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Populace Insights: American Priorities For Higher Education

Post Secondary Education Index – “A national private opinion quantitative survey that surfaces the decision-making factors that matter most for Americans in choosing a higher education experience. It was conducted by the think tank Populace and powered by Gradient Metrics. The primary component was a choice-based-conjoint (CBC) instrument that distinguishes between personal opinion and perceived societal opinion (what respondents assume most others believe). Rather than directly asking respondents what priorities they hold for their own higher education experience, this survey’s CBC simulated real-world decision-making by forcing respondents to make tradeoffs. This not only reduces the ceiling effect where respondents can claim everything is important or unimportant, but also minimizes social desirability effects.”…

Executive Summary Like so many other industries, Covid-19 has pushed America’s higher education market into uncharted waters. Uncertainty over enrollment projections, operating budgets, even daily campus life are driving higher education institutions to reexamine how they do business. Not necessarily because they want to. Rather, because for many, financial solvency — even survival — depends on it. Conducted by the think tank Populace, this national private opinion quantitative survey directs attention to demonstrated priorities of the country at large and consumers specifically (students and their families) when it comes to higher education. Together, the results offer meaningful, measurable, and actionable insights for shaping higher education’s next chapter…”

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