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Great Expectations: How the Public and Parents -- White, African American and Hispanic -- View Higher Education

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For most Americans, a college education has replaced the high school diploma as the gateway to the middle class, and we found African American and Hispanic parents are significantly more likely than whites to emphasize the value of higher education, not less. The public's focus isn't just on the credential but on the personal growth, skills and perspective that students take away from a college education. The public seems confident that anyone who really wants to go to college can find a way. But people acknowledge that poor families have a tougher time. The public has yet to focus on many of the issues fiercely debated in the higher education community, such as remedial programs, the promise of new technology, or efficiency.