Californians’ Attitudes About College Access, Affordability, and Equity in the Time of COVID-19
The 2021 PACE/USC Rossier poll provides key insights into Californians’ perceptions of higher education issues during the COVID-19 pandemic, specifically equity and affordability. A large percentage of Californians acknowledge that college affordability is an important educational issue, and they generally express support for increased access to courses through remote options, increased funding for community colleges, loan forgiveness, and equitable admissions practices. However, public opinion on these issues is more nuanced; for example, Californians are concerned that increased access to educational opportunities could compromise the quality of higher education, and they believe that universities should consider only academic and extracurricular qualifications in admissions to college, not race or income. There are important differences in perceptions of these higher education issues across the lines of political affiliation and race.