More freshman than ever are saying their reason to go to college is to get a good job and make a lot of money, according to the CIRP Freshman Survey, the University of California, Los Angeles’s annual survey of college freshmen.

As put it:

The portion of incoming freshmen that cited “to be able to get a better job” as a very important reason for attending college reached an all-time high of 87.9 percent in 2012, an increase from 85.9 percent in 2011 and considerably higher than the low of 67.8 percent in 1976. Many incoming students also said the ability “to make more money” was a very important reason to attend college; this percentage rose from 71.7 in 2011 to 74.6 in 2012, another all-time high.

Sadly, however, going to college is not likely to actually ensure financial success, at least not immediately. Thanks to increasing student loan debt and a stagnant economy, the economic reality of the today’s college graduate is pretty grim.

The average college graduate is now $27,000 in debt. In addition, more than half of recent college graduates are now either unemployed or working in jobs for which they didn’t need college degrees.

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Daniel Luzer is the news editor at Governing Magazine and former web editor of the Washington Monthly. Find him on Twitter: @Daniel_Luzer