State of Opportunity in America Report

Posted by Center for Advancing Opportunity on March 26, 2018

Vast Majority of Residents of “Fragile Communities” Say College Is Important
By Kim Cook, Executive Director, National College Access Network

NCAN members and the families we serve have long believed that postsecondary education is the path out of poverty. Gallup provides supporting research in its The State of Opportunity in America report, based on in-depth focus groups and a representative survey of 6,230 Americans living in “fragile communities” – defined as areas with high proportions of residents who struggle financially in their daily lives and have limited opportunities for social mobility. The report details issues around education as well as employment and criminal justice.

Residents of these fragile communities recognize the need for young people to attend college to expand the opportunities available to them. The vast majority – 88 percent – say a college education is “very important” or “important.” Notably, about three-fourths of black and Hispanic residents say a college education is very important, versus about half of white residents. However, only 19 percent of residents agree that everyone in the U.S. has access to an affordable college education.

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