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Poll on Higher Education's Affordability and Accessibility

January 8, 2020

Most adults in the U.S. (60 percent) say education beyond high school is available to anyone in the country who needs it, according to newly released results of a Gallup poll. That finding is similar to what Gallup found in 2015, the last time it asked that question. But the number has declined since 2011, when it was 71 percent.

Those portions decline among younger respondents, however. For example, 46 percent of respondents who are 18 to 29 years old think higher education is available to anyone who needs it.

The poll found more negative opinions overall about higher education's affordability. About a quarter (27 percent) of adults said education beyond high school is affordable, a rate that has been fairly consistent since Gallup began asking the question in 2012.

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Paul Fain

Paul Fain, Contributing Editor, came to Inside Higher Ed in September 2011, after a six-year stint covering leadership and finance for The Chronicle of Higher Education. Paul has also worked in higher ed P.R., with Widmeyer Communications, but couldn't stay away from reporting. A former staff writer for C-VILLE Weekly, a newspaper in Charlottesville, Va., Paul has written for The New York Times, Washington City Paper and Mother Jones. He's won a few journalism awards, including one for beat reporting from the Education Writers Association and the Dick Schaap Excellence in Sports Journalism Award. Paul got hooked on journalism while working too many hours at The Review, the student newspaper at the University of Delaware, where he earned a degree in political science in 1996. A native of Dayton, Ohio, and a long-suffering fan of the Cincinnati Bengals, Fain plays guitar in a band with more possible names than polished songs.

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