 1-3 and had a sampling error of plus or minus three percentage points.

(Reporting by Chris Michaud.; Editing by Patricia Reaney and Andre Grenon)

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