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America is a society that is much more fluid and mobile than it ever was before. Kids can see the benefits of education more easily now than in the past. Years ago, they saw their parents working for one employer all their lives, staying in one place and paying off a twenty or thirty year mortgage, month by month. Today, their families move from place to place as circumstances dictate. Their parents have no job security and they see them, in many cases going back to school to qualify for an entirely new field in which to work and get ahead.
Today's parents are smart enough to tell their kids that the only way to get ahead is to get good grades, so that they can get into good schools. Most parents cannot afford the cost of a quality college education. They warn their kids that they either need to get good grades to get scholarships or else they better do well enough in college to have an income that will support massive loan payments.
Kids today see the stress that their parents are under. They feel the pressure to get educated and they understand the importance of a good education, in part because parents feel freer to discuss this need. These parents realize that a good education is the only thing that will give their kids some measure of security.