August 7, 2023
Recent public opinion polls indicate that Americans’ confidence in higher education is dwindling, as is their faith in the Supreme Court, Congress, the presidency and other U.S. institutions.
Fewer than 4 in 10 Americans – 36% – report having a “great deal” or “quite a lot” of confidence in higher education, according to a Gallup report based on phone interviews of 1,013 adults representing all 50 states and the District of Columbia, conducted in June 2023. That confidence level is down from 48% in 2018 and 57% in 2015.
There was a decline across all demographics – especially among those who identified as Republicans, had no college degree or were 55 years or older – in terms of the percentages of these groups that said they have a great deal or quite a lot of confidence in higher education.
Survey respondents who possessed either a college or postgraduate degree were among the most likely to express confidence in higher education, and observers say that’s because they’ve seen the value of it first-hand.