Quality, Affordability and Access: Americans Speak on Higher Education

June 2003

Americans give the nation's colleges and universities high marks for the quality of their academic programs and credit for the value of a postsecondary degree, but they want access to higher education expanded to a larger portion of the population.

Those are among the findings of this year's annual survey of Americans' views on key issues in education, commissioned by ETS and conducted by Democratic pollster Peter Hart and Republican pollster Robert Teeter.

Titled Quality, Affordability and Access: Americans Speak on Higher Education, the survey shows that Americans believe young people from all backgrounds should have a chance to go to college. Many are not convinced that all young people regardless of their economic status currently do.

In the poll, respondents said the nation's education system is coming up short or falling behind in such important areas as:

  • graduating high school students who are prepared to succeed in college
  • offering young people from all backgrounds a chance to go to a college or university
  • providing financial help to students who are going to college

The report and excerpts are available for downloading:

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Americans Speak