Looking at the College Going Culture of Michigan Adults

As part of a continuing partnership between the Michigan College Access Network and the Institute of Public Policy and Social Research at Michigan State University, several questions regarding Michigan adults' perceptions on the College Going Culture within the state were included as part of this year's State of the State Survey. The sample for this survey included 966 individuals, surveyed between March 2015 and June 2015, who are Michigan adults age 18 or older. Using the results from this survey, MCAN has developed a report including the results of Michigan adults' responses to three key questions:

Question #1: For a young person in Michigan to be successful in the labor market and in their career, how important is it to have a college education?

Question #2: How likely is it that your child will get a college education?

Question #3: At today's levels of tuition and financial aid, a college education is reasonably affordable for people in Michigan.

The results from the survey reveal an important fact regarding Michigan adults' perceptions about higher education; Michigan adults definitively agree that a college education is important (96%), and also believe their children are more likely than not to attend college (93%) despite their belief that a college education is not reasonably affordable today (69.7%).

Considering these survey results, it is important to understand that Michigan citizens believe the work of college access organizations such as MCAN and the various Local College Access Networks around the state is indeed critical work. At the same time, there is important work to be done to ensure postsecondary opportunities are more affordable for Michigan residents, and information about financial aid is disseminated more efficiently to all students and families. We encourage LCANs and college access professionals to share this brief in their community and to discuss the regional data. Some of the questions that may be useful in your work as a college access professional or advocate include the following:

  • How can I help students to understand the breadth of postsecondary opportunities in Michigan?
  • What are best practices in helping students to identify sources of financial assistance for postsecondary opportunities?
  • How can I work with families to ensure they are confident in their child's ability to embark upon and successfully navigate the college going process?
  • What other allies do I have in my community who are dedicated to college access work? How can I best align these individuals based upon our common interest?

We here at MCAN are committed to improving college access and success for Michigan residents throughout the state. With the results of this survey, we are once again assured that there is work to be done and a citizenry desirous of improvement.

Want to take a closer look at the State of the State Survey results? Check out State of the State Survey: A Check-in: Looking at the College Going Culture of Michigan Adults, available on MCAN's website.

Jamie Jacobs headshot 2013Author: Jamie Jacobs, director of professional development at MCAN
Posted: September 2, 2015

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