The poor economy is ratcheting up anxieties about college affordability at a time when more Americans than ever say a college degree is essential to success, USA Today reports. Those findings, based on a survey of 1,009 Americans in late December, are hardly mind-boggling, but they represent dramatic shifts in public attitude in a short period of time: 55 percent in 2008 said a college degree is necessary, vs. 31 percent in 2000. Forty-three percent in 2008 said there are many ways to succeed without college, vs. 67 percent in 2000. And 67 percent in 2008 said most people who...

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