College Millennials: Is the American Dream still valid? OLD DREAM MAY BE FADING: Federal agencies produced posters, newsreels and advertisements like this during World War II to remind the public of the American Dream. Courtesy of National Archives via Wikimedia Commons.Do young American adults believe that working hard is the ticket to getting ahead?
Do they still dream the American Dream of mobility, achievement, and success?
After all, college-age Millennials are especially hard hit by the bad economy and dim employment prospects.

Here’s what the new Millennial Values Survey tells us: They’re divided. About 45% say the American Dream is no longer true; 40% believe in it—and 10% say the American Dream was never true.

College Millennials have strong indictments of our economic system. Three of four say that our current system favors the rich at the expense of the poor. There is widespread agreement about this, but those who lean Republican are much less likely to indict the economic system than are those who lean Democrat.

We see the same differences with the value of equal opportunities. My research shows that equality of opportunities is a core American value—almost every American believes in its importance. Among college Millennials, Democrats are much more likely than Republicans to say that the reality of equal opportunities falls far short of the value itself.

Do you believe in an American Dream?

Does equal opportunity falls short of the ideal?

Do you think things will eventually get better for today’s college graduates?

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Originally published at, an online experiment in civil dialogue.

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