Americans' trust in college keeps dropping
Driving the news: Just 36% of Americans said they have confidence in higher education. Trust in major U.S. institutions overall has dropped.
- Confidence fell from 48% in 2018 and 57% in 2015.
Details: All major subgroups, polled between June 1-22, expressed less confidence in higher education, especially Republicans.
- In 2015, more than half of all Democrats and Republicans had "a great deal" or "quite a lot" of confidence in the institution, compared with 48% of independents.
- By 2018, less than half of Republicans and independents felt confident about the institution, compared with 62% of Democrats.
- This year, Republican confidence dropped to 19%, independent dropped to 32% and Democrat dropped to 59%.
Democrats are now "the only key subgroup with majority-level confidence in higher education," Megan Brenan, a research consultant for Gallup, wrote.
- Democrats expressed concerns about the cost of higher education, according to previous Gallup polling.
- Republicans were worried about politics in education.
- Both women's and men's confidence in higher education dropped. All age groups saw a decrease as well.
Half of people with postgraduate degrees expressed confidence in higher ed this year.
- 47% of respondents with college degrees and 29% with no college degree said they had confidence in the institution.
- People with no college degree saw the steepest drop among this group, down 25 percentage points since 2015.
The big picture: Higher education ranked fourth in confidence among 17 institutions, according to Gallup.
- In the top three spots were small business, the military and the police.
- Overall, Americans have expressed historically low faith in U.S. institutions, according to Gallup.
Methodology: The Gallup was conducted June 1-22 of 1,013 adults and it has a margin of error of plus-minus 4 percentage points.