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Americans’ Views of Colleges and Universities Sink to New Lows

According to Gallup, in 2015, 57% of Americans had a “great deal” of confidence in U.S. colleges and universities. But by 2023, that number dropped to 36%. As of 2024, the number continues to decline.

A recent survey conducted by the Foundation for Individual Rights and Expression (FIRE) and NORC at the University of Chicago shows that Americans’ confidence in colleges and universities has hit an all-time low, at 28%.

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The survey found that some of the largest drop in confidence came from Democrats, women and younger Americans ages 18-34. The survey showed that many Americans have a sour mood when the “return-on-investment” in higher education failed to meet their expectations.

There are several reasons that contribute the decline too say some education professionals.

“Some of it comes from cultural issues like DEI and other leftist ideologies,” says Dr. Ed Moore, former president of the Independent Colleges and Universities of Florida (ICUF)

Moore says others he has talked with blame it on the attitude coming from school professors who endorse censorship on those from conservatives and teachers rile against colonialism and capitalism.

See also  Seven University of Florida Health Specialties Rank Among Nation’s Best in New Rankings

But according to those surveyed, one of the big declines they see among higher education came from student led pro-Hamas, anti-Israel protest following the October 7th attacks on Israel. Students afraid to attend college.

“The antisemitism that has been allowed on college campuses is a big shift on why Americans have a low opinion of colleges and universities these days,” said Moore.

The NORC survey revealed that some Ivy League colleges reported a drop-off in early applications, because of the antisemitism controversy.

Among political party lines, the survey showed a drop in confidence from Democrats 59% to 42% and women, from 39% to 29%. Among conservatives, only 12% and 12% of Republicans and 28% of independents admitted having high confidence in colleges and universities.


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