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Poll: Most white working-class voters believe a college degree doesn’t guarantee ‘success’

The hits keep on coming for higher education. Just a few weeks after a Pew Research Center poll found a majority of Republicans hold a negative view of higher education, new data show widespread doubt among the white working class about the worth of a college degree.

Inside Higher Ed reports the figures, coming on the heels of the Pew Research report, are from a poll put out by a political action committee aligned with the Democratic Party and focused on Democrats gaining a majority in the U.S. House of Representatives.

From the article:

Now comes a new poll with skepticism about higher education — this time based on a survey of white working-class voters of all political affiliations. The findings indicate attitudes in this group that run directly counter to the views of college educators — that higher education is essential to individual economic advancement. The key findings:

A majority (57 percent) said a college degree “would result in more debt and little likelihood of landing a good-paying job.”

A large majority (83 percent) said a college degree was “no longer any guarantee of success in America.”

Inside Higher Ed reports that while the poll found sour attitudes toward higher education, respondents support job training and that the poll found working-class voters “favor more of an emphasis on job training to help Americans compete in the global economy than they favor making it harder for foreign companies to sell goods in the U.S.”

The poll figures might be an eye-opener to some Democrats, especially those who’ve pushed free college proposals and emphasized that a college degree is a must-have for success.

A synopsis of the poll says it sends “a message that says [Democrats] need to understand that not everyone wants to go to college is also effective.”

Read the Inside Higher Ed article.

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