In early September 2011, OUSA and the College Student Alliance commissioned Abacus Data to conduct a public opinion survey of Ontarians over the age of 18 to gauge the public‟s attitudes towards post-secondary education. An election is a great time to survey the public because it is the one time when it is most engaged and most likely to be thinking about policy issues. With an election underway and school back in session, it was an excellent time to find out where the public is when it comes to PSE.
The survey research conducted by OUSA and the CSA clearly demonstrates a consensus among Ontarians about the importance of PSE not only to students in the system now and those entering in the future, but to the future prosperity and quality of life of all Ontarians. Ontarians strongly agree that student debt loads are too high and that tuition fees prevent capable students from obtaining an advanced education. For those with children under 18, many worry about their ability to help their children pay for their education.