Polling Expert Addresses Coalition Members on Public Perception of College Access and Affordability

In August 2019, the Coalition for College held its annual membership meeting at Vanderbilt University in Nashville. John G. Geer, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at the university, provided a captivating keynote address to Coalition member representatives.

During his speech, the renowned polling expert and author reflected on what polls — including how questions are worded, who does (or does not) respond, and what survey methods are used — reveal about prevailing attitudes and current trends at different points in time. He also offered thought-provoking insights into the public’s perception of college access and affordability, gleaned from polls on higher education in America from the 1940s to current day.

The university’s Gertrude Conaway Vanderbilt Professor of Political Science and professor of public policy and education, Geer serves as co-director of the Vanderbilt Poll, which was launched in 2011 by the Center for the Study of Democratic Institutions to provide a nonpartisan and scientifically based reading of public opinion within the state of Tennessee and the city of Nashville.


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