Policymakers and experts overwhelmingly agree that the United States needs more people with college degrees or other postsecondary credentials. Public Agenda, with support from The Kresge Foundation, conducted a representative survey of U.S. adults, so that higher education reform efforts can be informed by and responsive to the needs and perspectives of the American public.
Main findings include:
- Americans are losing confidence in the necessity of a college education for success in the workforce.
- Most Americans think that colleges should prepare students for jobs and careers.
- Americans view college preparation and higher education finances as serious problems.
- Most Americans favor requiring colleges to publicly report graduation rates. Fewer favor punishing colleges with low graduation and job placement rates.
- Americans are divided by age and political affiliation regarding free college for low- and middle-income students.