Most Americans Say State and Federal Governments Should Subsidize Higher Education
A recent AmeriSpeak® survey for New America reveals that 63 percent of Americans think that the government—not students—should pay for postsecondary education, and an overwhelming majority wants state (80 percent) and federal governments (78 percent) to use tax dollars to make higher education more affordable. A similar number of people continue to strongly support holding colleges and universities accountable by withdrawing some access to government funding to those institutions that have low graduation rates, low rates of graduates earning a living wage, or high student-loan debt relative to earnings.
“While Americans’ views on educational opportunities after high school have remained relatively stable over the years, Varying Degrees 2022 exposes a slight decline in overall optimism. In 2020, 69 percent of respondents reported that colleges and universities were having a positive effect on the way things were going, while this year only 55 percent agreed.”
Most survey respondents (64 percent) say that one’s financial security hinges on some type of education after high school. For the first time in the six-year history of Varying Degrees, this annual poll of U.S. views on education after high school oversampled current student loan borrowers to understand how student loans affect their lives and attitudes. It also asked about respondents’ financial health and about test-optional admissions.
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