LANSING (WWJ) – A new “State of the State” poll from Michigan State University shows 97 percent of people in Michigan feel a college education is important for a successful career, but just one-third say they can afford it.

“We in Michigan have had dramatic reductions in public funding for higher ed,” according to MSU economics professor Dr. Charles Ballard, who led the effort. “Our economy and our population is the same size as North Carolina, but they spend more than twice as much as we do on higher ed. That makes it a lot more affordable there.”

Putting the cost of a college degree within reach of most people is a major concern Ballard said.

“People see the importance of this stuff, but don’t see the level of support that’s making it possible for them to get what they perceive to be very important.”

Studies have shown that the states with the highest percentage of college-educated residents have higher overall personal incomes.

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