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A growing number of Americans are questioning the value of going to college


As in previous years, the poll shows that Democrats and Republicans disagree on many aspects of higher education. While 73% of Democrats believe that colleges and universities have a positive impact on the country, only 37% of Republicans do.

Americans also remain divided on who should pay for higher education. A majority of Democrats (77%) say the government should fund higher education because it’s good for society, while a majority of Republicans (63%) say students should pay for post-secondary education because it benefits them benefit

A new question in this year’s survey asked respondents about the minimum level of education they believe their family members should receive to be financially secure. Although nearly three-quarters of respondents agree that their child or a close family member needs some type of college education to achieve financial security, there is disagreement. Only a quarter of Democrats say a high school diploma or GED is enough to achieve economic security, compared to 39% of Republicans who say the same.

Despite general agreement about the value of higher education, many Americans are concerned about its affordability. Only about half of respondents believe that Americans can get an affordable, high-quality education after high school.

Across the political spectrum, says Nguyen, people are “pretty uniform about affordability.” But, she says, they disagree on how to address these accessibility issues. “I think it has to do with the current political environment we’re living in right now.”

Copyright 2022 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

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