Posted on Tuesday, September 4, 2018

A majority of Virginians see two-year community colleges and four-year public universities as worth the cost, according to a new statewide poll by the L. Douglas Wilder School of Government and Public Affairs at Virginia Commonwealth University.

The poll found 80 percent agreed strongly or somewhat that community colleges are worth the cost, while 66 percent said the same about public four-year schools. By contrast, only 49 percent of respondents agreed strongly or somewhat that private four-year schools are worth the cost, while 48 percent disagreed strongly or somewhat.

VCCS tuitions established in May keep community college tuition and mandatory fees at approximately one-third of the comparable costs of attending Virginia’s public four-year universities.

“We often hear that a college education is a key factor in individual success,” said Robyn McDougle, Ph.D., director of the Center for Public Policy at the Wilder School, “but the Virginia public appears to see colleges as a definite step up in preparing the commonwealth’s collective workforce as well.”

The poll, a random sample of 802 adults in Virginia conducted by landline and cell telephone from July 10-30, has a margin of error of 3.49 percentage points.

To read more about how Virginians assess the value of education, click here.'

Jim Babb

Jim Babb works for Virginia's Community Colleges in the Office of Strategic Communications.

1 Comment

  1. ?

    Professor Peter Shaw

    Interesting poling data given the fact the VCCS has lost more than 60,000 students. Note the drop off in confidence in the 18 – 34 year old age bracket regarding the question: “Are two-year community colleges worth the costs?” There needs to be serious marketing work to promote VCCS programs to bring these numbers up.


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