Finding One
Finding Two
Finding Three
Finding Four
Changes in Attitudes Over Time
California and the Nation at Large
Supporting Tables
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The National Center for Public Policy

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Californians Believe That The Main Responsibility For Success In Higher Education Rests With The Student, But They Also Expect Institutions To Help Those Who Help Themselves.

The California public sees a higher education not as an entitlement, but as something students should have to work for, and the notion of a free higher education is not attractive to very many state residents. Seventy-one percent strongly or somewhat agree that students only appreciate the value of an education when they have some personal responsibility for paying what it costs.

By the same token, California residents feel that what a student gets out of a college education is largely a result of the amount of effort the student puts in. We asked our California respondents whether the benefits of a higher education depend more on how much effort the student puts in or on the quality of the college. The overwhelming majority (84%) said that effort was the key.

Californians also placed the responsibility for success in college on the student. Seventy-four percent say that when a student falls behind, it is primarily the responsibility of the student to get back on track. This does not mean that colleges have no responsibility; 65% also agree that colleges should provide advisors and counselors for students who fall behind, rather than take more severe measures.

When it comes to financial aid, Californians continue to emphasize individual effort, believing that aid should go first to students who work hard. Eighty-two percent say that they would prefer to give financial aid to a student with average skills who works hard, rather than to a student with excellent skills who does not work hard.


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