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For Those Without One, College Degrees Are Seen as Important but Too Expensive

Posted by New Leaders Council 4 Admin on April 22, 2015 at 5:48 PM

Originally published on The Chronicle of Higher Education by Casey Fabris on April 21, 2015.


In the eyes of Americans without college degrees, higher education seems necessary but too expensive.

That is one of the main takeaways in a report released on Monday by the American Enterprise Institute, "High Costs, Uncertain Benefits: What Do Americans Without a College Degree Think About Postsecondary Education?"

The report was based on a survey of more than 1,500 people who lack college degrees about their perception of a college education. It echoed some of the findings of a public-opinion survey, released last week, of broader views of higher education.

People without a college degree recognize its importance, according to the new survey, with 84 percent of respondents agreeing or strongly agreeing with the idea that some form of postsecondary education was needed to get a good job. But survey participants didn’t necessarily think they needed a college credential themselves, with 43 percent indicating they were satisfied with their level of education.

Only 60 percent agreed or strongly agreed with the idea that a college education was worth the cost. And the high cost of college was the top reason given for why some people do not enroll in college.

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