Most adults who are considering college—either completing a degree or starting one for the first time—aren't tapping into the wealth of information about costs, graduation rates, and job prospects, and as a result they aren't finding the right fit, according to a report released on Monday by Public Agenda, a nonprofit research group.

The report, "Is College Worth It for Me? How Adults Without Degrees Think About Going (Back) to School," says that most prospective adult students worry about the cost of college and how to balance studies with families and careers. They're looking for colleges with practical programs that will help them land jobs, as well as personalized support from caring faculty members and advisers.

The report, which was financially supported by the Kresge Foundation, was based on a survey this past spring of 803 adults, ages 18 to 55, who lack college degrees but expect to start earning a certificate or degree in the next two years. The group, which excludes students coming straight from high school, accounts for about a third of first-time college students in the United States, according to the report.

The survey found that adults ages 25 to 55 have more doubts about going to college and are less likely to have concrete plans. Those under 25 worry more about whether they can succeed at college and land a job afterward.