Squeeze Play 2010: Continued Public Anxiety on Cost, Harsher Judgements on How Colleges are Run

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The National Center for Public Policy and Higher Education and Public Agenda

According to a survey conducted by The National Center for Public Policy and Higher Education and Public Agenda, many Americans do not believe that colleges and universities are doing all they can to control costs and keep tuition affordable, they still believe that higher education is important and worth it.

Six out of ten Americans now say that colleges today operate more like a business. According to the report, the public is increasingly less receptive to the argument, frequently made by college and university presidents, that institutions need more money to continue to provide high-quality services.

In the public's mind, federal funds given to public colleges should go toward subsidizing the tuition and fees that colleges charge the students rather than helping institutions maintain programs and staff. Sixty-four percent of responders said that all or part of the federal money should go to holding down tuition and fees.

And, although college tuition and fees are rising rapidly – 6.5 percent for public in-state tuition and 4.4 percent for private colleges just from 2008 to 2009 –  62 percent of people surveyed believe that there is some form of financial aid available out there for those who need it.

This report was based on a study conducted in December 2009 of 1,031 adults aged 18 and over.

Click here to read the report.