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object(Timber\Post)#3742 (44) { ["ImageClass"]=> string(12) "Timber\Image" ["PostClass"]=> string(11) "Timber\Post" ["TermClass"]=> string(11) "Timber\Term" ["object_type"]=> string(4) "post" ["custom"]=> array(5) { ["_wp_attached_file"]=> string(13) "S_1108MBS.pdf" ["wpmf_size"]=> string(7) "1507824" ["wpmf_filetype"]=> string(3) "pdf" ["wpmf_order"]=> string(1) "0" ["searchwp_content"]=> string(90562) "November 2008 &Californians higher education The Public Policy Institute of California is dedicated to informing and improving public policy in California through independent, objective, nonpartisan research on major economic, social, and political issues. The institute’s goal is to raise public awareness and to give elected representatives and other decisionmakers a more informed basis for developing policies and programs. The institute’s research focuses on the underlying forces shaping California’s future, cutting across a wide range of public policy concerns, including economic development, education, environment and resources, governance, population, public finance, and social and health policy. PPIC is a private, nonprofit organization. It does not take or support positions on any ballot measures or on any local, state, or federal legislation, nor does it endorse, support, or oppose any political parties or candidates for public office. PPIC was established in 1994 with an endowment from William R. Hewlett. Mark Baldassare is President and Chief Executive Officer of PPIC. Thomas C. Sutton is Chair of the Board of Directors. PUBLIC POLICY INSTITUTE OF CALIFORNIA 500 Washington Street, Suite 600 San Francisco, California 94111 phone: 415.291.4400 fax: 415.291.4401 PPIC Sacramento Center Senator Office Building 1121 L Street, Suite 801 Sacramento, California 95814 phone: 916.440.1120 fax: 916.440.1121 www.ppic.org survey@ppic.org TABLE OF CONTENTS About the Survey Press Release Perceptions of Higher Education Attitudes and Policy Preferences Regional Map Methodology Questionnaire and Results 1 3 7 15 24 25 27 ABOUT THE SURVEY The PPIC Statewide Survey provides policymakers, the media, and the general public with objective, advocacy-free information on the perceptions, opinions, and public policy preferences of California residents. Inaugurated in April 1998, this is the 92nd PPIC Statewide Survey in a series that has generated a database that includes the responses of more than 196,000 Californians. This survey is part of a PPIC Statewide Survey series on K–12 and higher education, environment, and population issues, funded by The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation. This is the second PPIC Statewide Survey focusing on higher education. The series seeks to inform state policymakers, encourage discussion, and raise public awareness about issues affecting higher education, which makes up the third-largest spending area of the state budget—about $13.6 billion in total state funds. Higher education is guided by a master plan adopted in 1960 that calls for making a college education available to every qualified California high school graduate. Currently, about 3.3 million students use publicly funded higher education, according to statistics from the California Community College (CCC), California State University (CSU), and University of California (UC) systems. Higher education faces immediate challenges—including the rising costs of a college education, the national economic downturn, and state government budget constraints. It also faces long-term challenges, such as projections for increased need for college-educated workers in coming years, and rapid population growth. This report presents the responses of 2,503 California adult residents, including 1,526 likely voters and 1,026 parents of children 18 or under, on these specific topics: „ Perceptions of California’s higher education system, including the most important issues facing it; concerns about the affordability and quality of higher education; whether changes are needed to improve higher education; approval ratings of the governor and legislature on their handling of higher education; perceptions of the adequacy and efficiency of higher education funding; performance ratings of the UC, CSU, and CCC systems, and general awareness of their major funding sources; and perceptions across different economic and racial/ethnic groups about opportunities for getting a college education. „ Attitudes and policy preferences, including support for increasing state and federal funding to make California’s higher education system more affordable; the importance of economic and racial/ethnic diversity; preferences for ways to increase state funding; importance of higher education to the state’s quality of life and economic well-being over the next 20 years, including the perceived need for college-educated workers; importance of investment in higher education and confidence in the state’s ability to plan for its future; and parents’ hopes and concerns for their children achieving a college education. „ Variations in perceptions, attitudes, and preferences regarding public colleges and universities across five major regions of the state (Central Valley, San Francisco Bay Area, Los Angeles County, Inland Empire, and Orange/San Diego counties), among Asians, blacks, Latinos, and non-Hispanic whites, across socioeconomic and political groups, and among parents of children age 18 or younger. Copies of this report may be ordered online (www.ppic.org) or by phone (415-291-4400). For questions about the survey, please contact surveys@ppic.org. View our searchable PPIC Statewide Survey database online at http://www.ppic.org/main/survAdvancedSearch.asp. 1 PRESS RELEASE Para ver este comunicado de prensa en español, por favor visite nuestra página de internet: http://www.ppic.org/main/pressreleaseindex.asp PPIC STATEWIDE SURVEY: CALIFORNIANS AND HIGHER EDUCATION Californians Satisfied With Quality But Worried About Costs At State’s Colleges, Universities A DECADE AFTER AFFIRMATIVE ACTION BAN, MORE THAN HALF OF RESIDENTS SAY DIVERSITY ON CAMPUS IS VERY IMPORTANT SAN FRANCISCO, California, November 12, 2008—Californians give the state’s higher education systems high marks for quality but see college costs and a lack of government funding as top issues, according to a statewide survey released today by the Public Policy Institute of California (PPIC) with funding from The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation. At a time when the state’s economic crisis is deepening and the financial fortunes of many families have worsened, Californians see higher education as important to the futures of their own children and to the state. They are concerned that college is affordable neither for their own families nor for others. Most parents of children ages 18 and younger (71%) say that students have to borrow too much money to go to college, and most are very or somewhat worried (72%) about their own ability to afford a college education for their youngest child. A majority of Californians (59%) and residents across regional and demographic groups say that qualified students from low-income families have less opportunity than others to get a college education. And there is evidence that this is a source of concern: Although voters banned higher education affirmative action programs a decade ago, majorities of residents today say it is very important that public colleges and universities have student bodies that are racially diverse (55%) and economically diverse (57%). Yet residents have little faith in their leaders’ ability to meet the challenges ahead. Just 12 percent have a great deal of confidence in the state government’s ability to plan for the future of the state’s higher education system. “Californians’ belief in the importance of higher education is strong, and their regard for the state’s educational system is high—but their trust in state leadership is low,” says Mark Baldassare, PPIC president and CEO. CALIFORNIANS PLACE HIGH VALUE ON COLLEGE In a national survey conducted by Public Agenda and the National Center for Policy and Higher Education last year, 50 percent of Americans said a college education was necessary for success, while 49 percent said there are many ways to succeed without going to college. By comparison, 68 percent of Californians in the PPIC survey say college is necessary and just 30 percent say there are many other ways to succeed. Latinos (84%) place a particularly high value on college. They are more likely than Asians (69%), blacks (63%), or whites (57%) to view a college education as essential. And in a PPIC Statewide Survey on K–12 education in April, Latinos (61%) were far more likely than Asians (31%), blacks (30%), or whites (21%) to consider college preparation the most important goal of K–12 schools. Nearly all Californians across regional, political, and demographic groups say that higher education is very or somewhat important to the state’s future economic vitality and quality of life. Latinos (80%) and blacks (74%) are the most likely to say it is very important. 3 Californians and Higher Education COMMUNITY COLLEGES, CSU, UC GET GOOD GRADES In sharp contrast to their opinions of the K–12 system, Californians have a high regard for the state’s public colleges and universities. Only a few Californians (18%) consider the quality of higher education in the state a big problem, the same percentage as in PPIC’s first survey on higher education in October 2007. By comparison, in an April PPIC survey on public schools, more than half of the state’s residents (53%) said the quality of K–12 education was a big problem. Californians give high grades to all three branches of the higher education system: community college (51% good, 15% excellent), California State University (52% good, 10% excellent), University of California (50% good, 15% excellent). COLLEGE COSTS TOP LIST OF CONCERNS With an economic crisis affecting family finances, the availability of student loans, and state funding for public higher education, college costs are on the minds of Californians. An overwhelming majority (84%) say affordability is somewhat of a problem (32%) or a big problem (52%). Californians (35%) mention cost more than any other issue as the most important one facing higher education. Cost is the primary concern among all political, regional, and demographic groups. While this level of concern is the same as PPIC found in last year’s survey on higher education, a larger percentage today cite a lack of government funding (19% vs. 14% in 2007) as the most important issue. What is the role of government policy in making college affordable? Even though most Californians believe that students have to borrow too much money to pay for college, 72 percent say that Congress should increase the money available for loans. Most Californians favor proposals that would make higher education more affordable. Asked about specific alternatives, overwhelming majorities favor expanding work-study opportunities (88%), increasing money for scholarships (83%), and establishing a sliding scale for tuition and fees (70%). When it comes to saving for their children’s college education, 57 percent of parents say they haven’t saved as much as they should have, 30 percent say they are on track, and only 9 percent say they are ahead. Latino parents (63%) are much more likely than white parents (50%) to say they are behind in saving for their children’s college education. In addition, a significant percentage of parents say they lack information about financial aid. Half (49%) say they do not have enough information, with Latinos (61%) and parents with household incomes of less than $40,000 (63%) much more likely to say so. DIFFERENCES EMERGE ON EQUALITY OF OPPORTUNITY, DIVERSITY While a majority of Californians believe that there is a disparity in educational opportunity and that student diversity on the state’s campuses is important, there are significant differences among demographic and political groups on these issues. Majorities of blacks (59%) and Latinos (53%) say racial and ethnic minorities have less opportunity to get a college education; Asians (43%) and whites (32%) are less likely to agree. Democrats (53%) are much more likely than independents (42%) and twice as likely as Republicans (25%) to say that ethnic minorities have less access to a college education. On the issue of diversity, blacks (72%) and Latinos (67%) are much more likely than Asians (49%) and whites (47%) to say that a racially diverse student body is very important. These differences are less pronounced when it comes to the issue of economic diversity: 67 percent of Latinos, 61 percent of blacks, 51 percent of whites, and 46 percent of Asians agree that economic diversity is very important. However, Democrats (66%) and independents (59%) are far more likely than Republicans (39%) to consider economic diversity very important. 4 PPIC Statewide Survey Press Release CALIFORNIANS WORRIED ABOUT CUTS BUT BALK AT TAX HIKES With the state facing a multibillion-dollar budget gap, the governor is proposing both spending cuts and tax hikes. In a May PPIC survey, Californians were asked about the tough choices necessary to balance the budget. When it came to the area of spending they most wanted to protect from budget cuts, a strong majority of residents (61%) favored K–12 education, followed by health and human services (17%), and then higher education (12%). Today, most Californians (83%) are concerned that the budget crisis will lead to significant cuts in funding for higher education, and more than half (54%) say spending for public colleges and universities should be a high or very high priority. Yet more than half (52%) are unwilling to pay higher taxes or to increase student fees (62%) in order to avoid such cuts. However, about half (53%) favor spending more state government money to avoid increasing tuition and fees—even if it means less money for other state programs. STATE LEADERS GET POOR GRADES ON HIGHER EDUCATION Californians express low levels of trust in the way their elected officials are handling higher education. While 40 percent approve of Governor Schwarzenegger’s overall performance—the same percentage as last month—just 27 percent approve of his handling of higher education. Since October 2007, the governor’s overall approval rating has dropped by 11 points and by 7 points for his handling of higher education. The legislature has fared worse. It gets an approval rating of just 24 percent for overall job performance (down 9 points since October 2007) and 23 percent approval for its handling of higher education (down 6 points). MORE KEY FINDINGS: ƒ Californians take pop quiz on higher education—Page 11 Residents are largely unaware of how funding is divided among public colleges and universities. Just 29 percent correctly name the community college system as being most dependent on state funding, and 27 percent correctly choose the University of California as the least dependent. However, 45 percent correctly name the community colleges as the branch with the most diverse student population. ƒ Despite cost concerns, most say the price is right for community college tuition—Page 19 When told that community college tuition is $20 per unit, a majority (57%) of residents say this is the right amount, while 23 percent say it is too high and 9 percent say it is too low. ƒ A look into the future: Most see shortage of educated workers—Page 21 Two in three residents (67%) think that in 20 years the economy will need more college-educated workers than the state can produce. ABOUT THE SURVEY This is the second PPIC Statewide Survey to focus on higher education. It is part of a series of surveys on education, environment, and population issues funded by The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation. This survey seeks to inform policymakers, encourage discussion, and raise public awareness about issues affecting higher education. This is the 92nd PPIC Statewide Survey in a series that has generated a database that includes the responses of more than 196,000 Californians. Findings are based on a telephone survey of 2,503 California adult residents interviewed in English, Spanish, Chinese (Mandarin or Cantonese), Vietnamese, and Korean. They were reached by landline or cell phone throughout the state. Interviews were conducted from October 20 to November 3, 2008. The sampling error for the total sample is ± 2% and larger for subgroups. For more information on methodology, see page 25. November 2008 5 Californians and Higher Education Mark Baldassare is president and CEO of PPIC, where he holds the Arjay and Frances Fearing Miller Chair in Public Policy. He is founder of the PPIC Statewide Survey, which he has directed since 1998. PPIC is a private, nonprofit organization dedicated to informing and improving public policy in California through independent, objective, nonpartisan research on major economic, social, and political issues. The institute was established in 1994 with an endowment from William R. Hewlett. PPIC does not take or support positions on any ballot measure or on any local, state, or federal legislation, nor does it endorse, support, or oppose any political parties or candidates for public office. 6 PPIC Statewide Survey PERCEPTIONS OF HIGHER EDUCATION KEY FINDINGS „ Californians continue to say the most important issue in higher education is its cost, but growing proportions are noting a lack of government funding. While most rate overall affordability as a big problem, far fewer say the quality of education is a big problem in California’s public colleges and universities. (pages 8, 9) „ Compared to a year ago, relatively small and declining proportions of Californians approve of the way the governor and legislature are handling the state’s public colleges and universities, consistent with trends of lower approval for their job performances overall. (page 10) „ Solid majorities across all regional, demographic, and political groups continue to give excellent or good ratings to the state’s three higher education systems. (pages 11, 12) „ Californians say that a racially and economically diverse student body in public colleges and universities is very important to them. There is agreement across racial/ethnic, demographic, regional, and political groups that this is at least somewhat important. (page 13) „ Most Californians also believe that college is necessary to be successful and that many qualified people don’t have the opportunity to go to college. Latinos are much more likely than whites to express these opinions. (page 14) „ Most Californians say that college prices are going up at a faster rate compared to other prices. (page 14) Percent all adults Percent all adults Most Important Issue in Higher Education 50 40 35 35 2007 2008 30 19 20 14 10 0 Student costs, Not enough gov't affordability funding Approval Ratings of State Elected Officials on Higher Education in California Disapprove 100 Approve 80 60 39 47 47 50 40 20 34 27 0 2007 2008 Governor 29 23 2007 2008 Legislature Importance for Public Colleges and Universities to Have a Student Body That Is... Economically diverse Racially diverse 72 9 Percent all adults 3 11 8 25 57 55 23 Very important Somewhat important Not too important Not at all important Don't know 7 Californians and Higher Education MOST IMPORTANT ISSUE Californians (35%) name student costs and affordability as the most important issue currently facing the state’s public colleges and universities. A lack of government funding (19%) ranks second among their concerns. The percentage calling student costs the top issue is unchanged from our October 2007 survey on higher education, while mention of government funding has risen 5 points. Fewer than 5 percent today name administrative costs (4%), financial aid (4%), immigrants (4%), or overall quality of education (3%) as the most important issue now facing California’s public colleges and universities. Student cost is the top issue across all political, regional, and demographic groups. Across parties, Democrats (38%) are the most likely to call cost the top issue, followed by independents (36%) and Republicans (33%). Democrats (25%) are also more likely than independents (18%) and Republicans (14%) to mention lack of government funding. Residents in the Central Valley (40%) and the San Francisco Bay Area (38%) are somewhat more likely than those in Los Angeles (34%), the Inland Empire (31%), and Orange/San Diego counties (29%) to name student cost as the most important issue in higher education today. Blacks (43%) are more likely than whites (36%), Asians (35%), and Latinos (31%) to mention student cost as the top issue. This issue is also considered more important by those who attended college than by those with a high school education. Mention of government funding as the top issue increases with higher education and income. Adults who attended a California public college or university (41%) are more likely than those who did not (31%) to name student costs as the top issue in higher education today. “What do you think is the most important issue facing California’s public colleges and universities today?” Top two issues mentioned Student costs, affordability, tuition, fees Not enough government funding All Adults Likely Voters Democrat Party Republican Independent Asians Race/Ethnicity Blacks Latinos Whites 18–34 Age 35–54 55 or older Under $40,000 Income $40,000 to $79,999 $80,000 or more High school or less Education Some college College graduate Parents of Children Age 18 or Younger 35% 37 38 33 36 35 43 31 36 34 36 34 33 38 36 30 42 35 33 19% 21 25 14 18 18 20 17 21 18 20 18 17 17 23 15 17 24 21 8 PPIC Statewide Survey Perceptions of Higher Education OVERALL CONDITIONS An overwhelming proportion of Californians today (84%) say the overall affordability of public colleges and universities in the state is at least somewhat of a problem (52% big problem, 32% somewhat of a problem). This view is similar to last year’s (53% big problem, 31% somewhat of a problem). Large majorities in all political, regional, and demographic groups see overall affordability as at least somewhat of a problem, but Democrats (57%) and independents (51%) are more likely than Republicans (45%) to call it a big problem. Blacks (71%) are far more likely than Latinos (56%), whites (50%), and Asians (37%) to say affordability is a big problem. Californians with some college education (60%) or with a high school education only (55%) are much more likely than college graduates (45%) to say overall affordability is a big problem. Big problem Somewhat of a problem Not much of a problem Don't know “How about the overall affordability of education for students in California's public colleges and universities today?” All Adults Asians Race/Ethnicity Blacks Latinos Whites 52% 37% 71% 56% 50% 32 47 15 29 33 13 11 12 12 14 35233 Parents of Children Age 18 or Younger 51% 33 12 4 Similar to last year, far fewer Californians (54%) perceive the quality of higher education in the state as a big (18%) or somewhat (36%) of a problem. The percentage calling higher education quality a big problem (18%) sharply contrasts with the percentage calling K–12 quality a big problem (53%), as found in our April survey on K–12 education in California. Independents (48%) are much more likely than Democrats (38%) and Republicans (37%) to say quality is not really a problem. Again, blacks (31%) are much more likely than other racial/ethnic groups to call quality a big problem. Concerns about quality are greater among those with a high school education or some college education than among college graduates. “How about the overall quality of education in California's public colleges and universities today?” All Adults Asians Race/Ethnicity Blacks Latinos Whites Parents of Children Age 18 or Younger Big problem 18% 17% 31% 19% 15% 16% Somewhat of a problem 36 40 30 39 34 36 Not much of a problem 40 36 33 36 44 41 Don't know 676677 Most Californians believe that the higher education system is in need of major (40%) or minor (43%) changes, findings that are similar to last year’s (39% major, 45% minor). Today, 12 percent say the system is fine the way it is. Democrats (41%) are more likely than Republicans (35%) and independents (33%) to think major changes are needed. More than half of Latinos (55%) and 48 percent of blacks say that major changes are needed, compared to far fewer whites (31%) and Asians (24%). Women (44%) are more likely than men (35%) to call for major changes to the higher education system. November 2008 9 Californians and Higher Education APPROVAL RATINGS OF STATE ELECTED OFFICIALS Forty percent of all adults approve of the way that Governor Schwarzenegger is handling his job overall. While these overall approval ratings are similar to last month’s, these ratings have dropped 11 points among all adults from October 2007. When asked about the governor’s handling of the state’s public college and university system, approval ratings are lower (27%). Approval of his performance on this issue has decreased 7 points since October 2007. Among likely voters today, 45 percent approve of his job performance overall, while only 28 percent approve of his handling of higher education. More than half of Republicans (54%) approve of the governor’s job performance overall, 58 percent of Democrats disapprove, and independents are split (44% approve, 42% disapprove). Far fewer Republicans (37%), independents (30%), and Democrats (20%) approve of the way the governor is handling higher education and 22 percent or more are unsure. Blacks (74%) and Latinos (62%) are considerably more disapproving of the way the governor is handling higher education than are Asians (37%) and whites (36%). “Overall, do you approve or disapprove of the way that…” All Adults Dem Party Rep …Arnold Schwarzenegger is handling his job as governor of California? Approve Disapprove Don’t know 40% 34% 54% 50 58 37 10 8 9 …Governor Schwarzenegger is handling California's public college and university system? Approve Disapprove Don’t know 27 20 37 47 58 29 26 22 34 Likely Voters Ind 44% 45% 42 46 14 9 30 28 42 44 28 28 Approval ratings of the California Legislature are even lower than the governor’s. Just 24 percent of all adults approve of the legislature’s overall performance and only 23 percent approve of the way it is handling the state’s college and university system. Overall approval has decreased 9 points among all adults since October 2007. Approval of the legislature’s performance on higher education has dropped 6 points among all adults since then. Likely voters (69%) are more disapproving of the legislature’s job performance than residents overall (60%), but express similar views about its handling of higher education. Today, fewer than one in four across all parties approves of the legislature’s overall performance or its handling of higher education. Blacks (63%) are much more likely to disapprove of the legislature’s handling of higher education than are Latinos (52%), whites (49%), or Asians (37%). Approval decreases as age, education, and income rise. “Overall, do you approve or disapprove of the way that…” All Adults Dem Party Rep …the California Legislature is handling its job? Approve Disapprove Don’t know 24% 24% 19% 60 61 71 16 15 10 …the California Legislature is handling California’s public college and university system? Approve Disapprove Don’t know 23 23 20 50 54 51 27 23 29 Likely Voters Ind 21% 20% 60 69 19 11 23 20 46 53 31 27 10 PPIC Statewide Survey Perceptions of Higher Education KNOWLEDGE OF INSTITUTIONS Higher education makes up the third largest area of state spending, after K–12 education and health and human services. However, not all three branches of California’s higher education system rely equally on state funding. Most California residents are largely unaware of the funding differences. Just 29 percent of residents correctly name the California Community College (CCC) system over the California State University (CSU) system or the University of California (UC) system as the most dependent on state funding. A higher percentage, 42 percent, are unsure which branch relies the most on state funding. Of the three systems, the UC system depends the least on state government funding, receiving threequarters of its financial support from other sources, such as federal funding and private donations. Twenty-seven percent of residents correctly name the UC system as the least dependent on state funds, while 45 percent are unsure. The CSU system receives most of its funding from the state, but it relies more on student fees and tuition than the CCC or UC systems. Sixteen percent of residents are aware that the CSU system are the most reliant on fees—27 percent name the UC system, and 40 percent are unsure. A larger percentage of residents, 45 percent, correctly names the CCC system as having the most diverse student population. This system has not only the broadest racial/ethnic mix of students, but also the most economically diverse student population. California Community Colleges California State Universities University of California Don’t know “Do you happen to know which branch…” …depends the most on state government funding for their budget? …depends the least on state government funding for their budget? …depends the most on student fees and tuition for their budget? 29% 18% 17% 18 10 16 11 27 27 42 45 40 …has the most diverse student population? 45% 10 11 34 INSTITUTIONAL RATINGS More than six in 10 residents give positive performance marks to all three branches of California’s higher education system: CCC (15% excellent, 51% good), CSU (10% excellent, 52% good), and UC (15% excellent, 50% good). Fewer than one in four say any of the branches are doing a not-so-good or poor job. Residents were similarly positive about the state’s higher education system in October 2007. The CCC system receives excellent or good ratings from 66 percent of residents and from solid majorities across regional, racial/ethnic, income, education, and age groups. Two in three parents of children age 18 or younger (66%) say the system does an excellent or good job. Whites (71%) are the most likely to give community colleges high ratings, followed by Asians (67%), blacks (65%), and Latinos (61%). San Francisco Bay Area and Los Angeles residents (62% each) are somewhat less likely than those in the Central Valley (69%), Inland Empire (69%), Orange/San Diego (72%) counties to give them high marks. Excellent “Overall, is the _______________ doing an excellent, good, not so good, or poor job?” California Community College system California State University system University of California system 15% 10% 15% Good 51 52 50 Not so good 19 21 18 Poor 4 3 4 Don’t know 11 14 13 November 2008 11 Californians and Higher Education INSTITUTIONAL RATINGS (CONTINUED) At least two in three across parties (66% Democrats, 66% independents, 74% Republicans) give community colleges high marks. Those with at least some college education are more likely to hold this view than those with a high school education, and positive ratings increase as income levels rise. When it comes to the CSU system, 62 percent of residents, 66 percent of likely voters, and 62 percent of parents say it is doing an excellent or good job. Majorities of residents across regions and demographic groups agree with this assessment. However, whites (66%) are somewhat more likely than Asians (62%), blacks (60%), and Latinos (57%) to express this view. Inland Empire (66%), Orange/San Diego (65%), and Central Valley (63%) residents are the most likely to say the CSUs are doing an excellent or good job, followed by those in Los Angeles and the San Francisco Bay Area (59% each). Majorities of Democrats (66%), Republicans (62%), and independents (59%) hold this view. Positive ratings of the CSU system increase as income and education levels rise. The UC system also receives high marks from residents (65%), likely voters (67%), and parents (64%). Again, majorities across demographic groups say the UC system is doing an excellent or good job, but blacks (53%) are less positive than Latinos (61%), whites (68%), or Asians (69%). Los Angeles (61%) and Central Valley (62%) residents are less likely than Orange/San Diego (67%), Inland Empire (69%), and San Francisco Bay Area (69%) residents to hold this view. Democrats (68%) and independents (67%) are more likely than Republicans (60%) to say the UC system is performing at an excellent or good level. Positive assessments increase sharply as education and income levels rise. “Overall, is the ____________ doing an excellent, good, not so good, or poor job?” Percent saying excellent/good California Community College system California State University system University of California system All Adults 66% 62% 65% Likely Voters 71 66 67 Asians 67 62 69 Race/Ethnicity Blacks Latinos 65 60 53 61 57 61 Whites 71 66 68 Central Valley 69 63 62 San Francisco Bay Area 62 59 69 Region Los Angeles 62 59 61 Orange/San Diego 72 65 67 Inland Empire 69 66 69 Under $40,000 63 55 61 Income $40,000 to $79,999 66 64 63 $80,000 or more 73 70 73 High school or less 59 54 58 Education Some college 72 63 61 College graduate 71 70 74 Parents of Children Age 18 or Younger 66 62 64 12 PPIC Statewide Survey Perceptions of Higher Education ATTITUDES TOWARD PUBLIC INSTITUTIONS A majority of residents (55%) believe it is very important for public colleges and universities to have a racially diverse student body. Another one in four (23%) say is it somewhat important, while just one in five (19%) consider it not too or not at all important. This issue is very important to 53 percent of likely voters and 56 percent of parents. In 1996, California voters passed Proposition 209, which barred public colleges and universities from considering race, ethnicity, or gender in the admissions process. Today, a decade after the voters banned affirmative action programs, majorities of residents in all demographic and political groups consider a racially diverse student body to be at least somewhat important. However, not everyone places equal levels of importance on racial diversity in student bodies. Democrats (67%) and independents (56%) are far more likely than Republicans (37%) to say racial diversity is very important in public colleges and universities. Republicans (34%) are the most likely to call it not too or not at all important (18% independents, 10% Democrats). More than two in three blacks (72%) and Latinos (67%) call racial diversity very important, compared to fewer Asians (49%) and whites (47%). Diversity is considered more important by residents in Los Angeles (60%) than elsewhere (56% in the Central Valley, Inland Empire, and San Francisco Bay Area, 50% in Orange/San Diego counties). The perceived importance of a racially diverse student body declines as income and age increase. “How important do you think it is for public colleges and universities to have a racially diverse student body—that is a mix of blacks, whites, Asians, Hispanics, and other minorities?” Very important All Adults 55% Asians 49% Race/Ethnicity Blacks Latinos 72% 67% Whites 47% High school or less 59% Education Some college 51% College graduate 54% Somewhat important 23 33 18 15 28 19 27 26 Not too important 8 7 3 6 11 8 89 Not at all important 11 8 4 11 12 11 11 10 Don't know 3 3 3 12 3 31 A similar majority of residents (57%) also believe it is very important for public colleges and universities to have an economically diverse student body. Twenty-five percent say it is somewhat important, while 16 percent say it is not too or not at all important. Majorities of likely voters (54%) and parents (59%) say it is very important for schools to have an economically diverse student body. Majorities across political and demographic groups call economic diversity at least somewhat important, but Democrats (66%) and independents (59%) are far more likely than Republicans (39%) to call it very important. Latinos (67%) and blacks (61%) are more likely than whites (51%) and Asians (46%) to consider economic diversity in public colleges and universities very important. This perception declines as income and age increase. “How important do you think it is for public colleges and universities to have an economically diverse student body—that is, a mix of students from lower, middle, and upper-income backgrounds?” Very important All Adults 57% Asians 46% Race/Ethnicity Blacks Latinos 61% 67% Whites 51% High school or less 61% Education Some college 55% College graduate 54% Somewhat important 25 39 25 19 28 22 29 27 Not too important 9 7 8 5 11 7 7 10 Not at all important 7 4 4 6 8 7 77 Don't know 24232 3 2 2 November 2008 13 Californians and Higher Education SOCIETAL TRENDS IN HIGHER EDUCATION More than two in three residents (68%) and parents (73%) believe a college education is necessary to be successful in today’s work world. Far fewer (30% residents, 24% parents) believe there are many ways to succeed in the work world without a college education. Findings were similar last year. Californians place more importance on college than do adults nationwide: A survey conducted last year by Public Agenda and the National Center for Policy and Higher Education found that 50 percent nationwide said college is necessary and 49 percent said there are many other ways to succeed. In California, Latinos (84%) are far more likely than Asians (69%), blacks (63%), or whites (57%) to believe college is necessary for success in today’s work world. Similarly, our April survey on K–12 education found that Latinos (61%) were by far the most likely racial/ethnic group to consider college preparation the most important goal of California’s K–12 public schools (31% Asians, 30% blacks, 21% whites). Majorities in all political and demographic groups today believe that college is necessary to be successful, but this view declines as education and income levels rise, and is much lower among residents age 55 and older (57%) than residents age 18–34 (71%) or 35–54 (73%). “Do you think that a college education is necessary for a person to be successful in today's work world, or do you think that there are many ways to succeed in today's work world without a college education?” College is necessary All Adults 68% Asians 69% Race/Ethnicity Blacks Latinos 63% 84% Whites 57% High school or less 76% Education Some college 64% College graduate 62% Other ways to succeed 30 27 33 15 40 22 34 35 Don't know 24413 2 2 3 More than two in three residents (68%) and parents (69%) believe many qualified people do not have the opportunity to go to college, while about three in 10 in each group think the vast majority of people who are qualified to go to college have the opportunity to do so. Findings were similar last year. Majorities in all political and demographic groups believe there are many people who are qualified, but lack the opportunity to go to college. Democrats (75%) and independents (66%) are more likely than Republicans (54%) to hold this view, and Latinos (81%) and blacks (80%) are far more likely than whites and Asians (60% each) to say the same. Of those who say the affordability of higher education is a big problem in California, 80 percent believe many qualified people lack the opportunity to go to college. “Do you think that currently, the vast majority of people who are qualified to go to college have the opportunity to do so, or do you think there are many people who are qualified to go but don’t have the opportunity to do so?” Majority have the opportunity Many people don’t have the opportunity Don't know All Adults 29% 68 3 Asians 33% 60 7 Race/Ethnicity Blacks Latinos 18% 17% 80 81 22 Whites 37% 60 3 High school or less 17% Education Some college 27% 80 70 33 College graduate 41% 56 3 Not only do many residents believe the cost of college is a problem, but more than half of residents (55%) and parents (54%) think the price of college is rising faster than other prices. This view is shared by majorities across parties, regions, and demographic groups. Blacks (68%) are much more likely than whites (56%), Latinos (53%), and Asians (51%) to believe college costs are rising faster than other costs. All income groups have similar perceptions of rapidly rising costs. 14 PPIC Statewide Survey ATTITUDES AND POLICY PREFERENCES KEY FINDINGS „ An overwhelming majority of Californians believe that students have to borrow too much money to go to college; just one in four parents think that most families are doing a good job of saving for their children’s college education. Many residents believe that lower-income students have less opportunity to go to college. Majorities of blacks and Latinos also think that racial and ethnic minorities have less opportunity than others to go to college. (pages 16, 17) „ Most Californians express support for a variety of state and federal government policies to make California’s higher education system more affordable. While most are concerned that the state’s current budget gap will lead to major cuts in higher education spending, most oppose paying higher taxes to maintain current higher education funding, and six in 10 oppose raising student fees to do so. (pages 18, 19, 20) „ An overwhelming majority say that higher education is very important for California’s future. Two in three say the state economy will need a higher proportion of collegeeducated workers in 20 years, but large and growing proportions of California’s likely voters have little or no confidence in the state’s ability to plan for the future of higher education. (pages 21, 22) „ Nearly nine in 10 parents want their children at least to graduate from college, but many worry about being able to afford it. Latino parents are far more likely than white parents to worry about the cost of college and to cite a lack of adequate information about financial aid. (page 23) Percent parents Percent likely voters Parents Doing Good Job on Saving for Children's College Education Disagree Agree 100 Percent parents 80 60 68 72 40 20 29 0 2007 26 2008 Confidence in State Government to Plan for Future of Higher Education Very little/None Great deal/Some 100 80 41 60 48 40 58 20 50 0 2007 2008 Parents' Concern About Affording a College Education for Their Children 80 Very worried 64 Somewhat worried 60 40 32 29 21 20 0 Latino White 15 Californians and Higher Education STUDENT LOANS AND FAMILY SAVINGS Echoing their view that student costs and inadequate government funding are the most important issues facing the state’s public colleges and universities today, three in four Californians (73%) and parents of children age 18 or younger (71%) agree that students have to borrow too much money for a college education. This perception was also widely held in October 2007 (74% Californians, 71% parents). Strong majorities across racial/ethnic groups agree that students have to borrow too much money to pay for college, with blacks (83%) and whites (80%) most likely to hold this view. Across regions, at least two in three residents agree, with those in the Inland Empire (80%) most likely to hold this view, followed by those in the San Francisco Bay Area (77%), the Central Valley (73%), Orange/San Diego counties (74%) and Los Angeles (67%). Strong majorities of voters across parties hold this perspective, as do those across gender, age, education, and income groups. Agree Disagree Don't know “Students have to borrow too much money to pay for their college education.” All Adults Asians Race/Ethnicity Blacks Latinos Whites 73% 69% 83% 65% 80% 23 24 14 32 16 47334 Parents of Children Age 18 or Younger 71% 25 4 Are most families today putting away enough money send their children to college? Only one in four Californians (24%) and parents with children age 18 or younger (26%) think so, and more than seven in 10 disagree. Among parents, the belief that families do a good job of saving for their children’s education was similar in October 2007. Today, majorities across racial/ethnic groups also think most families are not doing a good job of saving for their children’s college education, with whites (85%) the most likely to hold this view. Across regions, at least two in three residents have this negative view; residents in the Central Valley (76%) are most negative. Men and women are similar in their perceptions. The belief that families are not doing a good job of saving increases as education and income levels increase. “Most families today do a good job of saving for their children’s college education.” All Adults Asians Race/Ethnicity Blacks Latinos Whites Parents of Children Age 18 or Younger Agree 24% 26% 21% 45% 10% 26% Disagree 72 67 75 53 85 72 Don't know 474252 Although many Californians agree that students must borrow too much money for college and that families are not doing a good job of saving, they are more divided on whether anyone who needs financial help to go to college can get loans or financial aid. About half of Californians (52%) and parents of children 18 or younger (54%) agree that help is available to those who need it, with Latinos (64%) the most likely to hold this view, followed by Asians (56%), blacks (53%) and whites (44%). Agreement declines as income increases. Among residents with a high school diploma, 62 percent agree that aid is available to those who need it. Far fewer residents with a college degree (47%) or some college (46%) agree. 16 PPIC Statewide Survey Attitudes and Policy Preferences DISPARITIES IN COLLEGE OPPORTUNITIES When it comes to opportunities to receive a college education, six in 10 Californians (59%) and parents of children age 18 or younger (60%) think that qualified students from low-income families, regardless of ethnic background, have less opportunity than others. Three in 10 say they have the same opportunity. The perception of less college opportunity for low-income students is largely unchanged from last year. Today, at least 56 percent across racial/ethnic groups think that qualified students from low-income families have less opportunity. This belief is held by majorities across regional and demographic groups. Democrats (69%) are much more likely than independents (58%) and Republicans (48%) to say that lowincome students have less opportunity. “Do you think qualified students from low-income families, regardless of their ethnic background, have less opportunity, more opportunity, or about the same opportunity as others to get a college education?” All Adults Asians Race/Ethnicity Blacks Latinos Whites Parents of Children Age 18 or Younger Less opportunity 59% 56% 58% 60% 58% 60% More opportunity 10 14 11 8 10 10 About the same opportunity 28 24 29 31 28 28 Don't know 362142 When asked about college opportunities for qualified students who are ethnic or racial minorities, fewer than half of Californians (42%) and parents of children age 18 or younger (46%) say minorities have less opportunity than others do. This perception is largely unchanged from October 2007. The perception that ethnic or racial minorities have less opportunity is held by majorities of blacks (59%) and Latinos (53%), but by fewer than half of Asians (43%) and only one in three whites (32%). Regionally, a plurality of residents in the San Francisco Bay Area (50%) and Los Angeles (46%) think that racial or ethnic minorities have less opportunity, while a plurality of residents in the Central Valley (41%) say they have equal opportunity. Residents of the Inland Empire (38% about the same, 37% less opportunity) and Orange/San Diego counties (39% about the same, 40% less opportunity) are more divided. Women are more likely to say less opportunity (43%) than the same opportunity (35%), while men are more divided (40% about the same, 41% less opportunity). Across parties, Democrats (53%) are much more likely than independents (42%) and twice as likely as Republicans (25%) to say qualified students who are ethnic and racial minorities have less opportunity than others to get a college education. This belief declines as income increases. “Do you think qualified students who are ethnic or racial minorities, such as blacks or Latinos, have less opportunity, more opportunity, or about the same opportunity as others to get a college education?” All Adults Asians Race/Ethnicity Blacks Latinos Whites Parents of Children Age 18 or Younger Less opportunity 42% 43% 59% 53% 32% 46% More opportunity 16 11 4 11 20 15 About the same 38 41 32 30 43 34 Don't know 455655 November 2008 17 Californians and Higher Education ROLE OF GOVERNMENT POLICY Although most residents think students have to borrow too much for their college education, seven in 10 Californians (72%) and likely voters (69%) believe that Congress should increase the amount of funding available for higher education loans. Three in four parents of children 18 or younger (75%) agree. Democrats (79%) and independents (73%) are much more likely than Republicans (59%) to agree. At least two in three residents across regions agree with the need for increased federal funding for loans; residents of the San Francisco Bay Area (77%) are most likely to agree and residents in the Central Valley (66%) are least likely. At least two in three across racial/ethnic, gender, income, education, and age groups agree that Congress should increase funding for loans for students. Agree Disagree Don’t know “Congress should increase the amount of funding for loans that students can borrow for their college education.” All Adults Dem Party Rep Ind 72% 79% 59% 73% 24 18 36 24 4353 Likely Voters 69% 27 4 Consistent with the belief that cost and affordability is the top issue concerning higher education, most Californians favor several proposals that could make California higher education more affordable. Overwhelming majorities of Californians favor increasing work-study opportunities (88%), increasing funding for scholarships or grants (83%), and having a sliding scale for tuition and fee costs so that students pay according to their income status (70%). At least two in three likely voters favor these proposals. Democrats and independents are more likely than Republicans to favor these proposals, but majorities across all parties favor them. Across racial/ethnic groups, Latinos and blacks are most likely to favor them. Compared to last year, Californians are similar in their support for increasing government funding for workstudy opportunities (86% 2007, 88% today) and for scholarships or grants (83% 2007, 83% today). “I am going to name several ways that the federal and state government can make California’s higher education system more affordable to students. For each of the following, please say if you favor or oppose the proposal.” All Adults Dem Party Rep Ind How about increasing government funding available for work-study opportunities for students to earn money while in college? Favor Oppose Don't know 88% 93% 79% 90% 10 5 18 9 2231 How about increasing government funding available for scholarships or grants for students? Favor Oppose Don't know 83 91 70 81 14 7 26 16 3243 How about having a sliding scale for tuition and fee costs, so that students pay according to their income status? Favor Oppose Don't know 70 76 56 70 26 21 40 26 4344 Likely Voters 86% 13 1 81 16 3 66 30 4 18 PPIC Statewide Survey Attitudes and Policy Preferences ROLE OF GOVERNMENT POLICY (CONTINUED) Californians are less supportive of spending more state government money to restrain tuition and fees at the expense of other state programs. Still, about half of Californians (53%) and likely voters (49%) favor this idea. A majority of parents of children age 18 or younger (55%) are also supportive. Last year, 57 percent of adults and 54 percent of likely voters were in favor. Democrats (57%) and independents (52%) are much more likely than Republicans (42%) to favor more state money to keep down tuition and fee costs, even if it means less money for other state programs. About half of Californians across regions hold this view. Asians (67%) and Latinos (60%) are more likely than blacks (54%) or whites (46%) to favor this idea. Support for the idea decreases as income rises. Favor Oppose Don't know “How about spending more state government money to keep down tuition and fee costs, even if it means less money for other state programs?” All Adults Dem Party Rep Ind 53% 57% 42% 52% 39 34 50 42 8 986 Likely Voters 49% 43 8 When told that the cost of tuition at community colleges in California is $20 per unit, a strong majority of residents (57%) and parents of children age 18 or younger (57%) say enrollment fees are about the right amount. About one in four say fees are too high and about one in 10 say they are too low. Whites (62%) are most likely to say that fees are about the right amount, followed by Asians (58%), Latinos (52%), and blacks (44%). Blacks (39%) and Latinos (31%) are much more likely than others to say fees are too high. Republicans (66%) are much more likely than Democrats (56%) or independents (53%) to say that tuition is about the right amount. More than half of residents across regions say enrollment fees are the right amount; this view is most widely held in Orange/San Diego counties (62%) and least widely held in the San Francisco Bay Area (52%). The perception that fees are too high decreases with rising income. “California community college enrollment fees are currently $20 per unit, which is a decrease from $26 per unit two years ago. Do you think that enrollment fees in the California Community College system are currently about the right amount, too high, or too low?” All Adults Asians Race/Ethnicity Blacks Latinos Whites Parents of Children Age 18 or Younger About the right amount 57% 58% 44% 52% 62% 57% Too high 23 20 39 31 17 24 Too low 9 11 8 8 10 10 Don't know 11 11 9 9 11 9 In a separate question, we asked Californians to estimate the enrollment fees of the community college system compared to enrollment fees in other states. Twenty-four percent say community college enrollment fees are higher here than in other states, 21 percent say they are about the same, and 19 percent give the correct answer, that they are lower than in other states—in fact, the lowest in the country. A plurality say they are not sure (36%). Across racial/ethnic groups, blacks (37%) are the most likely to say fees are comparatively higher, Asians (40%) are the most likely to say they are about the same. Whites (24%) are most likely to say tuition is lower than in other states. November 2008 19 Californians and Higher Education STATE BUDGET AND REVENUES The state’s higher education system has a current budget of about $13.5 billion, which is the third-largest spending category in the overall budget. With the state currently running a $10 billion budget deficit, 83 percent of residents are very (48%) or somewhat (35%) concerned that the deficit will cause significant spending cuts in higher education. Findings among likely voters are similar. Across parties, Democrats (57%) are most likely to say they are very concerned, followed by independents (47%), then Republicans (34%). Blacks (59%) and Latinos (56%) are somewhat more likely than Asians (46%) or whites (41%) to say they are very concerned. Half of parents with children 18 or younger are very concerned (50%). Very concerned Somewhat concerned Not too concerned Not at all concerned Don't know “How concerned are you that the state's budget gap will cause significant spending cuts in higher education?” All Adults Dem Party Rep Ind 48% 57% 34% 47% 35 32 39 35 10 8 16 12 5 2 10 5 2111 Likely Voters 46% 36 11 6 1 More than half of residents (54%) and likely voters (51%) say spending for California’s public colleges and universities should be a high or very high priority, considering the state’s current budget situation. Democrats (61%) and independents (60%) are far more likely than Republicans (36%) to say that higher education should be a high or very high priority in the current fiscal context. Across racial/ethnic groups, Latinos (63%) are most likely to say that higher education should be a top priority; whites (48%) are least likely. Half of Californians (52%) say they would be unwilling to pay higher taxes just to maintain current funding for public colleges and universities, while 44 percent say they would be willing. Likely voters are similar (45% yes, 51% no). Among residents who say they are very concerned about spending cuts, 53 percent are willing to pay higher taxes to maintain current funding levels and 43 percent are not. Residents are even less willing to increase enrollment fees just to maintain current funding levels (32% yes, 62% no). Findings among likely voters are somewhat similar (36% yes, 59% no). As education rises, willingness to pay higher taxes and increase fees rises. …pay higher taxes for this purpose, or not? …increase student fees for this purpose, or not? “What if the state said it needed more money just to maintain current funding for public colleges and universities. Would you be willing to…” All Adults Dem Party Rep Ind Yes 44% 56% 29% 45% No 52 40 67 51 Don't know 4 4 4 4 Yes 32 35 36 33 No 62 60 58 63 Don't know 6 5 6 4 Likely Voters 45% 51 4 36 59 5 20 PPIC Statewide Survey Attitudes and Policy Preferences HIGHER EDUCATION AND CALIFORNIA’S FUTURE Nearly all Californians across regional, political, and demographic groups say that higher education in California is very or somewhat important to the quality of life and economic vitality of the state over the next 20 years. Findings are similar to last year’s, when 96 percent of residents and likely voters said it was at least somewhat important. Today, more than seven in 10 say it is very important (72%). Across parties, Democrats (79%) are more likely than independents (71%) and far more likely than Republicans (56%) to say the state’s higher education system is very important for the future. Across racial/ethnic groups, Latinos (80%) and blacks (74%) are most likely to say it is very important to the state’s future. “In general, how important is California’s higher education system to the quality of life and economic vitality of the state over the next 20 years?” All Adults Asians Race/Ethnicity Blacks Latinos Whites Very important 72% 60% 74% 80% 68% Somewhat important 23 34 18 15 27 Not too important 23522 Not at all important 1–311 Don't know 23–22 Likely Voters 71% 24 2 1 2 Two in three residents (67%) and likely voters (67%) believe that if current trends continue, the state’s economy will need a higher percentage of college-educated workers in 20 years. About one in five residents and likely voters say about the same percentage will be needed and fewer than 10 percent say that a lower percentage will be needed. These findings are similar to last year’s. Majorities in all regional, political, and demographic groups recognize the need for a higher percentage of college-educated workers, with Democrats (74%) more likely than independents (66%) and Republicans (58%) to say so. Across racial/ethnic groups, Latinos (76%) are the most likely to say a higher percentage will be needed, while Asians (54%) are least likely to agree. “In thinking ahead 20 years, if current trends continue, do you think California’s economy will need a higher percentage, lower percentage, or about the same percentage of college-educated workers as today?” All Adults Asians Race/Ethnicity Blacks Latinos Whites Higher percentage 67% 54% 62% 76% 64% Lower percentage 8 14 20 6 7 About the same percentage 20 24 11 15 25 Don't know 58734 Likely Voters 67% 7 22 4 Current projections indicate there will not be enough college-educated Californians to meet the demand for them in coming years. We also asked residents if they think the state will have enough collegeeducated residents to fill the demand for jobs and skills in 20 years. Nearly half of residents (47%) and 50 percent of likely voters think the state will not have enough, while three in 10 say there will be just enough to meet demand. Pluralities across regional, political, and demographic groups foresee a shortage of college-educated workers; blacks (58%) are much more likely than Asians (48%), Latinos (47%), and whites (46%) to agree. November 2008 21 Californians and Higher Education HIGHER EDUCATION AND CALIFORNIA’S FUTURE (CONTINUED) The belief that there will not be enough college-educated residents increases with higher income and education. Among those who think the state will need a higher percentage of college-educated workers, 54 percent do not think there will be enough. In light of these perceptions about the future California economy, how do residents feel about the state government spending more public funds to increase the capacity of California’s public colleges and universities? Eighty-five percent of residents and 83 percent of likely voters say it is at least somewhat important, with more than four in 10 saying it is very important. Across racial/ethnic groups, Latinos (61%) and blacks (51%) are more likely than Asians (40%) and whites (37%) to say it is very important. Democrats (52%) are more likely than independents (45%) and Republicans (31%) to say it is very important. Strong majorities across regional, political, and demographic groups say spending more to increase capacity in public colleges and universities is at least somewhat important. “In thinking ahead 20 years, how important do you think it is for the state government to be spending more public funds to increase capacity in public colleges and universities?” All Adults Asians Race/Ethnicity Blacks Latinos Whites Likely Voters Very important 46% 40% 51% 61% 37% 42% Somewhat important 39 46 37 30 43 41 Not too important 8 7 4 4 11 9 Not at all important 417255 Don't know 361343 As for confidence in the state government’s ability to plan for the future of California’s higher education system, just 12 percent of residents say they have a great deal of confidence. Forty percent say they have only some, and 45 percent say they have very little (33%) or none (12%). Findings are similar among likely voters. The public’s confidence in the state government’s ability to plan for the future is somewhat lower today than it was a year ago. Republicans (50%) and independents (51%) express lower levels of confidence than Democrats (41%). Among racial/ethnic groups, whites (48%), Latinos (47%), and blacks (43%), are far more likely to say they have very little or no confidence in the state government’s ability, compared to 27 percent of Asians who say so. A great deal Only some Very little None Don't know “How much confidence do you have in the state government’s ability to plan for the future of California’s higher education system?” All Adults Asians Race/Ethnicity Blacks Latinos Whites 12% 10% 25% 18% 7% 40 56 30 33 42 33 24 28 38 33 12 3 15 9 15 37223 Likely Voters 9% 41 34 14 2 22 PPIC Statewide Survey Attitudes and Policy Preferences PARENTAL EXPECTATIONS AND CONCERNS California parents of children age 18 or younger express high hopes for their children’s educational futures. Nearly nine in 10 parents would like their youngest child to be a college graduate (41%) or to complete a postgraduate education (46%). Parents’ hopes for their children are largely unchanged since last year (43% college graduate, 46% graduate degree after college). At least eight in 10 parents across political and demographic groups hope their youngest child will at least graduate from college; however, white parents are far more likely than Latino parents (57% to 31%) to hope their child will obtain a graduate degree. (Sample sizes for blacks and Asians parents are too small for analysis on parent-only questions.) Hopes for a graduate degree increase as parents’ education and income rise. Although parents’ hopes for their child’s education are high, so too are their levels of concern about helping their child afford a college education. Seventy-two percent of parents are very (46%) or at least somewhat worried (26%) about being able to afford a college education for their child. Findings today are similar to last year’s. Latinos are far more likely than whites to say they are very worried (64% to 29%). The percentage of parents who are very worried declines sharply as age, education, and income rise. “How worried are you about being able to afford a college education for your youngest child?” Asked only of parents with children age 18 or younger Very worried Parents of Children Age 18 or Younger 46% Less than $40,000 71% Income $40,000 to under $80,000 49% $80,000 or more 24% Race/Ethnicity Latinos Whites 64% 29% Somewhat worried 26 21 23 33 21 32 Not too worried 15 3 15 25 8 24 Not at all worried 12 5 13 18 7 15 Don’t know 1––––– When it comes to the progress parents have made in saving for their child’s college education, 57 percent of parents say they are behind, 30 percent say they are just where they should be, and only nine percent say they are ahead. Latino parents (63%) are much more likely than white parents (50%) to say they are behind in their savings. As income rises, parents are less likely to say they are behind in their savings progress. How do parents feel about the amount of information they have regarding financial aid for their child’s college education? Half of parents (49%) say they do not have enough information, 32 percent say they have just enough, and only 15 percent say they have more than enough. Across income groups, parents with a household income of less than $40,000 (63%) are much more likely than others to say they do not have enough information about financial aid for their child’s college education. Latino parents (61%) are far more likely than white parents (38%) to say they do not have enough information. The perception of insufficient information decreases as income and educational levels increase. “Do you feel like you have more than enough, just enough, or not enough information about financial aid for your child’s college education?” Asked only of parents with children age 18 or younger More than enough Parents of Children Age 18 or Younger 15% Less than $40,000 8% Income $40,000 to under $80,000 16% $80,000 or more 19% Race/Ethnicity Latinos Whites 10% 19% Just enough 32 26 30 39 27 37 Not enough 49 63 49 37 61 38 Not at all worried 435526 November 2008 23 REGIONAL MAP 24 METHODOLOGY The PPIC Statewide Survey is directed by Mark Baldassare, president and CEO and survey director at the Public Policy Institute of California, with research support from Jennifer Paluch, project manager for this survey, and survey research associates Dean Bonner, Sonja Petek, and Nicole Fox. This survey was conducted with funding from The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation as part of a three-year grant on K–12 and higher education, environment, and population issues. We benefited from discussions with PPIC staff, foundation staff, and other policy experts; however, the methods, questions, and content of this report were solely determined by Mark Baldassare and the survey staff. The findings in this report are based on a telephone survey of 2,503 California adult residents, including 2,253 interviewed on landline telephones and 250 interviewed on cell phones. Interviewing took place on weekday nights and weekend days from October 20 to November 3, 2008. Interviews took an average of 20 minutes to complete. Landline interviews were conducted using a computer-generated random sample of telephone numbers that ensured that both listed and unlisted numbers were called. All landline telephone exchanges in California were eligible for selection and the sample telephone numbers were called as many as six times to increase the likelihood of reaching eligible households. Once a household was reached, an adult respondent (age 18 or older) was randomly chosen for interviewing using the “last birthday method” to avoid biases in age and gender. Cell phone interviews were included in this survey to account for the growing number of Californians who use them. These interviews were conducted using a computer-generated random sample of cell phone numbers. All cell phone numbers with California area codes were eligible for selection and the sample telephone numbers were called as many as eight times to increase the likelihood of reaching an eligible respondent. Once a cell phone user was reached, it was verified that this person was age 18 or older, a resident of California, and in a safe place to continue the survey (e.g., not driving). Cell phone respondents were offered a small reimbursement for their time to help defray the potential cost of the call. Cell phone interviews were conducted with adults who have cell phone service only and with those who have both a cell phone and landline service in the household. Landline and cell phone interviewing was conducted in English, Spanish, Chinese (Mandarin or Cantonese), Vietnamese, and Korean, according to respondents’ preferences. We chose these languages because Spanish is the dominant language among non-English speaking adults in California, followed in prevalence by the three Asian languages. Accent on Languages, Inc. translated the survey into Spanish, with assistance from Renatta DeFever. Abt SRBI Inc. translated the survey into Chinese, Vietnamese, and Korean, and conducted all interviewing. With assistance from Abt SRBI, we used recent U.S. Census and state figures to compare the demographic characteristics of the survey sample with characteristics of California’s adult population. The survey sample was closely comparable to the census and state figures. Abt SRBI used data from the 2006 National Health Interview Survey (NHIS) for the Pacific Census Division and from the January–July 2007 NHIS, both to estimate landline and cell phone service in California and to compare it against landline and cell phone service reported in the survey. The survey data in this report were statistically weighted to account for any differences in demographics and telephone service. The sampling error for the total of 2,503 adults is ±2 percent at the 95 percent confidence level. This means that 95 times out of 100, the results will be within 2 percentage points of what they would be if all adults in California were interviewed. The sampling error for subgroups is larger: For the 2,016 registered 25 voters, it is ±2.2 percent; for the 1,526 likely voters, it is ±2.5 percent, for the 1,026 parents of children 18 or under it is ±3 percent. Sampling error is only one type of error to which surveys are subject. Results may also be affected by factors such as question wording, question order, and survey timing. Throughout the report, we refer to five geographic regions that account for approximately 90 percent of the state population. “Central Valley” includes Butte, Colusa, El Dorado, Fresno, Glenn, Kern, Kings, Madera, Merced, Placer, Sacramento, San Joaquin, Shasta, Stanislaus, Sutter, Tehama, Tulare, Yolo, and Yuba Counties. “San Francisco Bay Area” includes Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, Napa, San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Solano, and Sonoma Counties. “Los Angeles” refers to Los Angeles County, “Inland Empire” refers to Riverside and San Bernardino Counties, and “Orange/San Diego” refers to Orange and San Diego Counties. Residents from other geographic areas are included in the results reported for all adults, registered voters, and likely voters, but sample sizes for these less populated areas are not large enough to report separately in tables and text. We present specific results for respondents in four self-identified racial/ethnic groups: Asian, black, Latino, and non-Hispanic white. We also compare the opinions of registered Democrats, Republicans, and independents (i.e., registered as “decline to state”). We also analyze the responses of likely voters— those who are the most likely to participate in the state’s elections. We compare current PPIC Statewide Survey results to those in earlier PPIC Statewide Surveys and to those conducted by Public Agenda and the California Higher Education Policy Center (“Public Agenda/CHEPC”), and by Public Agenda and the National Center for Public Policy and Higher Education (“Public Agenda/National Center”). 26 QUESTIONNAIRE AND RESULTS CALIFORNIANS AND HIGHER EDUCATION October 20–November 3, 2008 2,503 California Adult Residents: English, Spanish, Chinese, Korean, and Vietnamese MARGIN OF ERROR ±2% AT 95% CONFIDENCE LEVEL FOR TOTAL SAMPLE 1. First, do you think things in California are generally going in the right direction or the wrong direction? 23% right direction 66 wrong direction 11 don’t know 2. Turning to economic conditions in California, do you think that during the next 12 months we will have good times financially or bad times? 20% good times 71 bad times 9 don’t know 3. Next, some people are registered to vote and others are not. Are you absolutely certain that you are registered to vote in California? 81% yes [ask q3a] 19 no [skip to q4b] 3a. Are you registered as a Democrat, a Republican, another party, or as an independent? 43% Democrat [ask q4] 34 Republican [skip to q4a] 3 another party (specify) [skip to q5] 20 independent [skip to q4b] 4. Would you call yourself a strong Democrat or not a very strong Democrat? 66% strong 30 not very strong 4 don’t know [skip to q5] 4a. Would you call yourself a strong Republican or not a very strong Republican? 58% strong 38 not very strong 4 don’t know [skip to q5] 4b. Do you think of yourself as closer to the Republican Party or Democratic Party? 21% Republican Party 50 Democratic Party 19 neither (volunteered) 10 don’t know 5. Changing topics, overall, do you approve or disapprove of the way that Arnold Schwarzenegger is handling his job as governor of California? 40% approve 50 disapprove 10 don’t know 6. Overall, do you approve or disapprove of the way that Governor Schwarzenegger is handling California’s public college and university system? 27% approve 47 disapprove 26 don’t know 7. Overall, do you approve or disapprove of the way that the California Legislature is handling its job? 24% approve 60 disapprove 16 don’t know 27 Californians and Higher Education 8. Overall, do you approve or disapprove of the way that the California Legislature is handling California’s public college and university system? 23% approve 50 disapprove 27 don’t know 9. Next, what do you think is the most important issue facing California’s public colleges and universities today? [code, don’t read] 35% student costs, affordability, tuition, fees 19 not enough government funding 4 administrative costs, salaries, waste 4 financial aid 4 immigrants 3 overall quality of education 2 campus safety 2 teachers, teaching/instruction 13 other 14 don’t know Next, I’m going to read you a list of issues people have mentioned when talking about California’s higher education system today. For each one, please tell me if you think it is a big problem, somewhat of a problem, or not much of a problem. [rotate questions 10 and 11] 10.How about the overall quality of education in California’s public colleges and universities today? 18% big problem 36 somewhat of a problem 40 not much of a problem 6 don’t know 11.How about the overall affordability of education for students in California’s public colleges and universities today? 52% big problem 32 somewhat of a problem 13 not much of a problem 3 don’t know 12.Overall, do you think the higher education system in California—including public colleges and universities—is in need of major changes, minor changes, or that it is basically fine the way it is? 40% major changes 43 minor changes 12 fine the way it is 5 don’t know As you may know, California’s higher education system has three branches—the California Community College system, the California State University system, and the University of California system. [rotate questions 13 to 15] 13.Overall, is the California Community College system doing an excellent, good, not so good, or poor job? 15% excellent 51 good 19 not so good 4 poor 11 don’t know 14.Overall, is the California State University system doing an excellent, good, not so good, or poor job? 10% excellent 52 good 21 not so good 3 poor 14 don’t know 15.Overall, is the University of California system doing an excellent, good, not so good, or poor job? 15% excellent 50 good 18 not so good 4 poor 13 don’t know Next, thinking about the California Community College system, California State University system, and University of California system… [rotate questions 16 to 19] 28 PPIC Statewide Survey 16. Do you happen to know which branch depends the most on state government funding for their budget? 29% California Community Colleges 18 California State Universities 11 University of California 42 don’t know 17.Do you happen to know which branch depends the least on state government funding for their budget? 18% California Community Colleges 10 California State Universities 27 University of California 45 don’t know 18.Do you happen to know which branch depends the most on student fees and tuition for their budget? 17% California Community Colleges 16 California State Universities 27 University of California 40 don’t know 19.Do you happen to know which branch has the most diverse student population? 45% California Community Colleges 10 California State Universities 11 University of California 34 don’t know In general, do you agree or disagree with the following statements? First, [rotate questions 20 and 21] 20.Additional state funding would lead to major improvements in California’s higher education system. 68% agree 26 disagree 6 don’t know Next, 21.Better use of existing state funds would lead to major improvements in California’s higher education system. 81% agree 13 disagree 6 don’t know Questionnaire and Results 22. To significantly improve California’s higher education system, which of the following statements do you agree with the most? [rotate 1 and 2] (1) We need to use existing state funds more wisely, [or] (2) We need to increase the amount of state funding, [or] (3) We need to use existing state funds more wisely and increase the amount of state funding. 37% use funds more wisely 9 increase state funding 50 use funds more wisely and increase funding 4 don’t know [rotate questions 23 to 25] 23.Do you think that a college education is necessary for a person to be successful in today’s work world, or do you think that there are many ways to succeed in today’s work world without a college education? 68% college is necessary 30 many ways to succeed without a college education 2 don’t know 24.Next, compared to other things, are college prices going up at a faster rate, are college prices going up at a slower rate, or are they going up at the same rate? 55% faster rate 8 slower rate 24 same rate 13 don’t know 25.Do you think that currently, the vast majority of people who are qualified to go to college have the opportunity to do so, or do you think there are many people who are qualified to go but don’t have the opportunity to do so? 29% majority have the opportunity 68 many people don’t have the opportunity 3 don’t know Next, please say if you agree or disagree with the following statements. [rotate questions 26 to 29] November 2008 29 Californians and Higher Education 26. Almost anyone who needs financial help to go to college can get loans or financial aid. 52% agree 42 disagree 6 don’t know 27.Students have to borrow too much money to pay for their college education. 73% agree 23 disagree 4 don’t know 28.Most families today do a good job of saving for their children’s college education. 24% agree 72 disagree 4 don’t know 29.Congress should increase the amount of funding for loans that students can borrow for their college education. 72% agree 24 disagree 4 don’t know Next, [rotate questions 30 and 31] 30.How important do you think it is for public colleges and universities to have a racially diverse student body—that is, a mix of blacks, whites, Asians, Hispanics, and other minorities? 55% very important 23 somewhat important 8 not too important 11 not at all important 3 don’t know 31.How important do you think it is for public colleges and universities to have an economically diverse student body—that is a mix of students from lower, middle, and upper-income backgrounds? 57% very important 25 somewhat important 9 not too important 7 not at all important 2 don’t know 30 PPIC Statewide Survey Next, please tell me if you think the following groups of people have less opportunity, more opportunity, or about the same opportunity as others to get a college education. [rotate questions 32 and 33] 32.Do you think qualified students from lowincome families, regardless of their ethnic background, have [rotate] [1] less opportunity, [2] more opportunity, [or] about the same opportunity as others to get a college education? 59% less opportunity 10 more opportunity 28 about the same 3 don’t know 33.Do you think qualified students who are ethnic or racial minorities, such as blacks or Latinos, have [rotate] [1] less opportunity, [2] more opportunity, [or] about the same opportunity as others to get a college education? 42% less opportunity 16 more opportunity 38 about the same 4 don’t know I am going to read you several ways that the federal and state government can make California’s higher education system more affordable to students. For each of the following, please say if you favor or oppose the proposal. [rotate questions 34 to 37] 34.How about increasing government funding available for work-study opportunities for students to earn money while in college? 88% favor 10 oppose 2 don’t know 35.How about increasing government funding available for scholarships or grants for students? 83% favor 14 oppose 3 don’t know 36.How about spending more state government money to keep down tuition and fee costs, even if it means less money for other state programs? 53% favor 39 oppose 8 don’t know 37.How about having a sliding scale for tuition and fee costs, so that students pay according to their income status? 70% favor 26 oppose 4 don’t know Next, California community college enrollment fees are currently $20 per unit, which is a decrease from $26 per unit two years ago. [rotate questions 38 and 39] 38.Do you think that enrollment fees in the California Community College system are currently about the right amount, too high, or too low? 57% about the right amount 23 too high 9 too low 11 don’t know 39.Do you think that enrollment fees in the California Community College system are currently about the same as, higher than, or lower than enrollment fees in other states? 21% about the same 24 higher 19 lower 36 don’t know Changing topics, As you may know, the state government has an annual budget of around $100 billion dollars and currently faces a multibillion dollar gap between spending and revenues. Questionnaire and Results 40.How concerned are you that the state’s budget gap will cause significant spending cuts in higher education? 48% very concerned 35 somewhat concerned 10 not too concerned 5 not at all concerned 2 don’t know 41.Given the state’s current budget situation, on a scale of 1 to 5, with 1 being a very low priority and 5 being a very high priority, what priority should be given to spending for California’s public colleges and universities? 3% very low priority 8 low priority 33 medium priority 28 high priority 26 very high priority 2 don’t know Next, what if the state said it needed more money just to maintain current funding for public colleges and universities. [rotate questions 42 and 43] 42.Would you be willing to pay higher taxes for this purpose, or not? 44% yes 52 no 4 don’t know 43.Would you be willing to increase student fees for this purpose, or not? 32% yes 62 no 6 don’t know 44.Next, in general, how important is California’s higher education system to the quality of life and economic vitality of the state over the next 20 years? 72% very important 23 somewhat important 2 not too important 1 not at all important 2 don’t know November 2008 31 Californians and Higher Education 45.In thinking ahead 20 years, if current trends continue, do you think California’s economy will need [rotate 1 and 2] (1) a higher percentage, (2) a lower percentage, [or] about the same percentage of college educated workers as today? 67% higher percentage 8 lower percentage 20 about the same percentage 5 don’t know 46.In thinking ahead 20 years, if current trends continue, do you think California will have [rotate 1 and 2] (1) more than enough, (2) not enough, [or] just enough college educated residents needed for the jobs and skills likely to be in demand? 16% more than enough 47 not enough 30 just enough 7 don’t know 47.In thinking ahead 20 years, how important do you think it is for the state government to be spending more public funds to increase capacity in public colleges and universities? 46% very important 39 somewhat important 8 not too important 4 not at all important 3 don’t know 48.How much confidence do you have in the state government’s ability to plan for the future of California’s higher education system? 12% a great deal 40 only some 33 very little 12 none 3 don’t know 49.Generally speaking, how much interest would you say you have in politics? 33% great deal 39 fair amount 24 only a little 4 none 50.Would you consider yourself to be politically: [read list, rotate order top to bottom] 11% very liberal 20 somewhat liberal 29 middle-of-the-road 24 somewhat conservative 13 very conservative 3 don’t know [d1-d4b: demographic questions] [questions d4c to d4f asked only of parents of children age 18 or younger] d4c.What do you hope will be the highest grade level that your youngest child will achieve: some high school, high school graduate, some college, college graduate, or a graduate degree after college? 1% some high school 6 high school graduate 4 some college 41 college graduate 46 a graduate degree after college 2 don’t know 32 PPIC Statewide Survey d4d.How worried are you about being able to afford a college education for your youngest child? 46% very worried 26 somewhat worried 15 not too worried 12 not at all worried 1 don’t know d4e.How do you feel about the progress, if any, that you have made so far in saving to help pay for your child’s college education—do you feel you are ahead, behind, or just about where you should be at this point? 9% ahead 57 behind 30 just about where you should be 4 haven’t started yet/will not be saving (volunteered) Questionnaire and Results d4f.Do you feel like you have more than enough, just enough, or not enough information about financial aid for your child’s college education? 15% more than enough 32 just enough 49 not enough 4 don’t know [d5-d17: demographic questions] November 2008 33 PPIC STATEWIDE SURVEY ADVISORY COMMITTEE Ruben Barrales President and Chief Executive Officer San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce Angela Blackwell Founder and Chief Executive Officer PolicyLink Paul Brest President The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation Mollyann Brodie Vice President Kaiser Family Foundation Bruce E. Cain Executive Director Institute of Governmental Studies University of California, Washington Center James E. Canales President The James Irvine Foundation Jon Cohen Director of Polling The Washington Post Matthew K. Fong Special Counsel Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton, LLP Russell Hancock President and Chief Executive Officer Joint Venture Silicon Valley Network William Hauck President California Business Roundtable Sherry Bebitch Jeffe Senior Scholar School of Policy, Planning, and Development University of Southern California Carol S. Larson President and Chief Executive Officer The David and Lucile Packard Foundation Monica Lozano Publisher and Chief Executive Officer La Opinión Donna Lucas Chief Executive Officer Lucas Public Affairs Dan Rosenheim News Director KPIX-TV Robert K. Ross, M.D. President and Chief Executive Officer The California Endowment Cathy Taylor Vice President and Editorial Commentary Director Orange County Register Raymond L. Watson Vice Chairman of the Board Emeritus The Irvine Company Carol Whiteside President Emeritus Great Valley Center The PPIC Statewide Survey Advisory Committee is a diverse group of experts who provide advice on survey issues. However, survey methods, questions, content, and timing are determined solely by PPIC. PUBLIC POLICY INSTITUTE OF CALIFORNIA BOARD OF DIRECTORS Thomas C. Sutton, Chair Retired Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Pacific Life Insurance Company Mark Baldassare President and Chief Executive Officer Public Policy Institute of California Ruben Barrales President and Chief Executive Officer San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce Gary K. Hart Former State Senator and Secretary of Education State of California Walter B. Hewlett Director Center for Computer Assisted Research in the Humanities Donna Lucas Chief Executive Officer Lucas Public Affairs Leon E. Panetta Director The Leon & Sylvia Panetta Institute for Public Policy Ki Suh Park Design and Managing Partner Gruen Associates Constance L. Rice Co-Director The Advancement Project Raymond L. Watson Vice Chairman of the Board Emeritus The Irvine Company Carol Whiteside President Emeritus Great Valley Center Copyright © 2008 Public Policy Institute of California All rights reserved San Francisco, CA Short sections of text, not to exceed three paragraphs, may be quoted without written permission provided that full attribution is given to the source and the above copyright notice is included. PUBLIC POLICY INSTITUTE OF CALIFORNIA 500 Washington Street, Suite 600 San Francisco, California 94111 phone: 415.291.4400 fax: 415.291.4401 PPIC Sacramento Center Senator Office Building 1121 L Street, Suite 801 Sacramento, California 95814 phone: 916.440.1120 fax: 916.440.1121 www.ppic.org survey@ppic.org" } ["___content":protected]=> string(104) "

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" ["_permalink":protected]=> string(113) "https://www.ppic.org/publication/ppic-statewide-survey-californians-and-higher-education-november-2008/s_1108mbs/" ["_next":protected]=> array(0) { } ["_prev":protected]=> array(0) { } ["_css_class":protected]=> NULL ["id"]=> int(8678) ["ID"]=> int(8678) ["post_author"]=> string(1) "1" ["post_content"]=> string(0) "" ["post_date"]=> string(19) "2017-05-20 02:39:47" ["post_excerpt"]=> string(0) "" ["post_parent"]=> int(3954) ["post_status"]=> string(7) "inherit" ["post_title"]=> string(9) "S 1108MBS" ["post_type"]=> string(10) "attachment" ["slug"]=> string(9) "s_1108mbs" ["__type":protected]=> NULL ["_wp_attached_file"]=> string(13) "S_1108MBS.pdf" ["wpmf_size"]=> string(7) "1507824" ["wpmf_filetype"]=> string(3) "pdf" ["wpmf_order"]=> string(1) "0" ["searchwp_content"]=> string(90562) "November 2008 &Californians higher education The Public Policy Institute of California is dedicated to informing and improving public policy in California through independent, objective, nonpartisan research on major economic, social, and political issues. The institute’s goal is to raise public awareness and to give elected representatives and other decisionmakers a more informed basis for developing policies and programs. The institute’s research focuses on the underlying forces shaping California’s future, cutting across a wide range of public policy concerns, including economic development, education, environment and resources, governance, population, public finance, and social and health policy. PPIC is a private, nonprofit organization. It does not take or support positions on any ballot measures or on any local, state, or federal legislation, nor does it endorse, support, or oppose any political parties or candidates for public office. PPIC was established in 1994 with an endowment from William R. Hewlett. Mark Baldassare is President and Chief Executive Officer of PPIC. Thomas C. Sutton is Chair of the Board of Directors. PUBLIC POLICY INSTITUTE OF CALIFORNIA 500 Washington Street, Suite 600 San Francisco, California 94111 phone: 415.291.4400 fax: 415.291.4401 PPIC Sacramento Center Senator Office Building 1121 L Street, Suite 801 Sacramento, California 95814 phone: 916.440.1120 fax: 916.440.1121 www.ppic.org survey@ppic.org TABLE OF CONTENTS About the Survey Press Release Perceptions of Higher Education Attitudes and Policy Preferences Regional Map Methodology Questionnaire and Results 1 3 7 15 24 25 27 ABOUT THE SURVEY The PPIC Statewide Survey provides policymakers, the media, and the general public with objective, advocacy-free information on the perceptions, opinions, and public policy preferences of California residents. Inaugurated in April 1998, this is the 92nd PPIC Statewide Survey in a series that has generated a database that includes the responses of more than 196,000 Californians. This survey is part of a PPIC Statewide Survey series on K–12 and higher education, environment, and population issues, funded by The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation. This is the second PPIC Statewide Survey focusing on higher education. The series seeks to inform state policymakers, encourage discussion, and raise public awareness about issues affecting higher education, which makes up the third-largest spending area of the state budget—about $13.6 billion in total state funds. Higher education is guided by a master plan adopted in 1960 that calls for making a college education available to every qualified California high school graduate. Currently, about 3.3 million students use publicly funded higher education, according to statistics from the California Community College (CCC), California State University (CSU), and University of California (UC) systems. Higher education faces immediate challenges—including the rising costs of a college education, the national economic downturn, and state government budget constraints. It also faces long-term challenges, such as projections for increased need for college-educated workers in coming years, and rapid population growth. This report presents the responses of 2,503 California adult residents, including 1,526 likely voters and 1,026 parents of children 18 or under, on these specific topics: „ Perceptions of California’s higher education system, including the most important issues facing it; concerns about the affordability and quality of higher education; whether changes are needed to improve higher education; approval ratings of the governor and legislature on their handling of higher education; perceptions of the adequacy and efficiency of higher education funding; performance ratings of the UC, CSU, and CCC systems, and general awareness of their major funding sources; and perceptions across different economic and racial/ethnic groups about opportunities for getting a college education. „ Attitudes and policy preferences, including support for increasing state and federal funding to make California’s higher education system more affordable; the importance of economic and racial/ethnic diversity; preferences for ways to increase state funding; importance of higher education to the state’s quality of life and economic well-being over the next 20 years, including the perceived need for college-educated workers; importance of investment in higher education and confidence in the state’s ability to plan for its future; and parents’ hopes and concerns for their children achieving a college education. „ Variations in perceptions, attitudes, and preferences regarding public colleges and universities across five major regions of the state (Central Valley, San Francisco Bay Area, Los Angeles County, Inland Empire, and Orange/San Diego counties), among Asians, blacks, Latinos, and non-Hispanic whites, across socioeconomic and political groups, and among parents of children age 18 or younger. Copies of this report may be ordered online (www.ppic.org) or by phone (415-291-4400). For questions about the survey, please contact surveys@ppic.org. View our searchable PPIC Statewide Survey database online at http://www.ppic.org/main/survAdvancedSearch.asp. 1 PRESS RELEASE Para ver este comunicado de prensa en español, por favor visite nuestra página de internet: http://www.ppic.org/main/pressreleaseindex.asp PPIC STATEWIDE SURVEY: CALIFORNIANS AND HIGHER EDUCATION Californians Satisfied With Quality But Worried About Costs At State’s Colleges, Universities A DECADE AFTER AFFIRMATIVE ACTION BAN, MORE THAN HALF OF RESIDENTS SAY DIVERSITY ON CAMPUS IS VERY IMPORTANT SAN FRANCISCO, California, November 12, 2008—Californians give the state’s higher education systems high marks for quality but see college costs and a lack of government funding as top issues, according to a statewide survey released today by the Public Policy Institute of California (PPIC) with funding from The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation. At a time when the state’s economic crisis is deepening and the financial fortunes of many families have worsened, Californians see higher education as important to the futures of their own children and to the state. They are concerned that college is affordable neither for their own families nor for others. Most parents of children ages 18 and younger (71%) say that students have to borrow too much money to go to college, and most are very or somewhat worried (72%) about their own ability to afford a college education for their youngest child. A majority of Californians (59%) and residents across regional and demographic groups say that qualified students from low-income families have less opportunity than others to get a college education. And there is evidence that this is a source of concern: Although voters banned higher education affirmative action programs a decade ago, majorities of residents today say it is very important that public colleges and universities have student bodies that are racially diverse (55%) and economically diverse (57%). Yet residents have little faith in their leaders’ ability to meet the challenges ahead. Just 12 percent have a great deal of confidence in the state government’s ability to plan for the future of the state’s higher education system. “Californians’ belief in the importance of higher education is strong, and their regard for the state’s educational system is high—but their trust in state leadership is low,” says Mark Baldassare, PPIC president and CEO. CALIFORNIANS PLACE HIGH VALUE ON COLLEGE In a national survey conducted by Public Agenda and the National Center for Policy and Higher Education last year, 50 percent of Americans said a college education was necessary for success, while 49 percent said there are many ways to succeed without going to college. By comparison, 68 percent of Californians in the PPIC survey say college is necessary and just 30 percent say there are many other ways to succeed. Latinos (84%) place a particularly high value on college. They are more likely than Asians (69%), blacks (63%), or whites (57%) to view a college education as essential. And in a PPIC Statewide Survey on K–12 education in April, Latinos (61%) were far more likely than Asians (31%), blacks (30%), or whites (21%) to consider college preparation the most important goal of K–12 schools. Nearly all Californians across regional, political, and demographic groups say that higher education is very or somewhat important to the state’s future economic vitality and quality of life. Latinos (80%) and blacks (74%) are the most likely to say it is very important. 3 Californians and Higher Education COMMUNITY COLLEGES, CSU, UC GET GOOD GRADES In sharp contrast to their opinions of the K–12 system, Californians have a high regard for the state’s public colleges and universities. Only a few Californians (18%) consider the quality of higher education in the state a big problem, the same percentage as in PPIC’s first survey on higher education in October 2007. By comparison, in an April PPIC survey on public schools, more than half of the state’s residents (53%) said the quality of K–12 education was a big problem. Californians give high grades to all three branches of the higher education system: community college (51% good, 15% excellent), California State University (52% good, 10% excellent), University of California (50% good, 15% excellent). COLLEGE COSTS TOP LIST OF CONCERNS With an economic crisis affecting family finances, the availability of student loans, and state funding for public higher education, college costs are on the minds of Californians. An overwhelming majority (84%) say affordability is somewhat of a problem (32%) or a big problem (52%). Californians (35%) mention cost more than any other issue as the most important one facing higher education. Cost is the primary concern among all political, regional, and demographic groups. While this level of concern is the same as PPIC found in last year’s survey on higher education, a larger percentage today cite a lack of government funding (19% vs. 14% in 2007) as the most important issue. What is the role of government policy in making college affordable? Even though most Californians believe that students have to borrow too much money to pay for college, 72 percent say that Congress should increase the money available for loans. Most Californians favor proposals that would make higher education more affordable. Asked about specific alternatives, overwhelming majorities favor expanding work-study opportunities (88%), increasing money for scholarships (83%), and establishing a sliding scale for tuition and fees (70%). When it comes to saving for their children’s college education, 57 percent of parents say they haven’t saved as much as they should have, 30 percent say they are on track, and only 9 percent say they are ahead. Latino parents (63%) are much more likely than white parents (50%) to say they are behind in saving for their children’s college education. In addition, a significant percentage of parents say they lack information about financial aid. Half (49%) say they do not have enough information, with Latinos (61%) and parents with household incomes of less than $40,000 (63%) much more likely to say so. DIFFERENCES EMERGE ON EQUALITY OF OPPORTUNITY, DIVERSITY While a majority of Californians believe that there is a disparity in educational opportunity and that student diversity on the state’s campuses is important, there are significant differences among demographic and political groups on these issues. Majorities of blacks (59%) and Latinos (53%) say racial and ethnic minorities have less opportunity to get a college education; Asians (43%) and whites (32%) are less likely to agree. Democrats (53%) are much more likely than independents (42%) and twice as likely as Republicans (25%) to say that ethnic minorities have less access to a college education. On the issue of diversity, blacks (72%) and Latinos (67%) are much more likely than Asians (49%) and whites (47%) to say that a racially diverse student body is very important. These differences are less pronounced when it comes to the issue of economic diversity: 67 percent of Latinos, 61 percent of blacks, 51 percent of whites, and 46 percent of Asians agree that economic diversity is very important. However, Democrats (66%) and independents (59%) are far more likely than Republicans (39%) to consider economic diversity very important. 4 PPIC Statewide Survey Press Release CALIFORNIANS WORRIED ABOUT CUTS BUT BALK AT TAX HIKES With the state facing a multibillion-dollar budget gap, the governor is proposing both spending cuts and tax hikes. In a May PPIC survey, Californians were asked about the tough choices necessary to balance the budget. When it came to the area of spending they most wanted to protect from budget cuts, a strong majority of residents (61%) favored K–12 education, followed by health and human services (17%), and then higher education (12%). Today, most Californians (83%) are concerned that the budget crisis will lead to significant cuts in funding for higher education, and more than half (54%) say spending for public colleges and universities should be a high or very high priority. Yet more than half (52%) are unwilling to pay higher taxes or to increase student fees (62%) in order to avoid such cuts. However, about half (53%) favor spending more state government money to avoid increasing tuition and fees—even if it means less money for other state programs. STATE LEADERS GET POOR GRADES ON HIGHER EDUCATION Californians express low levels of trust in the way their elected officials are handling higher education. While 40 percent approve of Governor Schwarzenegger’s overall performance—the same percentage as last month—just 27 percent approve of his handling of higher education. Since October 2007, the governor’s overall approval rating has dropped by 11 points and by 7 points for his handling of higher education. The legislature has fared worse. It gets an approval rating of just 24 percent for overall job performance (down 9 points since October 2007) and 23 percent approval for its handling of higher education (down 6 points). MORE KEY FINDINGS: ƒ Californians take pop quiz on higher education—Page 11 Residents are largely unaware of how funding is divided among public colleges and universities. Just 29 percent correctly name the community college system as being most dependent on state funding, and 27 percent correctly choose the University of California as the least dependent. However, 45 percent correctly name the community colleges as the branch with the most diverse student population. ƒ Despite cost concerns, most say the price is right for community college tuition—Page 19 When told that community college tuition is $20 per unit, a majority (57%) of residents say this is the right amount, while 23 percent say it is too high and 9 percent say it is too low. ƒ A look into the future: Most see shortage of educated workers—Page 21 Two in three residents (67%) think that in 20 years the economy will need more college-educated workers than the state can produce. ABOUT THE SURVEY This is the second PPIC Statewide Survey to focus on higher education. It is part of a series of surveys on education, environment, and population issues funded by The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation. This survey seeks to inform policymakers, encourage discussion, and raise public awareness about issues affecting higher education. This is the 92nd PPIC Statewide Survey in a series that has generated a database that includes the responses of more than 196,000 Californians. Findings are based on a telephone survey of 2,503 California adult residents interviewed in English, Spanish, Chinese (Mandarin or Cantonese), Vietnamese, and Korean. They were reached by landline or cell phone throughout the state. Interviews were conducted from October 20 to November 3, 2008. The sampling error for the total sample is ± 2% and larger for subgroups. For more information on methodology, see page 25. November 2008 5 Californians and Higher Education Mark Baldassare is president and CEO of PPIC, where he holds the Arjay and Frances Fearing Miller Chair in Public Policy. He is founder of the PPIC Statewide Survey, which he has directed since 1998. PPIC is a private, nonprofit organization dedicated to informing and improving public policy in California through independent, objective, nonpartisan research on major economic, social, and political issues. The institute was established in 1994 with an endowment from William R. Hewlett. PPIC does not take or support positions on any ballot measure or on any local, state, or federal legislation, nor does it endorse, support, or oppose any political parties or candidates for public office. 6 PPIC Statewide Survey PERCEPTIONS OF HIGHER EDUCATION KEY FINDINGS „ Californians continue to say the most important issue in higher education is its cost, but growing proportions are noting a lack of government funding. While most rate overall affordability as a big problem, far fewer say the quality of education is a big problem in California’s public colleges and universities. (pages 8, 9) „ Compared to a year ago, relatively small and declining proportions of Californians approve of the way the governor and legislature are handling the state’s public colleges and universities, consistent with trends of lower approval for their job performances overall. (page 10) „ Solid majorities across all regional, demographic, and political groups continue to give excellent or good ratings to the state’s three higher education systems. (pages 11, 12) „ Californians say that a racially and economically diverse student body in public colleges and universities is very important to them. There is agreement across racial/ethnic, demographic, regional, and political groups that this is at least somewhat important. (page 13) „ Most Californians also believe that college is necessary to be successful and that many qualified people don’t have the opportunity to go to college. Latinos are much more likely than whites to express these opinions. (page 14) „ Most Californians say that college prices are going up at a faster rate compared to other prices. (page 14) Percent all adults Percent all adults Most Important Issue in Higher Education 50 40 35 35 2007 2008 30 19 20 14 10 0 Student costs, Not enough gov't affordability funding Approval Ratings of State Elected Officials on Higher Education in California Disapprove 100 Approve 80 60 39 47 47 50 40 20 34 27 0 2007 2008 Governor 29 23 2007 2008 Legislature Importance for Public Colleges and Universities to Have a Student Body That Is... Economically diverse Racially diverse 72 9 Percent all adults 3 11 8 25 57 55 23 Very important Somewhat important Not too important Not at all important Don't know 7 Californians and Higher Education MOST IMPORTANT ISSUE Californians (35%) name student costs and affordability as the most important issue currently facing the state’s public colleges and universities. A lack of government funding (19%) ranks second among their concerns. The percentage calling student costs the top issue is unchanged from our October 2007 survey on higher education, while mention of government funding has risen 5 points. Fewer than 5 percent today name administrative costs (4%), financial aid (4%), immigrants (4%), or overall quality of education (3%) as the most important issue now facing California’s public colleges and universities. Student cost is the top issue across all political, regional, and demographic groups. Across parties, Democrats (38%) are the most likely to call cost the top issue, followed by independents (36%) and Republicans (33%). Democrats (25%) are also more likely than independents (18%) and Republicans (14%) to mention lack of government funding. Residents in the Central Valley (40%) and the San Francisco Bay Area (38%) are somewhat more likely than those in Los Angeles (34%), the Inland Empire (31%), and Orange/San Diego counties (29%) to name student cost as the most important issue in higher education today. Blacks (43%) are more likely than whites (36%), Asians (35%), and Latinos (31%) to mention student cost as the top issue. This issue is also considered more important by those who attended college than by those with a high school education. Mention of government funding as the top issue increases with higher education and income. Adults who attended a California public college or university (41%) are more likely than those who did not (31%) to name student costs as the top issue in higher education today. “What do you think is the most important issue facing California’s public colleges and universities today?” Top two issues mentioned Student costs, affordability, tuition, fees Not enough government funding All Adults Likely Voters Democrat Party Republican Independent Asians Race/Ethnicity Blacks Latinos Whites 18–34 Age 35–54 55 or older Under $40,000 Income $40,000 to $79,999 $80,000 or more High school or less Education Some college College graduate Parents of Children Age 18 or Younger 35% 37 38 33 36 35 43 31 36 34 36 34 33 38 36 30 42 35 33 19% 21 25 14 18 18 20 17 21 18 20 18 17 17 23 15 17 24 21 8 PPIC Statewide Survey Perceptions of Higher Education OVERALL CONDITIONS An overwhelming proportion of Californians today (84%) say the overall affordability of public colleges and universities in the state is at least somewhat of a problem (52% big problem, 32% somewhat of a problem). This view is similar to last year’s (53% big problem, 31% somewhat of a problem). Large majorities in all political, regional, and demographic groups see overall affordability as at least somewhat of a problem, but Democrats (57%) and independents (51%) are more likely than Republicans (45%) to call it a big problem. Blacks (71%) are far more likely than Latinos (56%), whites (50%), and Asians (37%) to say affordability is a big problem. Californians with some college education (60%) or with a high school education only (55%) are much more likely than college graduates (45%) to say overall affordability is a big problem. Big problem Somewhat of a problem Not much of a problem Don't know “How about the overall affordability of education for students in California's public colleges and universities today?” All Adults Asians Race/Ethnicity Blacks Latinos Whites 52% 37% 71% 56% 50% 32 47 15 29 33 13 11 12 12 14 35233 Parents of Children Age 18 or Younger 51% 33 12 4 Similar to last year, far fewer Californians (54%) perceive the quality of higher education in the state as a big (18%) or somewhat (36%) of a problem. The percentage calling higher education quality a big problem (18%) sharply contrasts with the percentage calling K–12 quality a big problem (53%), as found in our April survey on K–12 education in California. Independents (48%) are much more likely than Democrats (38%) and Republicans (37%) to say quality is not really a problem. Again, blacks (31%) are much more likely than other racial/ethnic groups to call quality a big problem. Concerns about quality are greater among those with a high school education or some college education than among college graduates. “How about the overall quality of education in California's public colleges and universities today?” All Adults Asians Race/Ethnicity Blacks Latinos Whites Parents of Children Age 18 or Younger Big problem 18% 17% 31% 19% 15% 16% Somewhat of a problem 36 40 30 39 34 36 Not much of a problem 40 36 33 36 44 41 Don't know 676677 Most Californians believe that the higher education system is in need of major (40%) or minor (43%) changes, findings that are similar to last year’s (39% major, 45% minor). Today, 12 percent say the system is fine the way it is. Democrats (41%) are more likely than Republicans (35%) and independents (33%) to think major changes are needed. More than half of Latinos (55%) and 48 percent of blacks say that major changes are needed, compared to far fewer whites (31%) and Asians (24%). Women (44%) are more likely than men (35%) to call for major changes to the higher education system. November 2008 9 Californians and Higher Education APPROVAL RATINGS OF STATE ELECTED OFFICIALS Forty percent of all adults approve of the way that Governor Schwarzenegger is handling his job overall. While these overall approval ratings are similar to last month’s, these ratings have dropped 11 points among all adults from October 2007. When asked about the governor’s handling of the state’s public college and university system, approval ratings are lower (27%). Approval of his performance on this issue has decreased 7 points since October 2007. Among likely voters today, 45 percent approve of his job performance overall, while only 28 percent approve of his handling of higher education. More than half of Republicans (54%) approve of the governor’s job performance overall, 58 percent of Democrats disapprove, and independents are split (44% approve, 42% disapprove). Far fewer Republicans (37%), independents (30%), and Democrats (20%) approve of the way the governor is handling higher education and 22 percent or more are unsure. Blacks (74%) and Latinos (62%) are considerably more disapproving of the way the governor is handling higher education than are Asians (37%) and whites (36%). “Overall, do you approve or disapprove of the way that…” All Adults Dem Party Rep …Arnold Schwarzenegger is handling his job as governor of California? Approve Disapprove Don’t know 40% 34% 54% 50 58 37 10 8 9 …Governor Schwarzenegger is handling California's public college and university system? Approve Disapprove Don’t know 27 20 37 47 58 29 26 22 34 Likely Voters Ind 44% 45% 42 46 14 9 30 28 42 44 28 28 Approval ratings of the California Legislature are even lower than the governor’s. Just 24 percent of all adults approve of the legislature’s overall performance and only 23 percent approve of the way it is handling the state’s college and university system. Overall approval has decreased 9 points among all adults since October 2007. Approval of the legislature’s performance on higher education has dropped 6 points among all adults since then. Likely voters (69%) are more disapproving of the legislature’s job performance than residents overall (60%), but express similar views about its handling of higher education. Today, fewer than one in four across all parties approves of the legislature’s overall performance or its handling of higher education. Blacks (63%) are much more likely to disapprove of the legislature’s handling of higher education than are Latinos (52%), whites (49%), or Asians (37%). Approval decreases as age, education, and income rise. “Overall, do you approve or disapprove of the way that…” All Adults Dem Party Rep …the California Legislature is handling its job? Approve Disapprove Don’t know 24% 24% 19% 60 61 71 16 15 10 …the California Legislature is handling California’s public college and university system? Approve Disapprove Don’t know 23 23 20 50 54 51 27 23 29 Likely Voters Ind 21% 20% 60 69 19 11 23 20 46 53 31 27 10 PPIC Statewide Survey Perceptions of Higher Education KNOWLEDGE OF INSTITUTIONS Higher education makes up the third largest area of state spending, after K–12 education and health and human services. However, not all three branches of California’s higher education system rely equally on state funding. Most California residents are largely unaware of the funding differences. Just 29 percent of residents correctly name the California Community College (CCC) system over the California State University (CSU) system or the University of California (UC) system as the most dependent on state funding. A higher percentage, 42 percent, are unsure which branch relies the most on state funding. Of the three systems, the UC system depends the least on state government funding, receiving threequarters of its financial support from other sources, such as federal funding and private donations. Twenty-seven percent of residents correctly name the UC system as the least dependent on state funds, while 45 percent are unsure. The CSU system receives most of its funding from the state, but it relies more on student fees and tuition than the CCC or UC systems. Sixteen percent of residents are aware that the CSU system are the most reliant on fees—27 percent name the UC system, and 40 percent are unsure. A larger percentage of residents, 45 percent, correctly names the CCC system as having the most diverse student population. This system has not only the broadest racial/ethnic mix of students, but also the most economically diverse student population. California Community Colleges California State Universities University of California Don’t know “Do you happen to know which branch…” …depends the most on state government funding for their budget? …depends the least on state government funding for their budget? …depends the most on student fees and tuition for their budget? 29% 18% 17% 18 10 16 11 27 27 42 45 40 …has the most diverse student population? 45% 10 11 34 INSTITUTIONAL RATINGS More than six in 10 residents give positive performance marks to all three branches of California’s higher education system: CCC (15% excellent, 51% good), CSU (10% excellent, 52% good), and UC (15% excellent, 50% good). Fewer than one in four say any of the branches are doing a not-so-good or poor job. Residents were similarly positive about the state’s higher education system in October 2007. The CCC system receives excellent or good ratings from 66 percent of residents and from solid majorities across regional, racial/ethnic, income, education, and age groups. Two in three parents of children age 18 or younger (66%) say the system does an excellent or good job. Whites (71%) are the most likely to give community colleges high ratings, followed by Asians (67%), blacks (65%), and Latinos (61%). San Francisco Bay Area and Los Angeles residents (62% each) are somewhat less likely than those in the Central Valley (69%), Inland Empire (69%), Orange/San Diego (72%) counties to give them high marks. Excellent “Overall, is the _______________ doing an excellent, good, not so good, or poor job?” California Community College system California State University system University of California system 15% 10% 15% Good 51 52 50 Not so good 19 21 18 Poor 4 3 4 Don’t know 11 14 13 November 2008 11 Californians and Higher Education INSTITUTIONAL RATINGS (CONTINUED) At least two in three across parties (66% Democrats, 66% independents, 74% Republicans) give community colleges high marks. Those with at least some college education are more likely to hold this view than those with a high school education, and positive ratings increase as income levels rise. When it comes to the CSU system, 62 percent of residents, 66 percent of likely voters, and 62 percent of parents say it is doing an excellent or good job. Majorities of residents across regions and demographic groups agree with this assessment. However, whites (66%) are somewhat more likely than Asians (62%), blacks (60%), and Latinos (57%) to express this view. Inland Empire (66%), Orange/San Diego (65%), and Central Valley (63%) residents are the most likely to say the CSUs are doing an excellent or good job, followed by those in Los Angeles and the San Francisco Bay Area (59% each). Majorities of Democrats (66%), Republicans (62%), and independents (59%) hold this view. Positive ratings of the CSU system increase as income and education levels rise. The UC system also receives high marks from residents (65%), likely voters (67%), and parents (64%). Again, majorities across demographic groups say the UC system is doing an excellent or good job, but blacks (53%) are less positive than Latinos (61%), whites (68%), or Asians (69%). Los Angeles (61%) and Central Valley (62%) residents are less likely than Orange/San Diego (67%), Inland Empire (69%), and San Francisco Bay Area (69%) residents to hold this view. Democrats (68%) and independents (67%) are more likely than Republicans (60%) to say the UC system is performing at an excellent or good level. Positive assessments increase sharply as education and income levels rise. “Overall, is the ____________ doing an excellent, good, not so good, or poor job?” Percent saying excellent/good California Community College system California State University system University of California system All Adults 66% 62% 65% Likely Voters 71 66 67 Asians 67 62 69 Race/Ethnicity Blacks Latinos 65 60 53 61 57 61 Whites 71 66 68 Central Valley 69 63 62 San Francisco Bay Area 62 59 69 Region Los Angeles 62 59 61 Orange/San Diego 72 65 67 Inland Empire 69 66 69 Under $40,000 63 55 61 Income $40,000 to $79,999 66 64 63 $80,000 or more 73 70 73 High school or less 59 54 58 Education Some college 72 63 61 College graduate 71 70 74 Parents of Children Age 18 or Younger 66 62 64 12 PPIC Statewide Survey Perceptions of Higher Education ATTITUDES TOWARD PUBLIC INSTITUTIONS A majority of residents (55%) believe it is very important for public colleges and universities to have a racially diverse student body. Another one in four (23%) say is it somewhat important, while just one in five (19%) consider it not too or not at all important. This issue is very important to 53 percent of likely voters and 56 percent of parents. In 1996, California voters passed Proposition 209, which barred public colleges and universities from considering race, ethnicity, or gender in the admissions process. Today, a decade after the voters banned affirmative action programs, majorities of residents in all demographic and political groups consider a racially diverse student body to be at least somewhat important. However, not everyone places equal levels of importance on racial diversity in student bodies. Democrats (67%) and independents (56%) are far more likely than Republicans (37%) to say racial diversity is very important in public colleges and universities. Republicans (34%) are the most likely to call it not too or not at all important (18% independents, 10% Democrats). More than two in three blacks (72%) and Latinos (67%) call racial diversity very important, compared to fewer Asians (49%) and whites (47%). Diversity is considered more important by residents in Los Angeles (60%) than elsewhere (56% in the Central Valley, Inland Empire, and San Francisco Bay Area, 50% in Orange/San Diego counties). The perceived importance of a racially diverse student body declines as income and age increase. “How important do you think it is for public colleges and universities to have a racially diverse student body—that is a mix of blacks, whites, Asians, Hispanics, and other minorities?” Very important All Adults 55% Asians 49% Race/Ethnicity Blacks Latinos 72% 67% Whites 47% High school or less 59% Education Some college 51% College graduate 54% Somewhat important 23 33 18 15 28 19 27 26 Not too important 8 7 3 6 11 8 89 Not at all important 11 8 4 11 12 11 11 10 Don't know 3 3 3 12 3 31 A similar majority of residents (57%) also believe it is very important for public colleges and universities to have an economically diverse student body. Twenty-five percent say it is somewhat important, while 16 percent say it is not too or not at all important. Majorities of likely voters (54%) and parents (59%) say it is very important for schools to have an economically diverse student body. Majorities across political and demographic groups call economic diversity at least somewhat important, but Democrats (66%) and independents (59%) are far more likely than Republicans (39%) to call it very important. Latinos (67%) and blacks (61%) are more likely than whites (51%) and Asians (46%) to consider economic diversity in public colleges and universities very important. This perception declines as income and age increase. “How important do you think it is for public colleges and universities to have an economically diverse student body—that is, a mix of students from lower, middle, and upper-income backgrounds?” Very important All Adults 57% Asians 46% Race/Ethnicity Blacks Latinos 61% 67% Whites 51% High school or less 61% Education Some college 55% College graduate 54% Somewhat important 25 39 25 19 28 22 29 27 Not too important 9 7 8 5 11 7 7 10 Not at all important 7 4 4 6 8 7 77 Don't know 24232 3 2 2 November 2008 13 Californians and Higher Education SOCIETAL TRENDS IN HIGHER EDUCATION More than two in three residents (68%) and parents (73%) believe a college education is necessary to be successful in today’s work world. Far fewer (30% residents, 24% parents) believe there are many ways to succeed in the work world without a college education. Findings were similar last year. Californians place more importance on college than do adults nationwide: A survey conducted last year by Public Agenda and the National Center for Policy and Higher Education found that 50 percent nationwide said college is necessary and 49 percent said there are many other ways to succeed. In California, Latinos (84%) are far more likely than Asians (69%), blacks (63%), or whites (57%) to believe college is necessary for success in today’s work world. Similarly, our April survey on K–12 education found that Latinos (61%) were by far the most likely racial/ethnic group to consider college preparation the most important goal of California’s K–12 public schools (31% Asians, 30% blacks, 21% whites). Majorities in all political and demographic groups today believe that college is necessary to be successful, but this view declines as education and income levels rise, and is much lower among residents age 55 and older (57%) than residents age 18–34 (71%) or 35–54 (73%). “Do you think that a college education is necessary for a person to be successful in today's work world, or do you think that there are many ways to succeed in today's work world without a college education?” College is necessary All Adults 68% Asians 69% Race/Ethnicity Blacks Latinos 63% 84% Whites 57% High school or less 76% Education Some college 64% College graduate 62% Other ways to succeed 30 27 33 15 40 22 34 35 Don't know 24413 2 2 3 More than two in three residents (68%) and parents (69%) believe many qualified people do not have the opportunity to go to college, while about three in 10 in each group think the vast majority of people who are qualified to go to college have the opportunity to do so. Findings were similar last year. Majorities in all political and demographic groups believe there are many people who are qualified, but lack the opportunity to go to college. Democrats (75%) and independents (66%) are more likely than Republicans (54%) to hold this view, and Latinos (81%) and blacks (80%) are far more likely than whites and Asians (60% each) to say the same. Of those who say the affordability of higher education is a big problem in California, 80 percent believe many qualified people lack the opportunity to go to college. “Do you think that currently, the vast majority of people who are qualified to go to college have the opportunity to do so, or do you think there are many people who are qualified to go but don’t have the opportunity to do so?” Majority have the opportunity Many people don’t have the opportunity Don't know All Adults 29% 68 3 Asians 33% 60 7 Race/Ethnicity Blacks Latinos 18% 17% 80 81 22 Whites 37% 60 3 High school or less 17% Education Some college 27% 80 70 33 College graduate 41% 56 3 Not only do many residents believe the cost of college is a problem, but more than half of residents (55%) and parents (54%) think the price of college is rising faster than other prices. This view is shared by majorities across parties, regions, and demographic groups. Blacks (68%) are much more likely than whites (56%), Latinos (53%), and Asians (51%) to believe college costs are rising faster than other costs. All income groups have similar perceptions of rapidly rising costs. 14 PPIC Statewide Survey ATTITUDES AND POLICY PREFERENCES KEY FINDINGS „ An overwhelming majority of Californians believe that students have to borrow too much money to go to college; just one in four parents think that most families are doing a good job of saving for their children’s college education. Many residents believe that lower-income students have less opportunity to go to college. Majorities of blacks and Latinos also think that racial and ethnic minorities have less opportunity than others to go to college. (pages 16, 17) „ Most Californians express support for a variety of state and federal government policies to make California’s higher education system more affordable. While most are concerned that the state’s current budget gap will lead to major cuts in higher education spending, most oppose paying higher taxes to maintain current higher education funding, and six in 10 oppose raising student fees to do so. (pages 18, 19, 20) „ An overwhelming majority say that higher education is very important for California’s future. Two in three say the state economy will need a higher proportion of collegeeducated workers in 20 years, but large and growing proportions of California’s likely voters have little or no confidence in the state’s ability to plan for the future of higher education. (pages 21, 22) „ Nearly nine in 10 parents want their children at least to graduate from college, but many worry about being able to afford it. Latino parents are far more likely than white parents to worry about the cost of college and to cite a lack of adequate information about financial aid. (page 23) Percent parents Percent likely voters Parents Doing Good Job on Saving for Children's College Education Disagree Agree 100 Percent parents 80 60 68 72 40 20 29 0 2007 26 2008 Confidence in State Government to Plan for Future of Higher Education Very little/None Great deal/Some 100 80 41 60 48 40 58 20 50 0 2007 2008 Parents' Concern About Affording a College Education for Their Children 80 Very worried 64 Somewhat worried 60 40 32 29 21 20 0 Latino White 15 Californians and Higher Education STUDENT LOANS AND FAMILY SAVINGS Echoing their view that student costs and inadequate government funding are the most important issues facing the state’s public colleges and universities today, three in four Californians (73%) and parents of children age 18 or younger (71%) agree that students have to borrow too much money for a college education. This perception was also widely held in October 2007 (74% Californians, 71% parents). Strong majorities across racial/ethnic groups agree that students have to borrow too much money to pay for college, with blacks (83%) and whites (80%) most likely to hold this view. Across regions, at least two in three residents agree, with those in the Inland Empire (80%) most likely to hold this view, followed by those in the San Francisco Bay Area (77%), the Central Valley (73%), Orange/San Diego counties (74%) and Los Angeles (67%). Strong majorities of voters across parties hold this perspective, as do those across gender, age, education, and income groups. Agree Disagree Don't know “Students have to borrow too much money to pay for their college education.” All Adults Asians Race/Ethnicity Blacks Latinos Whites 73% 69% 83% 65% 80% 23 24 14 32 16 47334 Parents of Children Age 18 or Younger 71% 25 4 Are most families today putting away enough money send their children to college? Only one in four Californians (24%) and parents with children age 18 or younger (26%) think so, and more than seven in 10 disagree. Among parents, the belief that families do a good job of saving for their children’s education was similar in October 2007. Today, majorities across racial/ethnic groups also think most families are not doing a good job of saving for their children’s college education, with whites (85%) the most likely to hold this view. Across regions, at least two in three residents have this negative view; residents in the Central Valley (76%) are most negative. Men and women are similar in their perceptions. The belief that families are not doing a good job of saving increases as education and income levels increase. “Most families today do a good job of saving for their children’s college education.” All Adults Asians Race/Ethnicity Blacks Latinos Whites Parents of Children Age 18 or Younger Agree 24% 26% 21% 45% 10% 26% Disagree 72 67 75 53 85 72 Don't know 474252 Although many Californians agree that students must borrow too much money for college and that families are not doing a good job of saving, they are more divided on whether anyone who needs financial help to go to college can get loans or financial aid. About half of Californians (52%) and parents of children 18 or younger (54%) agree that help is available to those who need it, with Latinos (64%) the most likely to hold this view, followed by Asians (56%), blacks (53%) and whites (44%). Agreement declines as income increases. Among residents with a high school diploma, 62 percent agree that aid is available to those who need it. Far fewer residents with a college degree (47%) or some college (46%) agree. 16 PPIC Statewide Survey Attitudes and Policy Preferences DISPARITIES IN COLLEGE OPPORTUNITIES When it comes to opportunities to receive a college education, six in 10 Californians (59%) and parents of children age 18 or younger (60%) think that qualified students from low-income families, regardless of ethnic background, have less opportunity than others. Three in 10 say they have the same opportunity. The perception of less college opportunity for low-income students is largely unchanged from last year. Today, at least 56 percent across racial/ethnic groups think that qualified students from low-income families have less opportunity. This belief is held by majorities across regional and demographic groups. Democrats (69%) are much more likely than independents (58%) and Republicans (48%) to say that lowincome students have less opportunity. “Do you think qualified students from low-income families, regardless of their ethnic background, have less opportunity, more opportunity, or about the same opportunity as others to get a college education?” All Adults Asians Race/Ethnicity Blacks Latinos Whites Parents of Children Age 18 or Younger Less opportunity 59% 56% 58% 60% 58% 60% More opportunity 10 14 11 8 10 10 About the same opportunity 28 24 29 31 28 28 Don't know 362142 When asked about college opportunities for qualified students who are ethnic or racial minorities, fewer than half of Californians (42%) and parents of children age 18 or younger (46%) say minorities have less opportunity than others do. This perception is largely unchanged from October 2007. The perception that ethnic or racial minorities have less opportunity is held by majorities of blacks (59%) and Latinos (53%), but by fewer than half of Asians (43%) and only one in three whites (32%). Regionally, a plurality of residents in the San Francisco Bay Area (50%) and Los Angeles (46%) think that racial or ethnic minorities have less opportunity, while a plurality of residents in the Central Valley (41%) say they have equal opportunity. Residents of the Inland Empire (38% about the same, 37% less opportunity) and Orange/San Diego counties (39% about the same, 40% less opportunity) are more divided. Women are more likely to say less opportunity (43%) than the same opportunity (35%), while men are more divided (40% about the same, 41% less opportunity). Across parties, Democrats (53%) are much more likely than independents (42%) and twice as likely as Republicans (25%) to say qualified students who are ethnic and racial minorities have less opportunity than others to get a college education. This belief declines as income increases. “Do you think qualified students who are ethnic or racial minorities, such as blacks or Latinos, have less opportunity, more opportunity, or about the same opportunity as others to get a college education?” All Adults Asians Race/Ethnicity Blacks Latinos Whites Parents of Children Age 18 or Younger Less opportunity 42% 43% 59% 53% 32% 46% More opportunity 16 11 4 11 20 15 About the same 38 41 32 30 43 34 Don't know 455655 November 2008 17 Californians and Higher Education ROLE OF GOVERNMENT POLICY Although most residents think students have to borrow too much for their college education, seven in 10 Californians (72%) and likely voters (69%) believe that Congress should increase the amount of funding available for higher education loans. Three in four parents of children 18 or younger (75%) agree. Democrats (79%) and independents (73%) are much more likely than Republicans (59%) to agree. At least two in three residents across regions agree with the need for increased federal funding for loans; residents of the San Francisco Bay Area (77%) are most likely to agree and residents in the Central Valley (66%) are least likely. At least two in three across racial/ethnic, gender, income, education, and age groups agree that Congress should increase funding for loans for students. Agree Disagree Don’t know “Congress should increase the amount of funding for loans that students can borrow for their college education.” All Adults Dem Party Rep Ind 72% 79% 59% 73% 24 18 36 24 4353 Likely Voters 69% 27 4 Consistent with the belief that cost and affordability is the top issue concerning higher education, most Californians favor several proposals that could make California higher education more affordable. Overwhelming majorities of Californians favor increasing work-study opportunities (88%), increasing funding for scholarships or grants (83%), and having a sliding scale for tuition and fee costs so that students pay according to their income status (70%). At least two in three likely voters favor these proposals. Democrats and independents are more likely than Republicans to favor these proposals, but majorities across all parties favor them. Across racial/ethnic groups, Latinos and blacks are most likely to favor them. Compared to last year, Californians are similar in their support for increasing government funding for workstudy opportunities (86% 2007, 88% today) and for scholarships or grants (83% 2007, 83% today). “I am going to name several ways that the federal and state government can make California’s higher education system more affordable to students. For each of the following, please say if you favor or oppose the proposal.” All Adults Dem Party Rep Ind How about increasing government funding available for work-study opportunities for students to earn money while in college? Favor Oppose Don't know 88% 93% 79% 90% 10 5 18 9 2231 How about increasing government funding available for scholarships or grants for students? Favor Oppose Don't know 83 91 70 81 14 7 26 16 3243 How about having a sliding scale for tuition and fee costs, so that students pay according to their income status? Favor Oppose Don't know 70 76 56 70 26 21 40 26 4344 Likely Voters 86% 13 1 81 16 3 66 30 4 18 PPIC Statewide Survey Attitudes and Policy Preferences ROLE OF GOVERNMENT POLICY (CONTINUED) Californians are less supportive of spending more state government money to restrain tuition and fees at the expense of other state programs. Still, about half of Californians (53%) and likely voters (49%) favor this idea. A majority of parents of children age 18 or younger (55%) are also supportive. Last year, 57 percent of adults and 54 percent of likely voters were in favor. Democrats (57%) and independents (52%) are much more likely than Republicans (42%) to favor more state money to keep down tuition and fee costs, even if it means less money for other state programs. About half of Californians across regions hold this view. Asians (67%) and Latinos (60%) are more likely than blacks (54%) or whites (46%) to favor this idea. Support for the idea decreases as income rises. Favor Oppose Don't know “How about spending more state government money to keep down tuition and fee costs, even if it means less money for other state programs?” All Adults Dem Party Rep Ind 53% 57% 42% 52% 39 34 50 42 8 986 Likely Voters 49% 43 8 When told that the cost of tuition at community colleges in California is $20 per unit, a strong majority of residents (57%) and parents of children age 18 or younger (57%) say enrollment fees are about the right amount. About one in four say fees are too high and about one in 10 say they are too low. Whites (62%) are most likely to say that fees are about the right amount, followed by Asians (58%), Latinos (52%), and blacks (44%). Blacks (39%) and Latinos (31%) are much more likely than others to say fees are too high. Republicans (66%) are much more likely than Democrats (56%) or independents (53%) to say that tuition is about the right amount. More than half of residents across regions say enrollment fees are the right amount; this view is most widely held in Orange/San Diego counties (62%) and least widely held in the San Francisco Bay Area (52%). The perception that fees are too high decreases with rising income. “California community college enrollment fees are currently $20 per unit, which is a decrease from $26 per unit two years ago. Do you think that enrollment fees in the California Community College system are currently about the right amount, too high, or too low?” All Adults Asians Race/Ethnicity Blacks Latinos Whites Parents of Children Age 18 or Younger About the right amount 57% 58% 44% 52% 62% 57% Too high 23 20 39 31 17 24 Too low 9 11 8 8 10 10 Don't know 11 11 9 9 11 9 In a separate question, we asked Californians to estimate the enrollment fees of the community college system compared to enrollment fees in other states. Twenty-four percent say community college enrollment fees are higher here than in other states, 21 percent say they are about the same, and 19 percent give the correct answer, that they are lower than in other states—in fact, the lowest in the country. A plurality say they are not sure (36%). Across racial/ethnic groups, blacks (37%) are the most likely to say fees are comparatively higher, Asians (40%) are the most likely to say they are about the same. Whites (24%) are most likely to say tuition is lower than in other states. November 2008 19 Californians and Higher Education STATE BUDGET AND REVENUES The state’s higher education system has a current budget of about $13.5 billion, which is the third-largest spending category in the overall budget. With the state currently running a $10 billion budget deficit, 83 percent of residents are very (48%) or somewhat (35%) concerned that the deficit will cause significant spending cuts in higher education. Findings among likely voters are similar. Across parties, Democrats (57%) are most likely to say they are very concerned, followed by independents (47%), then Republicans (34%). Blacks (59%) and Latinos (56%) are somewhat more likely than Asians (46%) or whites (41%) to say they are very concerned. Half of parents with children 18 or younger are very concerned (50%). Very concerned Somewhat concerned Not too concerned Not at all concerned Don't know “How concerned are you that the state's budget gap will cause significant spending cuts in higher education?” All Adults Dem Party Rep Ind 48% 57% 34% 47% 35 32 39 35 10 8 16 12 5 2 10 5 2111 Likely Voters 46% 36 11 6 1 More than half of residents (54%) and likely voters (51%) say spending for California’s public colleges and universities should be a high or very high priority, considering the state’s current budget situation. Democrats (61%) and independents (60%) are far more likely than Republicans (36%) to say that higher education should be a high or very high priority in the current fiscal context. Across racial/ethnic groups, Latinos (63%) are most likely to say that higher education should be a top priority; whites (48%) are least likely. Half of Californians (52%) say they would be unwilling to pay higher taxes just to maintain current funding for public colleges and universities, while 44 percent say they would be willing. Likely voters are similar (45% yes, 51% no). Among residents who say they are very concerned about spending cuts, 53 percent are willing to pay higher taxes to maintain current funding levels and 43 percent are not. Residents are even less willing to increase enrollment fees just to maintain current funding levels (32% yes, 62% no). Findings among likely voters are somewhat similar (36% yes, 59% no). As education rises, willingness to pay higher taxes and increase fees rises. …pay higher taxes for this purpose, or not? …increase student fees for this purpose, or not? “What if the state said it needed more money just to maintain current funding for public colleges and universities. Would you be willing to…” All Adults Dem Party Rep Ind Yes 44% 56% 29% 45% No 52 40 67 51 Don't know 4 4 4 4 Yes 32 35 36 33 No 62 60 58 63 Don't know 6 5 6 4 Likely Voters 45% 51 4 36 59 5 20 PPIC Statewide Survey Attitudes and Policy Preferences HIGHER EDUCATION AND CALIFORNIA’S FUTURE Nearly all Californians across regional, political, and demographic groups say that higher education in California is very or somewhat important to the quality of life and economic vitality of the state over the next 20 years. Findings are similar to last year’s, when 96 percent of residents and likely voters said it was at least somewhat important. Today, more than seven in 10 say it is very important (72%). Across parties, Democrats (79%) are more likely than independents (71%) and far more likely than Republicans (56%) to say the state’s higher education system is very important for the future. Across racial/ethnic groups, Latinos (80%) and blacks (74%) are most likely to say it is very important to the state’s future. “In general, how important is California’s higher education system to the quality of life and economic vitality of the state over the next 20 years?” All Adults Asians Race/Ethnicity Blacks Latinos Whites Very important 72% 60% 74% 80% 68% Somewhat important 23 34 18 15 27 Not too important 23522 Not at all important 1–311 Don't know 23–22 Likely Voters 71% 24 2 1 2 Two in three residents (67%) and likely voters (67%) believe that if current trends continue, the state’s economy will need a higher percentage of college-educated workers in 20 years. About one in five residents and likely voters say about the same percentage will be needed and fewer than 10 percent say that a lower percentage will be needed. These findings are similar to last year’s. Majorities in all regional, political, and demographic groups recognize the need for a higher percentage of college-educated workers, with Democrats (74%) more likely than independents (66%) and Republicans (58%) to say so. Across racial/ethnic groups, Latinos (76%) are the most likely to say a higher percentage will be needed, while Asians (54%) are least likely to agree. “In thinking ahead 20 years, if current trends continue, do you think California’s economy will need a higher percentage, lower percentage, or about the same percentage of college-educated workers as today?” All Adults Asians Race/Ethnicity Blacks Latinos Whites Higher percentage 67% 54% 62% 76% 64% Lower percentage 8 14 20 6 7 About the same percentage 20 24 11 15 25 Don't know 58734 Likely Voters 67% 7 22 4 Current projections indicate there will not be enough college-educated Californians to meet the demand for them in coming years. We also asked residents if they think the state will have enough collegeeducated residents to fill the demand for jobs and skills in 20 years. Nearly half of residents (47%) and 50 percent of likely voters think the state will not have enough, while three in 10 say there will be just enough to meet demand. Pluralities across regional, political, and demographic groups foresee a shortage of college-educated workers; blacks (58%) are much more likely than Asians (48%), Latinos (47%), and whites (46%) to agree. November 2008 21 Californians and Higher Education HIGHER EDUCATION AND CALIFORNIA’S FUTURE (CONTINUED) The belief that there will not be enough college-educated residents increases with higher income and education. Among those who think the state will need a higher percentage of college-educated workers, 54 percent do not think there will be enough. In light of these perceptions about the future California economy, how do residents feel about the state government spending more public funds to increase the capacity of California’s public colleges and universities? Eighty-five percent of residents and 83 percent of likely voters say it is at least somewhat important, with more than four in 10 saying it is very important. Across racial/ethnic groups, Latinos (61%) and blacks (51%) are more likely than Asians (40%) and whites (37%) to say it is very important. Democrats (52%) are more likely than independents (45%) and Republicans (31%) to say it is very important. Strong majorities across regional, political, and demographic groups say spending more to increase capacity in public colleges and universities is at least somewhat important. “In thinking ahead 20 years, how important do you think it is for the state government to be spending more public funds to increase capacity in public colleges and universities?” All Adults Asians Race/Ethnicity Blacks Latinos Whites Likely Voters Very important 46% 40% 51% 61% 37% 42% Somewhat important 39 46 37 30 43 41 Not too important 8 7 4 4 11 9 Not at all important 417255 Don't know 361343 As for confidence in the state government’s ability to plan for the future of California’s higher education system, just 12 percent of residents say they have a great deal of confidence. Forty percent say they have only some, and 45 percent say they have very little (33%) or none (12%). Findings are similar among likely voters. The public’s confidence in the state government’s ability to plan for the future is somewhat lower today than it was a year ago. Republicans (50%) and independents (51%) express lower levels of confidence than Democrats (41%). Among racial/ethnic groups, whites (48%), Latinos (47%), and blacks (43%), are far more likely to say they have very little or no confidence in the state government’s ability, compared to 27 percent of Asians who say so. A great deal Only some Very little None Don't know “How much confidence do you have in the state government’s ability to plan for the future of California’s higher education system?” All Adults Asians Race/Ethnicity Blacks Latinos Whites 12% 10% 25% 18% 7% 40 56 30 33 42 33 24 28 38 33 12 3 15 9 15 37223 Likely Voters 9% 41 34 14 2 22 PPIC Statewide Survey Attitudes and Policy Preferences PARENTAL EXPECTATIONS AND CONCERNS California parents of children age 18 or younger express high hopes for their children’s educational futures. Nearly nine in 10 parents would like their youngest child to be a college graduate (41%) or to complete a postgraduate education (46%). Parents’ hopes for their children are largely unchanged since last year (43% college graduate, 46% graduate degree after college). At least eight in 10 parents across political and demographic groups hope their youngest child will at least graduate from college; however, white parents are far more likely than Latino parents (57% to 31%) to hope their child will obtain a graduate degree. (Sample sizes for blacks and Asians parents are too small for analysis on parent-only questions.) Hopes for a graduate degree increase as parents’ education and income rise. Although parents’ hopes for their child’s education are high, so too are their levels of concern about helping their child afford a college education. Seventy-two percent of parents are very (46%) or at least somewhat worried (26%) about being able to afford a college education for their child. Findings today are similar to last year’s. Latinos are far more likely than whites to say they are very worried (64% to 29%). The percentage of parents who are very worried declines sharply as age, education, and income rise. “How worried are you about being able to afford a college education for your youngest child?” Asked only of parents with children age 18 or younger Very worried Parents of Children Age 18 or Younger 46% Less than $40,000 71% Income $40,000 to under $80,000 49% $80,000 or more 24% Race/Ethnicity Latinos Whites 64% 29% Somewhat worried 26 21 23 33 21 32 Not too worried 15 3 15 25 8 24 Not at all worried 12 5 13 18 7 15 Don’t know 1––––– When it comes to the progress parents have made in saving for their child’s college education, 57 percent of parents say they are behind, 30 percent say they are just where they should be, and only nine percent say they are ahead. Latino parents (63%) are much more likely than white parents (50%) to say they are behind in their savings. As income rises, parents are less likely to say they are behind in their savings progress. How do parents feel about the amount of information they have regarding financial aid for their child’s college education? Half of parents (49%) say they do not have enough information, 32 percent say they have just enough, and only 15 percent say they have more than enough. Across income groups, parents with a household income of less than $40,000 (63%) are much more likely than others to say they do not have enough information about financial aid for their child’s college education. Latino parents (61%) are far more likely than white parents (38%) to say they do not have enough information. The perception of insufficient information decreases as income and educational levels increase. “Do you feel like you have more than enough, just enough, or not enough information about financial aid for your child’s college education?” Asked only of parents with children age 18 or younger More than enough Parents of Children Age 18 or Younger 15% Less than $40,000 8% Income $40,000 to under $80,000 16% $80,000 or more 19% Race/Ethnicity Latinos Whites 10% 19% Just enough 32 26 30 39 27 37 Not enough 49 63 49 37 61 38 Not at all worried 435526 November 2008 23 REGIONAL MAP 24 METHODOLOGY The PPIC Statewide Survey is directed by Mark Baldassare, president and CEO and survey director at the Public Policy Institute of California, with research support from Jennifer Paluch, project manager for this survey, and survey research associates Dean Bonner, Sonja Petek, and Nicole Fox. This survey was conducted with funding from The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation as part of a three-year grant on K–12 and higher education, environment, and population issues. We benefited from discussions with PPIC staff, foundation staff, and other policy experts; however, the methods, questions, and content of this report were solely determined by Mark Baldassare and the survey staff. The findings in this report are based on a telephone survey of 2,503 California adult residents, including 2,253 interviewed on landline telephones and 250 interviewed on cell phones. Interviewing took place on weekday nights and weekend days from October 20 to November 3, 2008. Interviews took an average of 20 minutes to complete. Landline interviews were conducted using a computer-generated random sample of telephone numbers that ensured that both listed and unlisted numbers were called. All landline telephone exchanges in California were eligible for selection and the sample telephone numbers were called as many as six times to increase the likelihood of reaching eligible households. Once a household was reached, an adult respondent (age 18 or older) was randomly chosen for interviewing using the “last birthday method” to avoid biases in age and gender. Cell phone interviews were included in this survey to account for the growing number of Californians who use them. These interviews were conducted using a computer-generated random sample of cell phone numbers. All cell phone numbers with California area codes were eligible for selection and the sample telephone numbers were called as many as eight times to increase the likelihood of reaching an eligible respondent. Once a cell phone user was reached, it was verified that this person was age 18 or older, a resident of California, and in a safe place to continue the survey (e.g., not driving). Cell phone respondents were offered a small reimbursement for their time to help defray the potential cost of the call. Cell phone interviews were conducted with adults who have cell phone service only and with those who have both a cell phone and landline service in the household. Landline and cell phone interviewing was conducted in English, Spanish, Chinese (Mandarin or Cantonese), Vietnamese, and Korean, according to respondents’ preferences. We chose these languages because Spanish is the dominant language among non-English speaking adults in California, followed in prevalence by the three Asian languages. Accent on Languages, Inc. translated the survey into Spanish, with assistance from Renatta DeFever. Abt SRBI Inc. translated the survey into Chinese, Vietnamese, and Korean, and conducted all interviewing. With assistance from Abt SRBI, we used recent U.S. Census and state figures to compare the demographic characteristics of the survey sample with characteristics of California’s adult population. The survey sample was closely comparable to the census and state figures. Abt SRBI used data from the 2006 National Health Interview Survey (NHIS) for the Pacific Census Division and from the January–July 2007 NHIS, both to estimate landline and cell phone service in California and to compare it against landline and cell phone service reported in the survey. The survey data in this report were statistically weighted to account for any differences in demographics and telephone service. The sampling error for the total of 2,503 adults is ±2 percent at the 95 percent confidence level. This means that 95 times out of 100, the results will be within 2 percentage points of what they would be if all adults in California were interviewed. The sampling error for subgroups is larger: For the 2,016 registered 25 voters, it is ±2.2 percent; for the 1,526 likely voters, it is ±2.5 percent, for the 1,026 parents of children 18 or under it is ±3 percent. Sampling error is only one type of error to which surveys are subject. Results may also be affected by factors such as question wording, question order, and survey timing. Throughout the report, we refer to five geographic regions that account for approximately 90 percent of the state population. “Central Valley” includes Butte, Colusa, El Dorado, Fresno, Glenn, Kern, Kings, Madera, Merced, Placer, Sacramento, San Joaquin, Shasta, Stanislaus, Sutter, Tehama, Tulare, Yolo, and Yuba Counties. “San Francisco Bay Area” includes Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, Napa, San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Solano, and Sonoma Counties. “Los Angeles” refers to Los Angeles County, “Inland Empire” refers to Riverside and San Bernardino Counties, and “Orange/San Diego” refers to Orange and San Diego Counties. Residents from other geographic areas are included in the results reported for all adults, registered voters, and likely voters, but sample sizes for these less populated areas are not large enough to report separately in tables and text. We present specific results for respondents in four self-identified racial/ethnic groups: Asian, black, Latino, and non-Hispanic white. We also compare the opinions of registered Democrats, Republicans, and independents (i.e., registered as “decline to state”). We also analyze the responses of likely voters— those who are the most likely to participate in the state’s elections. We compare current PPIC Statewide Survey results to those in earlier PPIC Statewide Surveys and to those conducted by Public Agenda and the California Higher Education Policy Center (“Public Agenda/CHEPC”), and by Public Agenda and the National Center for Public Policy and Higher Education (“Public Agenda/National Center”). 26 QUESTIONNAIRE AND RESULTS CALIFORNIANS AND HIGHER EDUCATION October 20–November 3, 2008 2,503 California Adult Residents: English, Spanish, Chinese, Korean, and Vietnamese MARGIN OF ERROR ±2% AT 95% CONFIDENCE LEVEL FOR TOTAL SAMPLE 1. First, do you think things in California are generally going in the right direction or the wrong direction? 23% right direction 66 wrong direction 11 don’t know 2. Turning to economic conditions in California, do you think that during the next 12 months we will have good times financially or bad times? 20% good times 71 bad times 9 don’t know 3. Next, some people are registered to vote and others are not. Are you absolutely certain that you are registered to vote in California? 81% yes [ask q3a] 19 no [skip to q4b] 3a. Are you registered as a Democrat, a Republican, another party, or as an independent? 43% Democrat [ask q4] 34 Republican [skip to q4a] 3 another party (specify) [skip to q5] 20 independent [skip to q4b] 4. Would you call yourself a strong Democrat or not a very strong Democrat? 66% strong 30 not very strong 4 don’t know [skip to q5] 4a. Would you call yourself a strong Republican or not a very strong Republican? 58% strong 38 not very strong 4 don’t know [skip to q5] 4b. Do you think of yourself as closer to the Republican Party or Democratic Party? 21% Republican Party 50 Democratic Party 19 neither (volunteered) 10 don’t know 5. Changing topics, overall, do you approve or disapprove of the way that Arnold Schwarzenegger is handling his job as governor of California? 40% approve 50 disapprove 10 don’t know 6. Overall, do you approve or disapprove of the way that Governor Schwarzenegger is handling California’s public college and university system? 27% approve 47 disapprove 26 don’t know 7. Overall, do you approve or disapprove of the way that the California Legislature is handling its job? 24% approve 60 disapprove 16 don’t know 27 Californians and Higher Education 8. Overall, do you approve or disapprove of the way that the California Legislature is handling California’s public college and university system? 23% approve 50 disapprove 27 don’t know 9. Next, what do you think is the most important issue facing California’s public colleges and universities today? [code, don’t read] 35% student costs, affordability, tuition, fees 19 not enough government funding 4 administrative costs, salaries, waste 4 financial aid 4 immigrants 3 overall quality of education 2 campus safety 2 teachers, teaching/instruction 13 other 14 don’t know Next, I’m going to read you a list of issues people have mentioned when talking about California’s higher education system today. For each one, please tell me if you think it is a big problem, somewhat of a problem, or not much of a problem. [rotate questions 10 and 11] 10.How about the overall quality of education in California’s public colleges and universities today? 18% big problem 36 somewhat of a problem 40 not much of a problem 6 don’t know 11.How about the overall affordability of education for students in California’s public colleges and universities today? 52% big problem 32 somewhat of a problem 13 not much of a problem 3 don’t know 12.Overall, do you think the higher education system in California—including public colleges and universities—is in need of major changes, minor changes, or that it is basically fine the way it is? 40% major changes 43 minor changes 12 fine the way it is 5 don’t know As you may know, California’s higher education system has three branches—the California Community College system, the California State University system, and the University of California system. [rotate questions 13 to 15] 13.Overall, is the California Community College system doing an excellent, good, not so good, or poor job? 15% excellent 51 good 19 not so good 4 poor 11 don’t know 14.Overall, is the California State University system doing an excellent, good, not so good, or poor job? 10% excellent 52 good 21 not so good 3 poor 14 don’t know 15.Overall, is the University of California system doing an excellent, good, not so good, or poor job? 15% excellent 50 good 18 not so good 4 poor 13 don’t know Next, thinking about the California Community College system, California State University system, and University of California system… [rotate questions 16 to 19] 28 PPIC Statewide Survey 16. Do you happen to know which branch depends the most on state government funding for their budget? 29% California Community Colleges 18 California State Universities 11 University of California 42 don’t know 17.Do you happen to know which branch depends the least on state government funding for their budget? 18% California Community Colleges 10 California State Universities 27 University of California 45 don’t know 18.Do you happen to know which branch depends the most on student fees and tuition for their budget? 17% California Community Colleges 16 California State Universities 27 University of California 40 don’t know 19.Do you happen to know which branch has the most diverse student population? 45% California Community Colleges 10 California State Universities 11 University of California 34 don’t know In general, do you agree or disagree with the following statements? First, [rotate questions 20 and 21] 20.Additional state funding would lead to major improvements in California’s higher education system. 68% agree 26 disagree 6 don’t know Next, 21.Better use of existing state funds would lead to major improvements in California’s higher education system. 81% agree 13 disagree 6 don’t know Questionnaire and Results 22. To significantly improve California’s higher education system, which of the following statements do you agree with the most? [rotate 1 and 2] (1) We need to use existing state funds more wisely, [or] (2) We need to increase the amount of state funding, [or] (3) We need to use existing state funds more wisely and increase the amount of state funding. 37% use funds more wisely 9 increase state funding 50 use funds more wisely and increase funding 4 don’t know [rotate questions 23 to 25] 23.Do you think that a college education is necessary for a person to be successful in today’s work world, or do you think that there are many ways to succeed in today’s work world without a college education? 68% college is necessary 30 many ways to succeed without a college education 2 don’t know 24.Next, compared to other things, are college prices going up at a faster rate, are college prices going up at a slower rate, or are they going up at the same rate? 55% faster rate 8 slower rate 24 same rate 13 don’t know 25.Do you think that currently, the vast majority of people who are qualified to go to college have the opportunity to do so, or do you think there are many people who are qualified to go but don’t have the opportunity to do so? 29% majority have the opportunity 68 many people don’t have the opportunity 3 don’t know Next, please say if you agree or disagree with the following statements. [rotate questions 26 to 29] November 2008 29 Californians and Higher Education 26. Almost anyone who needs financial help to go to college can get loans or financial aid. 52% agree 42 disagree 6 don’t know 27.Students have to borrow too much money to pay for their college education. 73% agree 23 disagree 4 don’t know 28.Most families today do a good job of saving for their children’s college education. 24% agree 72 disagree 4 don’t know 29.Congress should increase the amount of funding for loans that students can borrow for their college education. 72% agree 24 disagree 4 don’t know Next, [rotate questions 30 and 31] 30.How important do you think it is for public colleges and universities to have a racially diverse student body—that is, a mix of blacks, whites, Asians, Hispanics, and other minorities? 55% very important 23 somewhat important 8 not too important 11 not at all important 3 don’t know 31.How important do you think it is for public colleges and universities to have an economically diverse student body—that is a mix of students from lower, middle, and upper-income backgrounds? 57% very important 25 somewhat important 9 not too important 7 not at all important 2 don’t know 30 PPIC Statewide Survey Next, please tell me if you think the following groups of people have less opportunity, more opportunity, or about the same opportunity as others to get a college education. [rotate questions 32 and 33] 32.Do you think qualified students from lowincome families, regardless of their ethnic background, have [rotate] [1] less opportunity, [2] more opportunity, [or] about the same opportunity as others to get a college education? 59% less opportunity 10 more opportunity 28 about the same 3 don’t know 33.Do you think qualified students who are ethnic or racial minorities, such as blacks or Latinos, have [rotate] [1] less opportunity, [2] more opportunity, [or] about the same opportunity as others to get a college education? 42% less opportunity 16 more opportunity 38 about the same 4 don’t know I am going to read you several ways that the federal and state government can make California’s higher education system more affordable to students. For each of the following, please say if you favor or oppose the proposal. [rotate questions 34 to 37] 34.How about increasing government funding available for work-study opportunities for students to earn money while in college? 88% favor 10 oppose 2 don’t know 35.How about increasing government funding available for scholarships or grants for students? 83% favor 14 oppose 3 don’t know 36.How about spending more state government money to keep down tuition and fee costs, even if it means less money for other state programs? 53% favor 39 oppose 8 don’t know 37.How about having a sliding scale for tuition and fee costs, so that students pay according to their income status? 70% favor 26 oppose 4 don’t know Next, California community college enrollment fees are currently $20 per unit, which is a decrease from $26 per unit two years ago. [rotate questions 38 and 39] 38.Do you think that enrollment fees in the California Community College system are currently about the right amount, too high, or too low? 57% about the right amount 23 too high 9 too low 11 don’t know 39.Do you think that enrollment fees in the California Community College system are currently about the same as, higher than, or lower than enrollment fees in other states? 21% about the same 24 higher 19 lower 36 don’t know Changing topics, As you may know, the state government has an annual budget of around $100 billion dollars and currently faces a multibillion dollar gap between spending and revenues. Questionnaire and Results 40.How concerned are you that the state’s budget gap will cause significant spending cuts in higher education? 48% very concerned 35 somewhat concerned 10 not too concerned 5 not at all concerned 2 don’t know 41.Given the state’s current budget situation, on a scale of 1 to 5, with 1 being a very low priority and 5 being a very high priority, what priority should be given to spending for California’s public colleges and universities? 3% very low priority 8 low priority 33 medium priority 28 high priority 26 very high priority 2 don’t know Next, what if the state said it needed more money just to maintain current funding for public colleges and universities. [rotate questions 42 and 43] 42.Would you be willing to pay higher taxes for this purpose, or not? 44% yes 52 no 4 don’t know 43.Would you be willing to increase student fees for this purpose, or not? 32% yes 62 no 6 don’t know 44.Next, in general, how important is California’s higher education system to the quality of life and economic vitality of the state over the next 20 years? 72% very important 23 somewhat important 2 not too important 1 not at all important 2 don’t know November 2008 31 Californians and Higher Education 45.In thinking ahead 20 years, if current trends continue, do you think California’s economy will need [rotate 1 and 2] (1) a higher percentage, (2) a lower percentage, [or] about the same percentage of college educated workers as today? 67% higher percentage 8 lower percentage 20 about the same percentage 5 don’t know 46.In thinking ahead 20 years, if current trends continue, do you think California will have [rotate 1 and 2] (1) more than enough, (2) not enough, [or] just enough college educated residents needed for the jobs and skills likely to be in demand? 16% more than enough 47 not enough 30 just enough 7 don’t know 47.In thinking ahead 20 years, how important do you think it is for the state government to be spending more public funds to increase capacity in public colleges and universities? 46% very important 39 somewhat important 8 not too important 4 not at all important 3 don’t know 48.How much confidence do you have in the state government’s ability to plan for the future of California’s higher education system? 12% a great deal 40 only some 33 very little 12 none 3 don’t know 49.Generally speaking, how much interest would you say you have in politics? 33% great deal 39 fair amount 24 only a little 4 none 50.Would you consider yourself to be politically: [read list, rotate order top to bottom] 11% very liberal 20 somewhat liberal 29 middle-of-the-road 24 somewhat conservative 13 very conservative 3 don’t know [d1-d4b: demographic questions] [questions d4c to d4f asked only of parents of children age 18 or younger] d4c.What do you hope will be the highest grade level that your youngest child will achieve: some high school, high school graduate, some college, college graduate, or a graduate degree after college? 1% some high school 6 high school graduate 4 some college 41 college graduate 46 a graduate degree after college 2 don’t know 32 PPIC Statewide Survey d4d.How worried are you about being able to afford a college education for your youngest child? 46% very worried 26 somewhat worried 15 not too worried 12 not at all worried 1 don’t know d4e.How do you feel about the progress, if any, that you have made so far in saving to help pay for your child’s college education—do you feel you are ahead, behind, or just about where you should be at this point? 9% ahead 57 behind 30 just about where you should be 4 haven’t started yet/will not be saving (volunteered) Questionnaire and Results d4f.Do you feel like you have more than enough, just enough, or not enough information about financial aid for your child’s college education? 15% more than enough 32 just enough 49 not enough 4 don’t know [d5-d17: demographic questions] November 2008 33 PPIC STATEWIDE SURVEY ADVISORY COMMITTEE Ruben Barrales President and Chief Executive Officer San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce Angela Blackwell Founder and Chief Executive Officer PolicyLink Paul Brest President The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation Mollyann Brodie Vice President Kaiser Family Foundation Bruce E. Cain Executive Director Institute of Governmental Studies University of California, Washington Center James E. Canales President The James Irvine Foundation Jon Cohen Director of Polling The Washington Post Matthew K. Fong Special Counsel Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton, LLP Russell Hancock President and Chief Executive Officer Joint Venture Silicon Valley Network William Hauck President California Business Roundtable Sherry Bebitch Jeffe Senior Scholar School of Policy, Planning, and Development University of Southern California Carol S. Larson President and Chief Executive Officer The David and Lucile Packard Foundation Monica Lozano Publisher and Chief Executive Officer La Opinión Donna Lucas Chief Executive Officer Lucas Public Affairs Dan Rosenheim News Director KPIX-TV Robert K. Ross, M.D. President and Chief Executive Officer The California Endowment Cathy Taylor Vice President and Editorial Commentary Director Orange County Register Raymond L. Watson Vice Chairman of the Board Emeritus The Irvine Company Carol Whiteside President Emeritus Great Valley Center The PPIC Statewide Survey Advisory Committee is a diverse group of experts who provide advice on survey issues. However, survey methods, questions, content, and timing are determined solely by PPIC. PUBLIC POLICY INSTITUTE OF CALIFORNIA BOARD OF DIRECTORS Thomas C. Sutton, Chair Retired Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Pacific Life Insurance Company Mark Baldassare President and Chief Executive Officer Public Policy Institute of California Ruben Barrales President and Chief Executive Officer San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce Gary K. Hart Former State Senator and Secretary of Education State of California Walter B. Hewlett Director Center for Computer Assisted Research in the Humanities Donna Lucas Chief Executive Officer Lucas Public Affairs Leon E. Panetta Director The Leon & Sylvia Panetta Institute for Public Policy Ki Suh Park Design and Managing Partner Gruen Associates Constance L. Rice Co-Director The Advancement Project Raymond L. Watson Vice Chairman of the Board Emeritus The Irvine Company Carol Whiteside President Emeritus Great Valley Center Copyright © 2008 Public Policy Institute of California All rights reserved San Francisco, CA Short sections of text, not to exceed three paragraphs, may be quoted without written permission provided that full attribution is given to the source and the above copyright notice is included. PUBLIC POLICY INSTITUTE OF CALIFORNIA 500 Washington Street, Suite 600 San Francisco, California 94111 phone: 415.291.4400 fax: 415.291.4401 PPIC Sacramento Center Senator Office Building 1121 L Street, Suite 801 Sacramento, California 95814 phone: 916.440.1120 fax: 916.440.1121 www.ppic.org survey@ppic.org" ["post_date_gmt"]=> string(19) "2017-05-20 09:39:47" ["comment_status"]=> string(4) "open" ["ping_status"]=> string(6) "closed" ["post_password"]=> string(0) "" ["post_name"]=> string(9) "s_1108mbs" ["to_ping"]=> string(0) "" ["pinged"]=> string(0) "" ["post_modified"]=> string(19) "2017-05-20 02:39:47" ["post_modified_gmt"]=> string(19) "2017-05-20 09:39:47" ["post_content_filtered"]=> string(0) "" ["guid"]=> string(51) "http://148.62.4.17/wp-content/uploads/S_1108MBS.pdf" ["menu_order"]=> int(0) ["post_mime_type"]=> string(15) "application/pdf" ["comment_count"]=> string(1) "0" ["filter"]=> string(3) "raw" ["status"]=> string(7) "inherit" ["attachment_authors"]=> bool(false) }