07/23/2010 11:37 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Is College Necessary? Fewer Americans Think So

Throughout America, popular opinion on college is shifting: More people now see it as an unnecessary waste of money, a new survey reveals.

The Wall Street Journal reports:

...of 3,000 people, 63.5% said a college education is still a good financial investment for young adults given rising costs, compared to 79.1% last year and 80.9% in 2008. The declining sentiment is reflected across all age groups -- 63.5% of those aged 18-29 said college is a good investment, compared to 76.7% last year. Just 61.5% of those over 65 years old said it is a good investment -- 82.1% said the same in 2009.

The survey, administered by COUNTRY Financial, also provided data that showed a large percentage of Americans are prioritizing retirement over college, a change for those who earn less than $20,000 a year.

A survey released yesterday by the College Board reported that the U.S. now ranks 12 out of 36 countries in terms of college-educated citizens between the ages of 25 and 34. America formerly held the top spot.

Despite this ideological change, employment rates and earnings for college graduates still outpace those who didn't go to college, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. In 2009, the unemployment rate was 9.7% for high school graduates and just 5.2% for those who received bachelor's degrees. Additionally, median weekly earnings for one who graduated college was $1,025 while median weekly earnings for one who graduated high school was $626.

What do you think? Is college necessary? Weigh in below.