A recent survey by Columbia University has found that most Americans continue to support state-funded college education despite the hardships they are encountering.
They express belief in the fact that colleges play many roles apart from helping people get good jobs or offering a personal return on investments.
The study is the latest in a series of public opinion polls over the past year that has affected university and college boards by casting doubt on the perceived value of college education, mostly related to the benefits and cost of their own education.
According to Columbia University associate professor Noah D. Drezner, who led the study, it was aimed at examining Americans’ understanding of the different ways, in which colleges and universities make a contribution to society on a collective rather than individual level. As a component of a wider-scale project examining the opinions of around 3,000 adults on health, education, and psychology, Drezner and his colleagues asked people to rate the public investment in higher education. The options were “excellent,” “good,” “fair” or “not good.”
75% of respondents rated public funding of higher education as either good or excellent. Women were more likely than men to rate it “excellent”, and Latin and black respondents were more likely to rate it “excellent” than white and Asian-American ones respectively.
A third, albeit expected finding, was that conservatives were less likely to rate it higher than liberals.