Voters Support Fundamental Reforms in College Admissions and College Life

For better or worse, the federal government has tremendous power over American colleges and universities. All but a handful of schools accept federal funding in the form of student loans making them subject to federal regulations. If the federal government used that power to implement changes supported by voters, the world of higher education would be completely turned upside down.

Eighty-six percent (86%) of voters favor a complete separation of the admissions department and school fundraisers so that those making admissions decisions do not know of parental donations. Other reforms with strong majority support include strict enforcement of drinking age laws on college campuses (84%), requiring that schools host speakers and events reflecting a wide variety of political perspectives (81%), ending ban on preferential treatment of sports stars (80%), and a ban on giving preferential treatment to students whose parents attended the same school (70%).

Fifty-two percent (52%) support a ban on fraternities and sororities. Fifty percent (50%) would like to impose a limit to the number of wealthy students who can be admitted to any school (see question wording and crosstab results).

In addition to these reforms, voters embrace other changes to the college culture. Fifty-four percent (54%) of voters believe most students would benefit from working a full-time job for a couple of years before attending college.  Additionally, 72% believe it would be better to work while going to school and graduating debt free after eight years rather than taking out student loans.

Some schools might respond to such changes by ending their reliance upon federal funding. However, it’s also worth noting that 51% of voters already believe the federal government has too much influence over higher education. Just 21% believe it has too little.

Ninety percent (90%) agree that “This college cheating scheme is really nothing new. Wealthy parents always bend or break the rules to get their children into better schools.”

Voters overwhelmingly believe colleges and universities should teach job skills. However, just 20% believe they currently do a good job of that. Thirty-five percent (35%) believe colleges expect too little from students while 24% say they expect too much. releases new public opinion data every day relating to topics in the news and other items of interest. Please sign up to receive the latest data and insights each day via email.

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The national survey of 1,001 Registered Voters was conducted March 15-16, 2019 by and HarrisX, a polling company specializing in online surveys (see Methodology). It has a 3.1 percentage point Margin of Error with a 95% level of confidence.

Neither Scott Rasmussen nor has any relationship with Rasmussen Reports® (see About Us).




Posted in Poll Results

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