The Colorado 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-five 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, Colorado 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
Colorado respondents whether the benefits of a higher education depend more on the
effort of the student or the quality of the college. The overwhelming majority (88%) said
that effort was the key.
Coloradans also put the responsibility for success in college with the student.
Seventy-one 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; 63% also agree that colleges should provide advisors and counselors
for students who fall behind, rather than take more severe measures.
When it comes to thinking about financial aid, Coloradans continue to
emphasize individual effort, believing that aid should go first to students who work
hard. Eighty-four 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.