ERIC Number: ED408869
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1994
First Impressions and Second Thoughts: Public Support for Higher Education.
This report describes the results of eight focus groups held in four cities to explore findings of a comprehensive review of more than 30 recent public opinion polls concerning higher education. These findings were: (1) higher education enjoys a reservoir of good will; (2) a college education is seen as an essential credential for success; (3) the public is broadly committed to equity but as an income issue and not gender- or race-specific; (4) public good will is tempered by concerns about cost; and (5) consequently, the public sees a role for government in education similar to that in health care financing. The major findings of the focus groups suggest that the public is caught in a dilemma; on one hand, they are convinced that a college degree is becoming more and more important for a good job and access to a middle-class lifestyle, but on the other, that there is a widespread feeling that rising costs are pushing a college education beyond the reach of ordinary Americans. Fears about rising costs appear to translate into concerns that the opportunity to attend college is decreasing and that the situation will get worse. There is a strong feeling that government must step-in and make a college education financially attainable. (JLS)
Descriptors: Access to Education, Democratic Values, Educational Attitudes, Equal Education, Focus Groups, Government Role, Higher Education, Institutional Autonomy, Paying for College, Political Issues, Public Opinion, Public Support, Role of Education
American Council on Education, Publications F1, Department 36, Washington, DC 20055-0036 ($10 each for 1-10 copies, $7.50 each for more than 10 copies).
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: American Council on Education, Washington, DC.
Note: For related reports, see HE 028 940-942.