Are colleges hurting U.S.? Majority of Republicans think so

A Pew Research Center survey found that opinions of Republicans and Democrats differ sharply on higher education.
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A Pew Research Center survey found that opinions of Republicans and Democrats differ sharply on higher education.

A new Pew Research Center survey found that opinions of Republicans and Democrats regarding higher education differ sharply along party lines.

A majority of Republicans and GOP-leaning independents, Pew found, say that colleges and universities are having a negative effect on the country.

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Around 58 percent of Republicans said that higher education is having a negative impact on the country. That’s up by 13 percentage points from 45 percent in 2016, according to Pew.

In contrast, 72 percent of Democrats and Democrat-leaning independents said colleges have a positive effect on the United States.

Around 55 percent of the general public thinks higher education has a positive impact on the way things are going in the country.

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The shift among GOP supporters is a big shift compared to just two years ago when 54 percent of Republicans had a positive view of higher education and only 37 percent had a negative view, Pew reports.

The split between Democrats and Republicans is even more striking along ideological lines. Nearly 79 percent of liberal Democrats think and around 65 percent of conservative Republicans say colleges have a negative impact, according to Pew.

Pew surveyed 2,504 adults from June 8 through June 18.