Rural Futures Institute at the University of Nebraska


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graphic used with permission of the designer, Richard Hawkins, Design & Illustration



Some recent national polls have shown a decline in confidence in higher education. The cited reasons for this decline are concerns about affordability, access and the political culture on campuses. Given these national trends, how do rural Nebraskans view the impacts of their education? Do they view higher education as important for individuals and the economy? Have these views changed over the past four years? What types of higher education institutions have their households attended? This paper provides a detailed analysis of these questions. This report details 1,776 responses to the 2019 Nebraska Rural Poll, the 24th annual effort to understand rural Nebraskans’ perceptions. Respondents were asked a series of questions about education. Trends for some of the questions are examined by comparing data from the 2015 Rural Poll to this year’s results. In addition, comparisons are made among different respondent subgroups, that is, comparisons by age, occupation, region, etc.