Political Issues Students Care About

  • Students are more politically engaged — and campuses more polarized — than ever.
  • Top social issues for college students include climate change and college affordability.
  • Activism around Black Lives Matter has made racial justice a strong priority for students.

College campuses have 카지노사이트 been political hot spots since the mid-1960s. Issues that dominated campuses during the Vietnam War look a lot like the current social issues college students care about in 2020. Like then, students today are rallying around civil rights and racial justice as a larger cultural rift continues to divide American politics.

The Trump presidency has sparked political activism for many young Americans on the left and right. Students are growing more political — and more politically divided — than ever before. A BestColleges survey found over half of undergraduate students actively supported social justice efforts in the past year.

Despite the extreme partisan divide on campuses, young millennials and Gen Zers hold nuanced political views. Just over half (52%) of young voters supported the impeachment of President Trump, yet most college students lean progressive on social issues like same-sex marriage and hate speech.

College-aged voters also acted as a driving force behind the push for immigration reform, and even conservative-leaning students tend to have more progressive stances on issues like climate change and gun control. These trends suggest that, no matter their political leanings, students will vote their values in 2020.

Do Students’ Views Change in College?

Nearly half of students report changing their political leanings during college. College is a time of exploration. Gathering new information and perspectives from courses, instructors, campus groups, mentors, and peers often results in novel ways of thinking.

College students are also willing to debate their views. According to the Higher Education Research Institute’s annual survey of incoming students, 71.7% “strongly agree” or “somewhat agree” that dissent is an important part of the political process.

Mental flexibility, and the willingness to change your mind, is a trait associated with intelligence. But college’s tendency to change students’ worldviews has long been assumed to run in one direction: the left.

Indeed, a positive correlation exists between higher levels of educational attainment and liberalism, and 30% of students claim they became more liberal in college.바카라사이트

While professors are largely assumed to be more liberal and outspoken about their beliefs, the student population itself remains politically diverse, with most identifying as moderate.

College Affordability

Although Republicans and Democrats are notoriously split on many issues in higher education, both sides agree that tuition costs are too high. Over the past several years, people have increasingly considered college affordability to be one of the nation’s biggest problems. Student loan debt in the U.S. surpassed $1.6 trillion in 2019.

The potential rewards of going to college — including higher income and better career stability — are so great that many students take out whatever loans they need in order to enroll. The majority (67%) of 25-to-29-year-olds carry debt, and some say this burden is already affecting important life decisions.

In response to the college affordability crisis, some progressive policymakers propose mass student loan forgiveness and free college. Among young voters, Senator Bernie Sanders’ plans to cancel debt and subsidize 100% of college tuition costs proved so popular that presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden has adopted portions of the policy in his own campaign.

However, a partisan divide exists over both debt forgiveness and free college. College students are evenly split over the question of debt forgiveness, with half favoring repayment flexibility or no policy change, and the other half urging forgiveness for either all or those most in need.

The notion of free college is more divisive. Whereas over 80% of Democrats and Democratic-leaning independents favor making college tuition-free for all American students, 60% of Republicans and Republican-leaning independents oppose the proposal.온라인카지

Racial Justice

Racial justice is an enduring cause for college student activists. In recent weeks, the Black Lives Matter movement has gained sweeping momentum in the form of nationwide protests sparked by the death of George Floyd, an unarmed Black man who died while being physically restrained by a white Minneapolis police officer.

In addition to demanding an end to both white supremacy and police violence against unarmed Black people, students ask for equitable admissions and hiring processes; more inclusive curricula; and greater representation in the media, politics, and more.

College students agree the work is just beginning. In 2018, only a small proportion of first-year students (17.6%) believed that “racial discrimination is no longer a major problem in America.” This figure changes when looking at specific populations. Across races, male students are twice as likely as female students to believe that race is not currently an issue.

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