A degree or certificate beyond high school is considered very important by more than 70 percent of those surveyed in by Gallup. Another 25 percent said it was somewhat important.
About three-quarters of those surveyed said the cost of education was a major impediment to getting one.
About 28 percent cited cost as the second-biggest reason for not going back to school, behind only family responsibilities, at 36 percent. Another 15 percent said job responsibilities were the biggest obstacle, while 4 percent blamed a lack of information.
Nearly nine of 10 people said students should get college credit for skills obtained from life and work experience, and 70 percent said college credit should be based on mastery of course content rather than time spent in the classroom.
The poll was conducted in partnership with the Lumina Foundation for Education. It was conducted with 1,009 adults between Nov. 9-Dec. 4. The margin of error was 4 percentage points.