College Affordability A Top Priority, New Study Shows

Americans Care More About College Affordability Than Tax Cuts and Social Security

According to a recent survey, more Americans believe making higher education more affordable would be an effective means of helping those who are struggling economically than preserving social security and cutting taxes for the middle class.

Reducing college costs -- which was picked as the best means of helping Americans with financial woes by 63 percent of the nationally representative 1,004 Americans surveyed -- beat out social security (58 percent) and cutting taxes (48 percent) as well as "reducing the deficit" (40 percent), "providing financial help to people whose owe more on their mortgage than their house is worth" (22 percent) and others as the best solution.

The study, called "Slip-Sliding Away," was published Thursday by Public Agenda.

Report co-author Scott Bittle said in an e-mail to the Huffington Post that he was surprised by how many people reported worrying about long-term finances -- like paying for college -- in light of short-term financial concerns. Of those respondents who reported that they were "struggling a lot" economically, 77 percent said were very worried about having trouble paying for their children's college education. This was especially significant as 52 percent of respondents had problems paying their mortgage or rent, and 34 percent reported losing their jobs.

Check out more survey results here.

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