Voters Support Transparency in Higher Education

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KEY FINDINGS

Voters support requiring publicly funded colleges, universities, and training programs to disclose information on completion rates and student outcomes.
Transparency where there currently is none and encouraging more young people to go into the trades are convincing messages.
Voters are more likely
to support this reform knowing that fewer than two-thirds of American college students complete their degrees.

KEY MESSAGES

These Messages Work Best

Disclose academic outcomes

Voters are more likely to support transparency measures when they learn that the federal government spends nearly $20 billion annually on job training programs but reports little about the outcomes.

These Messages Work Best

Encourage the trades

The idea that disclosing completion rates, average incomes, and average student debt of higher ed programs could encourage young people to pursue jobs in the trades moves voters towards supporting transparency reforms.

Many students never graduate

Explaining that fewer than two-thirds of American college students complete their degree helps voters understand the necessity of disclosing higher ed outcomes.

Results for this poll are based on automated telephone interviews conducted among a nationwide sample of 510 likely voters. Data for this survey research was collected by Cor Services, Inc.

Interviews were conducted via a computer-assisted telephone interviewing system utilizing techniques designed to achieve the highest possible respondent cooperation.

The surveys were conducted March 18–20, 2022. The margin of sampling error is plus or minus 4.34 percentage points. The margin of sampling error may be higher for certain subgroups. Results presented may not always appear to total 100 percent due to rounding.

Data was sampled using weighted demographic information from the U.S. Census Bureau’s Current Population Survey Voting and Registration Supplement and the state election authorities. Demographic information for actual voters in past elections were used to construct sample target weights.

The Foundation for Government Accountability paid for all costs associated with this survey.