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What Do Americans Think About College During COVID?

What Do Americans Think About College During COVID?
Susan Dutca-Lovell

How do Americans feel about students going back to college campuses during the coronavirus pandemic? A new report from the Pew Research Center highlights that roughly half of adults believe it was the right decision to bring students back for in-person learning, while 48 percent said it was the wrong decision.

Colleges and universities have had to rapidly adapt to current times, and even schools that allowed for a return to campus experienced more online learning than in previous years. Americans are skeptical that online learning provides the same caliber of learning as in-person instruction; of those polled, 30 percent claim that online courses offer the same value educational value compared to in-person instruction, while 68 percent claim they do not. When breaking down opinions by year in school, college graduates are among the most likely to claim that online classes do not measure up to in-person ones. For those with a bachelor's degree or higher, 75 percent stated online classes to not measure up to in-person learning; 67 percent for those with some college education, and 64 percent for those with a high school diploma or less.

The current poll also noted a deep partisan divide between respondents' views on the matter, with Republicans being twice as likely as Democrats to say bringing back students on campus was the right decision.

The good news in this recent poll? There has only been a slight decline in college enrollment for students ages 18- to 24-year-olds residing in metropolitan areas, from 41 percent in 2019 to 40 percent in 2020.

In your opinion do you think that going back on college campuses was a good or bad idea? Why or why not? Leave your comment below!

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