Gallup Poll: Fewer Americans Have Confidence in Higher Education

On Tuesday, a new Gallup poll suggested that Americans across all demographic groups are less confident in the institution of higher education than they were several years ago.

According to Axios, the Gallup survey in question shows that just 36 percent of Americans report having confidence in colleges and universities. In 2018, that number stood at 48 percent, which itself was a drop from 57 percent in 2015.

Back in 2015, over half of all Democrats and Republicans alike reported “a great deal” or “quite a lot” of confidence in higher education, with 48 percent of independents saying the same. But by 2018, confidence levels had dropped to less than half of all Republicans and independents; meanwhile, Democrats’ trust in the institution remained high, at 62 percent.

In 2023, Republicans fell to a mere 19 percent confidence level in higher education, with independents down to 32 percent. Democrats’ confidence fell slightly to 59 percent. As a result, Democrats are now “the only key subgroup with majority-level confidence in higher education,” said Gallup’s Megan Brenan, a research consultant.

Even Americans with postgraduate degrees are less likely to express confidence in the institution, with 47 percent of respondents with college degrees saying so. Conversely, just 29 percent of people with no college education expressed confidence in colleges as an institution; that percentage marks a 25-point drop from the previous total in 2015.

The decline in confidence in higher education reflects a broader, ongoing trend of Americans losing faith in most major institutions across the country. Out of 17 major institutions included in Gallup’s surveys, higher education was ranked as the fourth-highest in terms of trust among the American people. The top three institutions were small businesses, the U.S. military, and the police.

Get the news corporate media won't tell you.

Get caught up on today's must read stores!

By submitting your information, you agree to receive exclusive AG+ content, including special promotions, and agree to our Privacy Policy and Terms. By providing your phone number and checking the box to opt in, you are consenting to receive recurring SMS/MMS messages, including automated texts, to that number from my short code. Msg & data rates may apply. Reply HELP for help, STOP to end. SMS opt-in will not be sold, rented, or shared.

About Eric Lendrum

Eric Lendrum graduated from the University of California, Santa Barbara, where he was the Secretary of the College Republicans and the founding chairman of the school’s Young Americans for Freedom chapter. He has interned for Young America’s Foundation, the Heritage Foundation, and the White House, and has worked for numerous campaigns including the 2018 re-election of Congressman Devin Nunes (CA-22). He is currently a co-host of The Right Take podcast.

Photo: GettyImages