Are 'prestigious' colleges losing clout among students?

  • A new poll finds that more students prefer "free" college tuition over "prestigious" universities.
  • Students had the option of choosing "free" college tuition at a university "nobody has ever heard of" or full tuition at a "prestigious" university?

A new survey found that 67 percent of students would rather have free tuition than a diploma from a “prestigious” institution.

Students from across the nation, representing 4-year institutions, were asked a selection of questions related to the value they place on a degree. 

"67 percent would prefer free tuition at a university 'nobody has heard of' compared to 26 percent who would prefer attending a 'prestigious' university at full price"   

Results are based on a recent College Pulse poll conducted among 8,887 students currently attending four-year colleges or universities across the United States. Those who answered had the option to choose “full tuition at a prestigious university,” “free tuition at a university nobody has heard of,” or “not sure.”

[RELATED: Pitt students demand disarming of police, free tuition]

Of the 8,887 students polled, 67 percent would prefer free tuition at a university “nobody has heard of” compared to 26 percent who would prefer attending a “prestigious” university at full price. The remaining seven percent of those asked claimed they weren’t sure which they preferred.

The survey notes that responses from students showed a trend both among those with financial aid and racial minorities.

“Students with differing financial circumstances were more divided than students overall, with more students on financial aid preferring free tuition at a university nobody has heard of than students without financial aid (71 percent vs. 55 percent). Black or African-American students are also more likely to prefer free tuition at a university nobody has heard of than students overall (74 percent vs. 67 percent), while 49 percent of Asian students say the same.”

[RELATED: Socialist students: 'Free' tuition would stimulate economy]

Campus Reform has frequently reported on the student demand for free education and several states that are considering such a concept, such as West Virginia, Rhode Island, and Vermont.

Democrat 2020 candidates have also adopted free tuition on their platforms, with popular candidates like Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren advocating for free tuition nationwide.

[RELATED: FREE, FREE, FREE: 2020 Dems dish up higher ed policies]

Follow the author of this article on Twitter: @Grace_Gotcha



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Grace Gottschling
Grace Gottschling | Investigative Reporter

Grace Gottschling is the Investigative Reporter for Campus Reform. She is a recent graduate of The College of New Jersey and has experience traveling across the country to engage and train others in pro-life apologetics. Grace manages research and Freedom of Information Act records requests for Campus Reform.

20 Articles by Grace Gottschling