Affluent investors are more open to the idea of the federal government subsidizing free trade school education than they are the government subsidizing a free college education, according to our new Investor Pulse survey.
On a 100-point scale on which “100” equals “total agreement,” the concept of the federal government subsidizing a plan that would offer free trade school education was ranked at 45, compared with 39 for a plan to offer free college education.
Analyzed by gender, women are more in agreement than men on both plans; 47 vs. 43 regarding subsidizing trade school education and 41 vs. 36 regarding free college education.
Not surprisingly, those who agree with creating a plan to subsidize a college education are more likely to have less net worth than those who would tend to disagree. For example, respondents with a net worth between $500,000 and $1 million scored 40 on the 100-point scale regarding agreement that the federal government should subsidize a college education, compared with millionaire respondents, who scored 38 and those with at least $5 million, who scored 30.
Also not surprisingly, younger respondents are much more open to the concept of the federal government subsidizing a free college or trade school education. Gen Xers ages 41-50 scored 47 on the 100-point scale regarding a plan to offer a free college education compared with Baby Boomers who scored their agreement at 37 and those ages 61 and up who scored their agreement at 35.
Similarly, Gen Xers score their agreement regarding a plan to subsidize free trade school education at 49 compared with Baby Boomers (42) and those ages 61 and up (43).
According to our wealth segment study Financial Behaviors and the Investor’s Mindset, paying for a children’s education as a primary personal concern among roughly six-in ten of Gen X and Baby Boomer Mass Affluent investors with a net worth between $100,000 and $1 million (not including primary residence).
Even among Millionaireswith a net worth up to $5 million, almost two-thirds of Gen Xers consider financing their child’s education to be a significant personal financial concern. Four-in-ten Baby Boomer Millionaires feel the same.
In this 2016 presidential race, Democratic contender Bernie Sanders has made free college education one of the cornerstones of his platform. “It is…counter-productive to the best interests of our country and our future, that hundreds of thousands of bright young people cannot afford to go to college, and that millions of others leave school with a mountain of debt that burdens them for decades,” he proclaims on his campaign website. Affluent respondents who identify as Democrats are on board, scoring 62 on the 100-point agreement scale regarding a free college education and 66 regarding free trade school education.
Respondents who identify as Republicans are not so keen on the idea. They scored only 20 on the 100-point scale regrading a federal government plan to subsidize a free college education and 27 regarding a government plan to offer free trade school education. Independents, characteristically, are in the middle 38 points and 46 points, respectively).