“there is no denying the correlation between skepticism of the College Industrial Complex and skepticism of mainstream views and institutions.”
A 60-page research survey from November 2021 shows a steep decline in the share of Americans saying a college education is worth it — and skepticism is highest among whites.
Only 45% of Americans now say a college education is a smart investment, down from 55% in 2016. Among whites, the belief that a college education is a good investment has dropped 11-points, from 52% in 2016 to just 41% now. Blacks have seen an 8-point decline, from 56% in 2016 to 48% now, and Hispanics have seen a 14-point decline, from 68% in 2016 to 54% now.
“Among whites, the belief that a college education is a good investment has dropped 11-points, from 52% in 2016 to just 41% now.”
Considering that white non college voters were instrumental in Trump’s victory in 2016, and played a crucial role in battleground states in 2020, this rise in skepticism among whites does not bode well for Democrats in the midterms.
The 2020 general election marked the highest turnout rate for white non college voters in over 20 years and contributed to an overall rise in the white vote from 65% in 2016 to 71% in 2020. Nationwide, the white non-college turnout rate increased 6 points, rising from 58% in 2016 to 64% in 2020.
“The 2020 general election marked the highest turnout rate for white non college voters in over 20 years.”
Non college whites continue to vote overwhelmingly Republican according to Democratic research firm Catalist, with Trump amassing 63% of their vote to Biden’s 27% in 2020. When breaking down Trump’s coalition of voters, almost 60% of Trump voters in 2020 were white non-college Americans.
In addition, Market Research Foundation’s survey of Generation Z found a strong correlation between skepticism about the value of a college education, and skepticism of the mainstream media and the Democratic Party.
We found that 54% of young people with a high-desire to go to college group said they approved of the Democratic Party, compared to just 37% of young people with a low-desire to go to college. On the flip side, 36% of young people with a low-desire to go to college disapprove of the Democratic Party, versus 27% of the high-desire group. With regard to trusting mainstream news, 51% of young people with a high-desire to go to college hold a positive view of mainstream media, but only 32% of the low-desire group does.
Now, PRRI’s research shows a breakdown in support for the college industrial complex, with whites showing the highest levels of skepticism.
While in 2016 well over half of Americans (55%) believed a college education was worth it, that number has dropped to just 45%. In 2016, a slim majority of whites (52%) said a college education was worth it, but that number has slipped to just 41%.
There is unsurprisingly a substantial gap in views on college between college educated and non-college educated whites. Among whites without a college degree, only 33% say a college education is worth it, compared to 55% of white college graduates. While this education gap is substantial, this still indicates that even among whites with a four-year degree, 45% say a college education is not worth it.
“Even among whites with a four-year degree, 45% say a college education is not worth it.”
These numbers also represent a substantial departure from the belief in college among both groups since 2016. In 2016, a full 46% of non-college whites and 63% of college educated whites said a college education was worth it. Belief that a college education is worth it has dropped 13 points among whites without a college degree but also eight points among whites with a college degree. These numbers indicate that while non-college whites are still more likely to hold skepticism about college, even whites with a college degree are beginning to question the college industrial complex.
On top of that, belief that a college education is worth it has fallen among all partisan groups, not just Republicans. Among Democrats, 58% say a college education is worth it, down from 66% in 2016. Just 42% of independents now say a college education is worth it, down from 49% in 2016, and only 37% of Republicans say a college education is worth it, down from 52% in 2016.
These new findings indicate a cultural shift away from the conventional view on the unquestionable merits of higher education is underway. The shift in views on a college education could precede a host of conservative and independent political views. While white non-college Americans have a diverse range of views, there is no denying the correlation between skepticism of the college industrial complex, and skepticism of mainstream views and institutions, including the globalist political apparatus.