The situation is clearly not at a crisis point
in the publicís mind. The public is still much more
concerned about KĖ12 than about higher education.
However, although people have clearly not thought
much about higher education, they do have some
thoughts about policy measures.
Generally, the public favors measures that will
decrease costs without harming either access or quality.
One popular approach is to encourage a greater use
of community colleges, which people believe do just
as good a job for less money (see Figure 17; also see
The public also responds positively to the idea
of students doing more college work in high school.
People believe that a student can learn just as much
in a college-level course taught in a high school
(see Figure 19).
Other cost saving measures such as distance
education and evening or weekend classes are also seen
as a positive, with one caveat: While people support
Internet courses for adults, they are less supportive
of them for traditional-age students.
Finally, Americans tend to resist anything that
they see as decreasing the quality of higher education
or limiting access to it. Nearly two-thirds reject the idea
of reducing the number of courses required for a degree,
or of consolidating programs by closing regional
campuses (see Figure 20).