Grads stuck at home with diplomas

Fewer graduates are moving on to full time employment directly following graduation.

After four years of freedom away from mom and dad, some 2008 graduates find themselves back at home after graduation.

Across the nation, 77 percent of 2008 graduates have moved back home. The number of graduates moving back home has increased from 67 percent in 2006 to 73 percent in 2007.

Statistics from show most grads living at home are not required to pay for utilities, rent or food (Zach Miley/TTN).

Many theories as to the rise of this trend among graduates have been considered. One reason could be the plummeting economy and high cost of living, but according to a press release on, today’s generation of recent college graduates are continuously seeking help and guidance from their parents. conducts surveys and polls on topics related to entry level job search.

As an urban university with a large number of in-state residents, Temple’s commuter students tend to live at home while attending school during their undergraduate years. This has affected Temple differently compared to other schools, particularly those in more suburban and rural areas.

The Career Center surveys graduates six months after graduation to track employment activity. In 2007, 68 percent of Temple’s graduates reported finding employment in Philadelphia, which is double from the year before.

“The city of Philadelphia has been making big efforts to retain college students graduating from area colleges,” said Rachel Brown, director of the Career Center. “Since Mayor Nutter came into office there has been an increase in entry level jobs and this most likely effects Temple University as a Philadelphia school as opposed to a college somewhere like Arkansas.”

Despite having no immediate career prospects, Sarah Hiester, a 2008 Temple graduate, decided to stay in Philadelphia after receiving her bachelor’s degree from the College of Science and Technology in May 2008. After graduating, she continued to work part-time at a local pizza eatery.

“I was determined to continue living on my own,” Hiester said. “At Temple, students are forced to live on their own after their first two years of college, which makes them less likely to want or choose to move back home since they haven’t [lived in a dorm] all four years.”

Hiester recently received an offer in the water supply division at the Department of Environmental Protection. She plans to continue living in Philadelphia.

Brown said Temple’s statistics are incomparable with many other colleges since it is a commuter school in the city of Philadelphia with many local residents, which can cause the number of graduates who continue to live at home to vary.

Shawn Annable, a 2008 graduate from the School of Communication and Theater chose to move back home to his parents’ in Tannersville, Pa.

“I was looking for a job in Philadelphia but didn’t find one soon enough after graduation. I didn’t want to sign a year lease on an apartment and be unable to afford the rent,” Annable said. “Moving back home was the best option.”

Annable is now freelancing in New York, editing audio books for JMS Studios. He said he hopes to move out on his own again in less than six months.

Some current Temple undergraduates are already planning on moving back home after graduation.
“I know I’m going to move back in with my mom after graduation,” said Cana Sarnes, a junior psychology major. “I need to save money before going to grad school. I’m not going to waste my already limited funds on rent and utilities, especially not with the economy in the state that it is.”

“Besides, after being away for four years my mom would be thrilled to have me back,” Sarnes said, “even if it means mooching off of her for a year.”

Kathryn A. Lopez can be reached at

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