In July, we reported that support for free college tuition for all those who are academically qualified was “remarkably stable,” despite the political turmoil the country has been experiencing at the national level.” Our November 2018 survey conducted right after Election Day not only confirms these findings, it indicates that overall support has grown and solidified.
The survey, conducted by PSB Research, was the eighth online quarterly survey CFCT has sponsored to explore levels of public support for free public college tuition. It found the percentage of respondents who indicated strong support was 51% with overall support at 81%. These figures represent a three percent increase since June.
More significantly, Republican strong support for the concept continues to grow and reached its highest level yet, 35%, a two-point increase since June. Overall Republican support for states providing free college tuition to academically qualified students now stands at 65%.
Female respondents strongly embrace free college. Their level of strong support reached 57%, the highest level since we began polling in December 2016.
Among ethnic and racial groups, November’s poll found the highest level of strong support came from African-American and Hispanic respondents – 81% and 70% respectively. The strong support among African-Americans was the highest ever recorded, up 12% from April and November 2017 polling.
Finally, support among respondents ages 18 to 34, generally considered members of the Millennial generation, reached its highest level ever for both strong support – 69% – and overall support – 94%.
In sum, CFCT’s polling demonstrates that tuition-free college is embraced across all political and demographic lines. We are pleased that after a divisive midterm election Americans remain supportive of a life-changing public policy proposal that has been embraced by Democratic and GOP governors alike. With your help, we look forward to adding more states to our national momentum map in 2019.
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.
If you agree with our goal, our plan, and the urgency of the problem, we ask that you give what you can to help us write the next chapter in our nation’s history of continuously expanding access to universal, free education.