This fall, Young America’s Foundation commissioned a scientific poll of college students on a variety of important issues and the results were nothing short of fascinating. The poll, which was done by the polling company inc./Woman Trend, digs deep into the beliefs of America’s college students, a demographic that was the subject of much speculation this semester as protests erupted on campuses across the country.

But are college students as liberal as we’re being lead to believe?

On free enterprise, the YAF poll found:

  • Far more college students prefer “smaller government with fewer services and lower taxes,” (50%) over “larger government that provides more services and higher taxes” (34%).
  • More college students believe a “strong free market” (48%) does a better job handling today’s complex economic problems than a “strong/active government” (39%).
  • Only 15% of students prefer socialism to free enterprise while 34% prefer free enterprise.
  • Thirty five percent of students prefer free markets to government regulations while only 16% prefer government regulations.
  • The top three issues students said they care about most are (1) education (2) student loan debt, and (3) jobs/unemployment.


On Black Lives Matter:

  • Nearly 7-in-10 students agreed that “given recent acts of violence against police officer, the Black Lives Matter movement has cultivated an anti-police culture.”

On gender pronouns:


  • Sixty two percent of students disagreed that professors should have the right to downgrade students for failing to use “gender inclusive” language like “mankind” instead of “humankind” in reference to men and women.
  • Not even half (49%) of LIBERAL students agree with implementing the use of pronouns like “ze,” “zir,” and “xyr” on their campus.

The poll’s findings on free speech issues were published earlier this year in a piece by David French written for National Review and on our website.

It’s remarkable that despite the suffocating impact of liberal bias on our nation’s college campuses, so many students have positive outlooks on free enterprise. We’re proud to know our efforts to take back America’s campuses have made an impact.

But the Left’s control over college curriculums, reading lists, and bureaucracies remains stronger than ever. A vocal faction of progressive college students and professors are working hard to cleanse campuses of any conservative ideas and silence anybody who disagrees with liberal ideas. Mandatory sensitivity trainings, speech codes, and other leftist tactics are rapidly proliferating.

Conservative campus activism is needed today more than ever before. Get involved with YAF to change your campus by calling 800-USA-1776.



  • Nationwide online survey of 1,000 students ages 18-24 conducted by the polling company inc./WomanTrend.
  • All students are currently enrolled in college.
  • Interviews conducted September 22-27, 2015.
  • Sampling controls used to ensure proportionate and representative number of interviews across gender, age, race, and region. Survey data were NOT weighted.
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