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Attention Santorum: 99 Percent of Republicans Expect Their Kids to Go to College Attention Santorum: 99 Percent of Republicans Expect Their Kids to Go to College

Attention Santorum: 99 Percent of Republicans Expect Their Kids to Go to College

by Liz Dwyer
March 5, 2012


Rick Santorum has been busy criticizing President Obama's push to ensure more American students go to college, but it turns out his opinion is out of step with America. The latest survey by the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press reveals that 60 percent of Americans believe colleges and universities have a positive impact on the country, and a full 84 percent say going to college is worth the financial investment. 

Yet the survey does reveal a partisan divide on the issue. Two-thirds of Democrats have a positive view of college, compared to just 51 percent of Republicans. However, Republicans were more likely to say going to college is worth the investment—85 percent of them, compared to 81 percent of Democrats.

Political affiliation also impacts individual attitudes about the purpose of college. Fifty-two percent of conservative Republicans believe higher education should be about developing the skills and knowledge needed for the workforce, compared to 37 percent of liberal Democrats. The largest percentage of liberal Democrats believe the point of college is helping students grow personally and intellectually, a minority view among Republicans.

No matter what political beliefs they hold, nearly all parents—99 percent of Republicans, 96 percent of Democrats, and 93 percent of independents—expect their children to go to college, the survey found. That resounding endorsement makes clear that Santorum is all but alone in his opinion that only snobs encourage all kids to go to college. 

Photo via (cc) Flickr user Patricia Drury

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