Where does the public stand on issues of higher education?
Does the public place primary responsibility for funding on the government or does it place responsibility on youths and their parents? Does the public see college as exclusively an individual good that benefits the student or also a collective good that benefits society? Does the public see college opportunities as limited by race and class or as mostly open regardless of race and class origins? To what extent are public views on these topics subject to change?
Professor Brian Powell and his research team of more than 40 graduate students and undergraduate students—as part of the Department of Sociology’s Sociological Research Practicum—conducted more than 1600 interviews—half in 2010 and the other half in 2015—to answer these questions. The research team also analyzed open-ended questions in which Americans explained their views on these topics.