A poll has found that the "Chivas Regal Syndrome," the belief that high tuition means superior education, is widespread among young people, but that nearly half said tuition costs block many from college.

A survey of student attitudes marking National Higher Education Week, Oct. 9-15, found that 38 percent agreed that "the higher the tuition costs of a college, the better the quality of education a student will receive."Among pre-college-age students, the figures were higher: 53 percent of 13-15 year-olds felt that way; 41 percent of 16 and 17-year-olds surveyed agreed. But among current college students and recent graduates, 27 percent agreed.

College officials have lately dubbed that belief the "Chivas Regal Syndrome," after the premium Scotch whisky, as an explanation for why Ivy League and other expensive colleges continue to attract so many applicants.