CRF Blog

The Growing Partisan Divide in Views of Higher Education

by Bill Hayes

In a public opinion study, Pew Research Center examines The Growing Partisan Divide in Views of Higher Education

Americans see value in higher education — whether they graduated from college or not. Most say a college degree is important, if not essential, in helping a young person succeed in the world, and college graduates themselves say their degree helped them grow and develop the skills they needed for the workplace. While fewer than half of today’s young adults are enrolled in a two-year or four-year college, the share has risen steadily over the past several decades. And the economic advantages college graduates have over those without a degree are clear and growing.

Even so, there is an undercurrent of dissatisfaction — even suspicion — among the public about the role colleges play in society, the way admissions decisions are made and the extent to which free speech is constrained on college campuses. And these views are increasingly linked to partisanship. [more]