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Poll: High Levels of Support to Make Public College Education Free

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Poll: High Levels of Support to Make Public College Education Free

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According to The Unheard Third 2015, our annual survey New York City residents, New Yorkers see college education as the key to getting ahead, and affordability as the key to getting more young people to college.

According to The Unheard Third 2015, our annual survey New York City residents, New Yorkers see college education as the key to getting ahead, and affordability as the key to getting more young people to college.

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Poll: High Levels of Support to Make Public College Education Free

  1. 1. New Yorkers see a college education as the key to getting ahead, and affordability as the key to getting to college. HIGH LEVELS OF SUPPORT TO MAKE PUBLIC COLLEGE EDUCATION FREE Findings from The Unheard Third 2015 October 8, 2015 Apurva Mehrotra, Policy Analyst
  2. 2. Q: 2 Making college more affordable was the second most popular response—after raising the minimum wage—when low-income New Yorkers were asked what two things would help them get ahead economically. Which two of the following would most increase your potential top get ahead economically (low-income New Yorkers only) College Education 5% 7% 7% 7% 10% 11% 22% 22% 36% 47% 0% 5% 10% 15% 20% 25% 30% 35% 40% 45% 50% Reduce dependence on government benefits Family friendly work policies Stronger enforcement of wage rules and worker protections Affordable childcare A path to citizenship for immigrants Make NY more business friendly Increase access to job training Cut taxes Make college more affordable Increase the minimum wage
  3. 3. Q: 3 And it was the most cited response when moderate- to higher-income New Yorkers were asked which two things would most help low-income New Yorkers get ahead. Which two of the following would most increase low-income people’s potential top get ahead economically (mod-high income New Yorkers only) College Education 6% 8% 9% 11% 13% 14% 19% 28% 36% 39% 0% 5% 10% 15% 20% 25% 30% 35% 40% 45% A path to citizenship for immigrants Stronger enforcement of wage rules and worker protections Reduce dependence on government benefits Family friendly work policies Make NY more business friendly Cut taxes Affordable childcare Increase access to job training Increase the minimum wage Make college more affordable
  4. 4. Q: 4 Nearly two-thirds of New Yorkers feel a young person needs at least an Associate’s degree to get a family sustaining job, and over half believe you need at least a four-year degree. In your opinion, what level of education does a young person need to get a job that enables them to sustain a family? College Education 7% 16% 11% 22% 20% 21% 12% 9% 11% 37% 36% 37% 18% 15% 17% 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70% 80% 90% 100% Mod-high income Low-income Total HS or less Some college or post HS training AA degree Four year degree Post-graduate 54% 65%
  5. 5. Q: 5 Parents across income groups have high aspirations for their children. More than 8 out of 10 want their children to get at least a four-year degree, including more than one-third of low-income parents who want their children to get a post- graduate degree. What level of education do you want for your own children so that they can sustain a family of their own one day? (Parents only) College Education 3% 7% 5% 6% 7% 7% 1% 6% 3% 32% 42% 37% 56% 36% 46% 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70% 80% 90% 100% Mod-high income Low-income Total HS or less Some college or post HS training AA degree Four year degree Post-graduate 83%
  6. 6. Q: 6 New Yorkers of all income levels agree that the cost of college tuition is by far the biggest barrier to entering a four-year college. Which of the following do you think is the biggest barrier to entering a four-year college? College Education 6% 4% 9% 8% 9% 15% 44% 6% 9% 5% 8% 12% 9% 44% 6% 6% 7% 8% 10% 13% 44% 0% 5% 10% 15% 20% 25% 30% 35% 40% 45% 50% Not enough support from family and friends Other responsibilities like work and family College isn’t for everyone Lack of counseling and information Cost of living including food and housing Level of academic preparation Cost of college tuition Total Low-income Mod-high income
  7. 7. Q: 7 And they also feel the cost of college tuition is the biggest barrier to finishing a four-year college. Which of the following do you think is the biggest barrier to finishing a four-year college? College Education 4% 7% 7% 11% 10% 14% 44% 6% 6% 8% 7% 10% 18% 42% 5% 7% 7% 9% 10% 16% 43% 0% 5% 10% 15% 20% 25% 30% 35% 40% 45% 50% Lack of counseling and information Not enough support from family and friends College isn’t for everyone Level of academic preparation Other responsibilities like work and family Cost of living including food and housing Cost of college tuition Total Low-income Mod-high income
  8. 8. Q: 8 More than 8 out of 10 New Yorkers—across income levels—believe that the United States should expand its commitment to free public education so that it includes college; and 7 out of 10 strongly agree with that idea. 65% 77% 70% 81% 88% 84% 8% 5% 6% 17% 10% 14% -40% -20% 0% 20% 40% 60% 80% 100% Mod-high income Low-income Total Strongly Agree Not so strongly agree Strongly disagree Not so strongly disagree Do you agree or disagree with the following statement: In the first half of the 20th century, the United States expanded public high school education. Now for the 21st century, we should expand our commitment to include a free public college education. College Education
  9. 9. How the survey was conducted The Unheard Third 2015 is based on a scientific survey of 1,705 New York City adults conducted for CSS by Lake Research. Respondents were reached by telephone using land lines and cell phones. The survey was fielded July 19 through August 17, 2015. The margin of error is +/- 2.37 percentage points for the total sample, +/- 3 percentage points for the low-income sample of 1,052 respondents with incomes below twice the federal poverty level, and +/- 3.8 percentage points for the moderate and high income sample of 653 respondents. When reporting the findings for the total sample, the low-income respondents are weighted down to their actual proportion of the population.

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