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Introduction
 
1. Stability in Values
 
2. Growing Concerns
about Access
 
3. Attitudes about Social Class and Access
 
4. Older People Seeking Retraining
 
5. The Responsibility of Students
 
6. Necessary for Success
 
7. Holding the Line on Price Increases
 
Conclusion: Growing Importance of Higher Education
 
Appendix
 
About the Author
 
About Public Agenda
 
About the National
Center for
Public Policy and
Higher Education
 
Front Page of Report
 

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Page 6 of 13

  5. The Responsibility of Students

The belief that students should pay at least some of the cost of their education has declined somewhat.

In these surveys, we presented our respondents with the claim that students appreciate their college education only when they personally pay for part of the costs (see table 9). Typically we have found strong support for this view. In our previous surveys, the percentage of people who strongly or somewhat supported this view was always well above 70%. While the percentage of people who agree with this sentiment is still high, it has dropped to 69% in 2003, its lowest level throughout the 10-year period.

Table Nine

 

General Public

Students appreciate the value of a college education only when they have some personal responsibility for paying what it costs.

2003
(n=801)
%

2000
(n=1,015)
%

1998
(n=700)
%

1993
(n=502)
%

Net Agree

69

74

77

76

Strongly agree

40

47

48

48

Somewhat agree

29

27

29

28

Net Disagree

29

25

21

18

Somewhat disagree

19

16

13

10

Strongly disagree

10

8

8

8

It is, of course, impossible to say exactly what accounts for this change. Concerns about access seem to be the more pressing issue on people's minds when it comes to higher education, so the worry about whether students will be making a contribution may seem less important to some. Some people may also be thinking that students themselves have less money, and may be less able to make a contribution.

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