Strong majority oppose debt-free higher education - 286 participants

Jan 21, 2017

Rep. Marjorie Porter has sponsored a concurrent resolution, HCR 2, declaring that the New Hampshire Legislature would support efforts in Congress to ensure that students have access to debt-free higher education at public colleges and universities. Read more about this issue here. On January 21, Citizens Count, NH’s Live Free or Die Alliance decided to put the issue to its Facebook members, posting the question, “Should the NH Legislature resolve to support federal efforts to give students access to debt-free higher education at public colleges and universities?”

Should the Legislature support federal efforts to provide debt-free higher education?

Debt Free Higher Education New Hampshire Citizen Voices Chart

Participation: 286 participants gave 721 responses.

A total of 93% of those participating gave a ‘yes or no’ response to the question. The remaining 7% of participants engaged in the discussion but did not give a ‘yes or no’ response. In total, 286 individuals from New Hampshire contributed a total of 721 responses or reactions to this question. Click here for details on our methodology.

[Note: Citizens Count NH also received additional comments from 48 individuals from outside New Hampshire.]

What Participants Said

Yes: The minority of ‘yes or no’ respondents, at 28%, were in favor of supporting efforts to give students access to debt-free higher education.  

  • “We rob our children of a better future by making college out of reach for so many, or by making our kids hock their futures with the burden of college debt. It's the single best investment we could make.”
  • “Yes, considering it's more expensive to go to UNH than MIT.”
  • “Education is the path to better economic security…  It is a spending that will pay back more in the long run.”

No: A strong majority, at 72% of ‘yes or no’ respondents, were against supporting efforts to give students access to debt-free higher education.  

  • “We don't need four more years of government funded education.”
  • “If what you want is "debt free", then don't go into debt. There are plenty of scholarships for serious students, and there is college the same way I paid for it, by working.”
  • “They offer tuition free college education. Join the military.”

Other: As noted above, 7% of those participating did not give a ‘yes or no’ response, instead addressing their comments to related questions and issues. These included:  

  • Lowering costs: “Unload non-productive faculty and administrators, provide frill-free dorms, reduce athletics and bloated coaching salaries, eliminate aid and scholarships for out of state students.”
  • Alternative policies: “Make it contingent on public service, community service, or military service.”
  • Personal experiences: “[I] would like the money spent on my kids’ education at public colleges refunded.”

*Editor selection of actual participant quotes. 

Related Bill

HCR 2 (2017)
Bill Status: Killed in the House
Hearing date: Jan 10, 2017

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