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Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Poll Response Mixed on Higher Ed

Despite concerns over whether postsecondary schools can prepare graduates for jobs in the real world, the public still feels there is value in pursuing higher education. Sort of.

In a new poll from the research group New America, a majority of respondents agreed “a college degree leads to better job opportunities than a high-school diploma,” according to a report in The Chronicle of Higher Education. A large percentage (78% of respondents who said they were Republicans and 84% of those who voted Democrat) also were “comfortable” with tax money being used to fund colleges and universities.

However, although the respondents had a more favorable view of community colleges in general as well as the institutions in their local vicinity, they weren’t so sure about other schools in the higher-ed universe. Just 25% of respondents were satisfied with the current state of higher education.

The biggest reason was cost. Thirty-eight percent of respondents viewed college attendance overall as too costly, yet 81% thought community colleges were “worth the cost.” The findings suggest that the public perceives community-college coursework as more directly tied to job requirements than four-year institutions.

Only 12% indicated a college education should be free for all students.

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