Number of the Day: 78 percent

April 12, 2013 | Number of The Day

New Jerseyans believe the quality of higher education in the Garden State is quite high, with 78 percent of them rating colleges in the state as good or better, according to a new poll by the Stockton Polling Institute, which is part of the William J. Hughes Center for Public Policy at The Richard Stockton College of New Jersey.

Those responding to the poll were split on the issue of affordability, with 47 percent saying they believe New Jersey’s colleges were either affordable (45 percent) or very affordable (2.2 percent.) About 40 percent said they were unaffordable (32 percent) or very unaffordable (8 percent).

Despite this, 71 percent of respondents cited cost as the major obstacle to attending and completing college. Respondents were also split on the reasons behind the continual increases in tuition and fees. Salaries and benefits were cited by 28 percent of respondents; funding cuts were mentioned by 26 percent; the cost of new facilities and technology was the reason given by 15.3 percent.

How to fix it? Again, the responses were split, with 22.5 percent citing a cap on tuition at the inflation rate; more student aid offered by 22.4 percent; tighter cost controls by 22.1 and more state funding by 19.7 percent.