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Education

New Survey Reveals Millennials’ Complex Opinions On Education

They’re mostly liberal, but they agree with Trump on one issue.

The 2016 election marked a big turning point for the electorate, millennials (age 18 to 34) edged out baby boomers (age 51 to 69) to become the country’s largest voter-eligible generation. Overall, millennials are pretty liberal; a 2016 poll found that 61% prefer a Democrat in the White House, while 33% favor a Republican. A poll taken last year found that only 17% of millennials have a favorable opinion of President Trump. But when it comes to education, they’re open to a few of his policies.

Trump and education secretary Betsy DeVos have made expanding access to charter schools a top priority. His 2018 budget proposal looks to increase funding by $168 million, a 50% increase. A poll by GenForward found that increasing access to charter schools is one policy most millennials would support. Nearly two-thirds of African-American millennials (65%) support charter schools, as do 61% of Asian-Americans, 58% of Latinos, and 55% of whites. A survey of the general population, however, found that only 39% of Americans support charter schools.


Photo by State Farm/Flickr.

When it comes to the controversial issue of school vouchers, millennials also strongly support the idea for low-income students. Among millennials, 79% of African-American respondents, 76% of Asian-Americans, 77% of Latinos, and 66% of whites agree with the policy. But when it comes to offering vouchers for all students, regardless of income, support drops by about 25% across the board. Trump’s voucher initiatives would be open to all students, which could be devastating to the country’s education system.

Surprisingly, not all millennials believe that going to college is necessary to be successful. Sixty-two percent of Asian-Americans and 57% of Latinos say a college education is “necessary today to be successful.” Fewer white (55%) and African-American (51%) young adults say the same. But one thing 78% of millennials believe — in strict contrast to Trump — is that college tuition at public colleges should be free. That’s probably why Bernie Sanders is so popular among them.