Academic Entitlement in Pre- and Post-Pandemic College Students: A Cross-Sectional Examination

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Taylor Wadian
Emmaline Brown
Connie Csoros
Josie Mays
Andrea Diamond
Tess Guzman
Jackalyn Wandstrat
Hannah Durbin
Faith Redwine


The COVID-19 outbreak forced college faculty across the globe to move their courses online and relax their policies and expectations for course attendance and assignments. Although these changes were clearly warranted, research has yet to examine the extent to which such pandemic related changes may have affected students' perceptions of and expectations concerning their education. The present exploratory study was designed to examine this question by utilizing archival data that included a cross-section of two college cohorts: one sampled immediately before the pandemic and the other sampled two years later. Mean-level differences were examined in college students' scores on measures of academic satisfaction, academic entitlement, academic locus of control, and growth mindset between those surveyed immediately before and those surveyed two years later.  Results revealed that while undergraduate students are equally satisfied with the education they received prior to the pandemic compared to two years later, undergraduate students sampled after the pandemic appear to have (a) heightened beliefs that they have little autonomy over academic outcomes in their lives and (b) increased expectations that they should succeed academically regardless of their own efforts or performance.

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