A new national survey conduced by Northeastern University indicates that Americans think college is really important, but aren’t so sure that it’s really a good value anymore. Also, biggest problem: cost.

According to an article by Caralee Adams at Education Week:

Seventy percent of Americans believe higher education is “extremely” or “very” important to achieving the American Dream, according to the poll of about 1,250 adults interviewed by phone and online in October by FTI Consulting for Northeastern University in Boston.

But the increasing cost of college is prompting many to look carefully at the value of the investment. Just 39 percent rate the U.S. higher education system as providing an “excellent” or “good” value for the money, and 60 percent say its value is “fair” or “poor.”

This, however, doesn’t necessarily have anything to do with how “good” college is and has everything to do with its cost. College would have to be pretty damn awesome to provide people with, say, $32,000 a year (Northeastern University’s net price) worth of education value.

Apparently almost 90 percent of respondents to the Northeastern survey indicated that paying for college was primary thing preventing Americans from earning a college degree.

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Daniel Luzer is the news editor at Governing Magazine and former web editor of the Washington Monthly. Find him on Twitter: @Daniel_Luzer