Postsecondary Education Aspirations and Barriers

Americans understand that a postsecondary education is the key to finding a better job and building a better
life. This lesson hit home during the recent recession, when four out of five jobs lost were ones that required a
high school diploma or less.1 Though the economy has improved, most U.S. adults say that a degree will be just
as important or even more important in the future to getting a good job.

Hispanics and blacks are more likely than whites to say it is very important to increase the proportion of
Americans with a degree or professional certificate beyond high school. Many say they have taken steps to
attaining a degree, including completing a financial aid form, talking to a college adviser or recruiter and
researching degree programs. However, blacks and Hispanics continue to lag behind the average degree
attainment rate in the U.S.

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