Pew poll shows majority of Republicans think higher education is bad for America

So that degree in East European lesbian feminist studies isn’t worth anything after all?

Pew Research Center released the results of a poll Monday that indicated that Republicans had a negative assessment of higher education, a belief that differed sharply from that shared by Democrats.

The partisan gap was also demonstrated in the respondents’ positions of other American institutions, such as new media and churches, synagogues and other religious organizations.

A majority of Republicans and GOP-leaning respondents to the poll — 58 percent — “say that colleges and universities have a negative effect on the country, up from 45% last year,” Pew reported. “By contrast, most Democrats and Democratic leaners (72%) say colleges and universities have a positive effect, which is little changed from recent years.”

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Source: Pew Research Center

Although Democrats’ view of higher education has remained fairly stable over the years, Republican respondents who saw higher education as having a positive impact declined sharply from 54 percent to 36 percent in just the last two years.

Pew Research interviewed 2,504 adults between June 8 to 18 to compile its findings, which indicated that the gap between parties was even wider when it came to their views of news media’s impact. Pew reported:

About as many Democrats and Democratic-leaning independents think the news media has a positive (44%) as negative (46%) impact on the way things are going in the country. The share of Democrats holding a positive view of the news media’s impact has increased 11 percentage points since last August (33%).

Republicans, by about eight-to-one (85% to 10%), say the news media has a negative effect. These views have changed little in the past few years.


Pew didn’t offer an explanation for the decline in Republican attitudes toward colleges and universities, but it’s not hard to figure out.

Recent campus demonstrations and even riots decreeing freedom of speech, the coddling of students by administration and schools providing programs of study that ill-prepare students for the real world could all be considered factors.

Alternatively, people such as modern-day folk hero Mike Rowe promote learning a trade and getting a “Dirty Job” as a means to make a good salary almost from the beginning.

The Pew Research findings didn’t surprise a lot of folks n social media.

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As for those who earned that degree in East European lesbian feminist studies, the corner pub down the street may be looking for barmaids.


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