Gallup: Americans Rate 4-Year College as High as Community College


Are four-year colleges any better than community colleges? Americans don’t think so, according to a new Gallup survey that finds 66 percent of respondents rated the quality of community colleges as “excellent” or “good” while 70 percent rated four-year colleges the same way.

According to the survey, conducted June 2-7, participants were asked, “From what you know, how would you rate the quality of education offered by each of the following – as generally excellent, good, only fair or poor?”

The choices given were “four-year colleges and universities,” “community colleges,” and “internet-based college programs.” While community colleges and four-year colleges were rated similarly, only 36 percent of respondents rated internet-based college programs as “excellent” or “good.”

Only Americans with advanced degrees rated four-year colleges as much higher than community colleges. Among those with postgraduate education, 75 percent rated four-year schools as “excellent” or “good,” while 66 percent rated community colleges the same. Of college graduates, 77 percent rated four-year colleges highly, while 71 percent rated community colleges the same. Among participants in the survey with “some college” education, 71 percent rated four-year schools highly, while 74 percent rated community colleges at the same level.

As the age of respondents increased, the ratings of both types of schools became increasingly similar. Of Americans age 18-29, 70 percent rated four-year colleges highly, while 58 percent rated community colleges the same. Of those in the 30-49-year age group, 72 percent rated four-year schools highly, while 68 percent viewed community colleges the same. Among 50-64-year-olds, 69 percent viewed four-year colleges as “excellent” or “good,” while 70 perent said the same of community colleges. Finally, 65 percent of those 65 and over rated four-year schools highly, while 71 percent said the same of community colleges.

The survey is published as the cost of college tuition has continued to skyrocket in the country and, still, approximately 40 percent of unemployed Americans are millennials, reports Newsweek.

According to the “Millennial Jobs Report,” 13.8 percent of 18-29-year-olds are unemployed, which is considerably higher than the given national jobless rate of 5.4 percent.

As Newsweek reports:

Millennials face higher university tuitions and student loan debt than ever before, as well as stiffer competition when they enter the workforce… Perhaps most infuriating, millennials are getting lower earnings compared with the nation’s median income, versus people of that age a decade ago.

What this means is that the rewards of attending college and paying exorbitant tuition are not keeping up with the real costs, when four-year college graduates are entering the job market bogged down with an average $33,000 in student loan debt.

President Obama and other left-wing ideologues would have Americans believe community college—and pre-school at the other end of the education timeline—should be “free,” while some portion of student loans should be “forgiven.” Smart Americans, however, know that nothing is “free,” and those who expect education handed to them will pay for it in higher taxes in the end.

Anthony Carnevale, director and research professor for Georgetown University’s Center on Education and the Workforce, told Newsweek that college graduates are feeling disappointed in their universities, even as the colleges raise tuitions.

“I don’t know if you noticed,” he said, “but we have a debate raging in this country right now over whether universities are supposed to teach for enlightenment or to prepare students for the job market. You still see presidents at some very prestigious universities arguing for the former, not the latter.”


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