Gallup-Lumina Foundation Poll Finds Overwhelming Majority of Americans Support Increasing Attainment

Hispanics & African Americans Believe Most Strongly in the Power of Postsecondary Education for Jobs & Quality of Life

Jo-Carolyn Goode | 4/16/2015, 4:23 p.m.
An overwhelming majority of Americans continue to believe that having a certificate or degree beyond high school is important to ...

(BLACK PR WIRE)-- WASHINGTON--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- An overwhelming majority of Americans continue to believe that having a certificate or degree beyond high school is important to our success as a nation and as individuals. But, according to new results released today from the annual Gallup-Lumina Foundation Poll on Higher Education, Hispanics and African Americans believe most strongly in the power of postsecondary education to help deliver good jobs and a better quality of life.

Read the full report here:

Post secondary Education Aspirations and Barriers

A summary of key findings from the Gallup-Lumina Foundation Poll follow:

Key Finding #1 – Americans Value Postsecondary Education

• 96% of Americans say it is somewhat or very important to have a degree or professional certificate beyond a high school diploma

• Furthermore, 73 percent of African Americans and 72 percent of Hispanics say it is very important to increase the proportion of Americans with a degree or professional certificate, compared with 56 percent of Whites.

• Looking ahead, 78 percent of Hispanics, 74 percent of African Americans, and 67 percent of Whites say a postsecondary degree will be more important in the future to get a good job.

Key Finding #2 – Hispanics & African Americans Equate More Attainment with Jobs and Quality of Life:

• Eighty-four percent of Hispanics and 76 percent of African Americans agree or strongly agree that having a professional certificate or degree beyond high school is essential for getting a good job. By comparison, 64 percent of Whites agree with this same statement.

• Eighty-six percent of Hispanics and 84 percent of African Americans agree or strongly agree that a good job is essential to having a higher quality of life. Seventy-six percent of Whites agree.

• Eighty-three percent of Hispanics and 80 percent of African Americans agree or strongly agree that having a college degree or professional certificate leads to a better quality of life. By comparison, 71 percent of Whites agree.

“Our Stronger Nation report – released earlier this month – showed that the degree attainment rate among U.S. residents is currently at 40 percent, but postsecondary attainment rates among African Americans and Hispanics is significantly lower, at 28 percent and 20 percent respectively,” said Jamie Merisotis, president and CEO of Lumina Foundation. “That’s what makes these new polling data so insightful. Even though these groups have lower rates of attainment, they have much stronger views regarding the importance and value of education beyond high school. We must seize the opportunity and use this information to help address the unacceptably large gaps in attainment.”

Key Finding #3 – Americans See Affordability and Student Debt as Barriers to Degree Attainment:

• Seventy-nine percent of Americans do not think that education beyond high school is affordable for everyone in this country who needs it.

• Sixty-eight percent of Americans say the price of postsecondary education is very important when selecting a college or university. And 79 percent say that financial assistance is a very important factor in that process.