Office of Planning and Budgeting

Americans Believe Higher Ed Drives Economy, Unwilling to Pay More Taxes

The results of a Stanford University/AP education poll conducted in September were released yesterday. The representative group of respondents confirmed earlier data on the same topic, mainly that Americans believe strongly that higher education is a vital economic engine and that more Americans should participate in it, but that they are not very willing to pay higher taxes to increase public support for institutions.

Some of the most compelling findings included:

  • 88% believe that higher education has a very large or large impact on the overall prosperity of the country.
  • 79% believe that the US economy would improve if all Americans had at least a two-year degree.
  • 74% believe that the quality of education provided by four year public institutions in their state is excellent or good.
  • Survey respondents primarily blame students and parents for graduation rates, whether high or low.
  • Only 42% favor or somewhat favor raising taxes to increase support for higher education, while 46% oppose raising taxes.


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