June 2, 2011

College is Not Affordable

75%

Three-quarters of the public say most people cannot afford to pay for a college education.

With the cost of a college education continuing to rise, most Americans now regard the price as out of reach. Fully 75% of the public says most people cannot afford to pay for a college education. Just 22% of Americans say that college costs in general are such that most people are able to afford to pay for a college education. Both college graduates and those who did not attend college are equally skeptical about the affordability. Nor do opinions differ between graduates who attended public schools and those who attended private schools. A majority of Americans have doubted the affordability of college in surveys since the mid-1980s, but the percentage saying college is affordable for most Americans has fallen significantly over time. In 1985, 39% of adults agreed that most people can afford a college education. By 1991, that share had fallen to 25%. Read More