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Finding Two
Finding Three
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Finding Two: Access for All

Because higher education has become so important, Americans are convinced that no qualified and motivated student should be denied an opportunity to go to a college or university merely because of the price.

The growing sense of the importance of higher education has been accompanied by an increased emphasis on the need to provide opportunities for higher education. Today many Americans are uncomfortable with the idea that motivated and hard-working students may be unable to attend a college or university.

Preserving the Opportunity to Receive a Higher Education


1998 1993
Strongly/somewhat agree that:
  We should not allow the price of a college education to keep students who are qualified and motivated to go to college from doing so. 89% 89%
Fair/poor idea to:
  Raise college prices even though some people argue the financial burden on families and students would be too high.* 85 80
Very/somewhat serious problem that:
  Students are having to borrow too much money to pay for their college education.* 87 81
* Wording on this question varies slightly between Public Agenda's 1993 and 1998 studies.

A woman from Shreveport, Louisiana, said it this way: "If a person is motivated and wants to get a higher education and a higher paying job, they should be given the chance to do it. No one is forcing them to go to college, they are just trying to better themselves." As a result, people are opposed to measures, such as raising college prices, that would have the effect of making it more difficult for people to get education after high school. In fact, majorities already say that the amount students have to borrow to pay for education is a problem.


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