Finding One
Finding Two
Finding Three
Finding Four
Pennsylvanians and the Nation at Large
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Finding Three : Pennsylvanians 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 Pennsylvania 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-seven 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, Pennsylvania 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 Pennsylvania 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 (88%) said that effort was the key.

Pennsylvanians also put the responsibility for success in college on the student. Seventy-one percent say that when a student falls behind, it is primarily the responsibility of the student --rather than the college -- to get back on track. This does not mean that colleges have no responsibility; 72% percent also agree that colleges should provide advisors and counselors for students who fall behind, rather than take more severe approaches.

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


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