Attending college wasn't a slam dunk decision this year, according to the results of a new poll from Fairleigh Dickinson University's PublicMind.

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New Jersey voters were basically split when asked if a college degree is worth the hefty price. Forty-five percent said the cost of a degree is justified given the value that society places on the accomplishment, but 43 percent said the cost is no longer worth it because of a degree's declining value in society.

Just more than half (53 percent) of college graduates were willing to say the price was worth the outcome. Those who lack a college diploma were the most likely to say the cost exceeds the benefits.

"There's the perception out there that a degree has become something that no longer defines someone, or no longer distinguishes someone from somebody else who might be going for the same job," explained Krista Jenkins, director of PublicMind.

However, FDU President Sheldon Drucker pointed to studies that show college graduates earn more than those with just a high school diploma.

"Colleges must demonstrate their value while doing all that's possible to keep their costs affordable," Drucker said.

A third of poll respondents blamed the rising cost of tuition on the colleges and universities themselves. Their open-ended responses included overpaid administrators, fiscal mismanagement and overall greed.

Despite the steep price tag associated with college athletics, no respondents blamed sports for increased tuition. In fact, two-thirds of voters said big college sports programs are good for the schools.