Policy brief

College Affordability in Every Corner of California

Perspectives from the 2019 PACE/USC Rossier Poll
College Affordability
Cecilia Rios-Aguilar
University of California, Los Angeles
Michal Kurlaender
University of California, Davis
Austin Lyke
University of California, Los Angeles
Teresita Martinez
Teachers College, Columbia University


California voters ranked college affordability as the second most important education policy issue in the 2019 PACE/USC Rossier poll, a concern reflected in Governor Gavin Newsom’s first budget proposal and in a number of bills currently progressing through the state legislature. Though desire for making college affordable is high among the average voter, California’s geographic and socio-economic diversity demand that lawmakers consider local contexts when designing and implementing new reforms. We discuss variation in concern over college costs at the county level and by racial/ethnic and income groups, and suggest proper evaluation and implementation of college promise programs and equity initiatives as particularly fruitful avenues for addressing college affordability throughout the state.

Full poll results can be found in the Poll Archive.

Suggested citationRios-Aguilar, C., Kurlaender, M., Lyke, A., & Martinez, T. (2019, June). College affordability in every corner of California: Perspectives from the 2019 PACE/USC Rossier poll [Policy brief]. Policy Analysis for California Education. https://edpolicyinca.org/publications/college-affordability-california-perspectives-2019-pace-usc-rossier-poll