(LOS ANGELES) -- The emotional health of college freshmen has dropped to its lowest level in 25 years, according to an annual survey of full-time college students at four-year colleges.
The survey, The American Freshman: National Norms Fall 2010, was conducted by UCLA's Higher Education Research Institute and involved 200,000 students. The number of freshmen who said their emotional health was "below average" has risen steadily, according to the report.
Only 52 percent rated themselves as "above average" in emotional health, down from 64 percent in 1985.
New York University recently overhauled its mental health services to provide around-the-clock help and relaxation programs after a rash of suicides.
"They are having to adjust to new academics, new friends, sometimes a new city and a new living situation," said Zoe Ragouzeos, director of counseling and wellness services at New York University.
That stress is compounded by a bad economy.
"Will they have a job waiting at the other end after spending $60,000 to $80,000 on a college education?" asked Brian Van Brunt, director of counseling at Western Kentucky University and president of the American College Counseling Association. "They are struggling like no generation before with the question, 'Is college worth it?'"
College students say the pressure ratchets up significantly after freshman year as they move closer to graduation and must secure internships and, eventually, jobs in a weak economy.
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