What Percentage of People Cannot Afford College?

A 2013 poll of Americans found that 62 percent believed that most people could not afford to pay for college. More than half agreed that a college education is important to a successful future.

The price for tuition at a public college in 2011-2012 was, on average, $14,300, while it cost a whopping $37,800 at private institutions. The tuition cost during that school year represents a more than 40 percent increase since 2001-2002. To help minimize the cost impact on students and future graduates, lawmakers have proposed several bills to ease the costs. This includes not requiring an investment up front for students, but instead they would pay 3 percent of their income for a certain number of years after college.