Higher Education: Are We Getting Our Money's Worth?

A Pew Research Center survey of 2,142 adults conducted March 15-19, 2011 found a majority of Americans to be dissatisfied with the current state of the higher education system. The survey posed the question in terms of whether the higher education system is providing the value it should for the amount of money spent by students and families on tuition; 57% of respondents rated the value as either “only fair” (42%) or “poor” (15%). About 40% of college presidents state that the higher education system in the United States is headed in the wrong direction, according to a Pew Research Center survey of 1,055 colleg
e presidents conducted March 15-April 24, 2011.
Americans generally dissatisfied with the current cost of higher education; fewer than a quarter (22%) of the general public agreed with the statement “most people today can afford to pay for a college education.” College presidents show less concern about the price of college, with 42% agreeing with the same statement, “most people today can afford to pay for a college education.”
Although college presidents show less concern about the price of college, they are far from satisfied with the education system itself as well as with the students of these higher education institutions. Less than one-fifth (19%) of college presidents responded that they felt the higher education system in the U.S. to be the best in theworld. An even smaller percent (7%) responded that they think the United States will have the best higher education ten years from now.
College presidents’ dissatisfaction extends to their view of current students as well, with a majority of college presidents polled (52%) responding that today’s college students study less than students did ten years ago. College presidents’ may attribute this decrease in college students’ devotion to their studies to the extent to which secondary public schools are preparing students for college. The Pew Research Center survey found 58% of college presidents to hold the opinion that public high schools are doing a worse job of preparing students for college now than they did ten years ago.College graduates paint a more optimistic picture of today’s higher education system than do the general public and college presidents. A large majority of college graduates ages 18-64 (86%) say that they believe that college was a good investment.

Posted by JVSF cf
SSDAN Office

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