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Updated: 08/25/2013 08:00:01AM

American faith in the college dream

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Tom Rath

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The American public believes in the value of a college degree. However, as seen in a recent Pew Survey, most Americans feel that going to college and getting a degree is a good goal, but only 5 percent think that it is an “excellent bargain” for the money. Concern is increasing about college affordability, a concern noted by political leaders and currently evidenced by President Obama, touring New York and Pennsylvania to discuss college affordability and the burden of college debt.

American higher-education institutions are viewed internationally as a gold standard. Thirteen of the top 20 colleges and universities in the world are found in the United States (2013 QS World University Survey). Quality is not necessarily the issue. The issues are the perceived inability to pay for and afford college, the question of who should pay for college, and the personal economic impact of the costs of college on affording other family and individual needs.

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