U.S. residents less sure of college value

July 20, 2010 at 3:37 PM

WASHINGTON, July 20 (UPI) -- The sour economy appears to have soured U.S. residents' belief in the value of a college education, a poll released Tuesday indicates.

Only 64 percent of those responding to the Country Financial survey said they believe college is worth the money. That's down 16 percent from 2009 and 17 percent from 2008.

Parents are also more likely to put their own retirement first, with 43 percent listing that as their top saving priority against 41 percent who say their children's education is more important. Last year 41 percent said retirement was more important, while 47 percent said children's education was.

The survey found 31 percent borrowed money themselves to pay for education and 64 percent said they had paid off the loans. About half said student loans did not have a major effect on decisions like marriage or home purchases, 28 percent said they had a minor effect and 20 percent a major one.

Almost 65 percent said parents should pay some of their children's college expenses, 18 percent said it should be their responsibility alone and 13 percent said parents should not have to pay anything.

Rasmussen Reports surveyed 3,000 people by telephone. The survey has a margin of error of 2 percentage points.

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