Close to 30% of Americans said a college degree isn’t worth it in a survey from Pew Research Center that highlights the drag soaring costs have had on views about higher education in recent decades in the country.

Almost half of US adults in the report think college is worth the cost — but only as long as they don’t need to take out a loan. Only 22% of respondents said a college degree is worth it even with student debt.

Four in 10 Americans said having a four-year degree is not too or not at all important to getting a well-paying job, according to the poll, compared to just a quarter of respondents who said it was extremely or very important.

The survey results come as tuition costs are climbing, student loan payments resume for millions of Americans, and some of the relative economic benefits of college are declining. All together, these trends have left students and parents facing increasingly difficult decisions about higher education.

Even 13 years ago, a majority of Americans thought the higher education system failed to provide good value for the money spent. At the same time, 86% of the college graduates surveyed in the Pew report from 2011 said higher education had been a good investment for them personally.

To be sure, many parents who deem the costs too high continue to send their children to universities. Even though wages have been rising for some workers without degrees, particularly since the Covid-19 pandemic, earnings and total wealth for college graduates remain well above those for Americans who don’t go to university. And the unemployment rate for graduates is consistently lower than that of the broader population.

A recent report from the Federal Reserve showed Americans for the most part see education as a path to greater financial well-being, and most who completed a bachelor’s degree or higher said it was worth the cost.

This article was provided by Bloomberg News.