Polling conducted by Penn Schoen Berland on behalf of the Campaign for Free College Tuition (CFCT) indicates that nearly two-thirds of Americans (63%) support making college tuition free. While the concept of free college tuition had support across all racial/ethnic subgroups, it was highest among African-American (85%) and Hispanic (67%) respondents.
The survey also specifically asked about making community college tuition free, akin to the Obama administration’s proposed America’s College Promise initiative and statewide promise programs currently being implemented in Oregon and Tennessee, and found that nearly three-fours of respondents (72%) favored this concept. Support among Democratic and Independent subgroups is over 80% and is virtually evenly divided for Republican respondents.
CFCT President and CEO Morley Winograd stated that “the poll clearly indicates that political imperatives, economic necessity, and demographic destiny will make tuition free college inevitable. Just as the need to produce a literate citizenry in the new Republic led to free universal primary education by the time of the Civil War, and the rapid industrialization of America of the early 20th century made the creation of free secondary education a necessity, so does US entry into a knowledge age of global competition in the 21st Century make free college tuition an idea whose time has come.”
“I am pleased that a majority of Americans from all racial/ethnic and socioeconomic groups support making college tuition free. With a college degree or certificate being increasingly necessary for success and the price of tuition rising faster than any other item in a family’s budget, I expect that politicians of every partisan persuasion will follow the lead of Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam, a Republican, and Oregon State Senator Mark Hass, a Democrat, in enacting similar promise programs.”
The online quantitative survey, conducted by Penn Schoen Berland in August, had 802 participants with a ±2.85% margin of error at the 90% confidence level.
About the Campaign for Free College Tuition
CFCT is a 501(c) 3 non-profit organization established in the State of Washington in 2014 to educate parents, students, the higher education community, policy makers and taxpayers about efforts needed to fundamentally reform our nation’s system for financing higher education. We believe free college tuition is a goal that is supported by people of all political persuasions and are proud to have both major parties represented in our leadership.
About Penn Schoen Berland
Penn Schoen Berland (PSB), a member of Young & Rubicam Group and the WPP Group, is a global research-based consultancy that specializes in messaging and communications strategy for blue-chip corporate, political and entertainment clients. PSB's operations include over 200 consultants and a sophisticated in-house market research infrastructure with the capability to conduct work in over 90 countries. The company operates offices around the world, including in Washington D.C., New York, Seattle, Los Angeles, Denver, London, Madrid and Dubai, which are supported by in-house field capabilities and fully equipped to provide the complete creative solutions PSB clients need. More at www.psbresearch.com.
Our goal is to make higher education a possibility for every American, without regard to their financial circumstances.
We have a lot to do and not much time to do it, so your support is critical for our campaign to succeed. It’s with your investment that we can fundamentally reform how higher education is financed in this country, opening the doors to a more equitable society.
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