GOP pollster says four-year colleges might not be right path for all students

Republican pollster B.J. Martino suggested in an interview that aired on Thursday that a four-year higher education may not be the answer for all students. 

"We have set a four-year college as the standard by which everyone should go to," Martino, a partner at the Tarrance Group, told Hill.TV's Jamal Simmons on "What America's Thinking" on Wednesday. 

"Yet there are so many high-paying jobs for people who can weld, or can operate machinery, and that doesn't require a four-year college degree," he continued. 

"You don't have to come out with all of that debt, and you can go get a good job that can provide a lifetime of employment," he said. 

Martino's comments come as college tuition continues to rise in the U.S. and as a number of Democratic hopefuls in 2020, including Sens. Bernie SandersBernie SandersJames Carville: Biden represents 'stability' not 'generational change' Ocasio-Cortez, progressives trash 'antisemitic' Politico illustration of Bernie Sanders 2020 Democrats target federal ban on abortion funding MORE (I-Vt.) and Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth Ann WarrenTrump defense pick expected to face tense confirmation 2020 Democrats target federal ban on abortion funding Gillibrand seizes on abortion debate to jump-start campaign MORE (D-Mass.), have proposed making college free for students.

The average cost for private four-year colleges in the 2018-2019 school year was $35,676, while at public universities an out-of-state resident paid on average $21,629 and an in-state student paid an average of $9,716. 

— Julia Manchester