Fifty-eight percent of Republicans and Republican-leaning independents say colleges and universities have a negative effect on the country, according to a new Pew Research Center study. This marks a 45 percent increase from last year's study. Comparatively, 72 percent of Democrats and Democrat-leaning independents say higher education has a positive impact on the country. Fifty-five percent of the general population was also found to think positively of higher education. The research center surveyed 2,504 adults across the country last month.