Poll: Americans Lose Confidence in Predominantly Left-Leaning Colleges

A 2013 Brown University student protest / Wikimedia
July 27, 2022

The number of Americans who say universities are leading America in a positive direction has dropped 14 points in the last two years, according to a survey released Tuesday.

Varying Degrees, an annual survey released by the left-leaning New America think tank, found just over half of Americans, 55 percent, say higher education has a positive influence on the United States, down from 69 percent in 2020. While Republicans showed the greatest drop, plummeting from 61 percent in 2020 to 37 percent in 2022, self-identified Democrats' confidence in colleges also declined 7 points.

Elite universities have been the subject of numerous controversies related to their ideological posturing. Georgetown sanctioned law professor Ilya Shapiro following his criticism of President Joe Biden for appointing a Supreme Court justice on the basis of race. Princeton University ousted a renowned conservative professor who had received tenure, and Yale Law School has been rocked by calls from liberal students to harass conservatives on campus.

Many U.S. colleges are home to self-described liberal professors. At Harvard, for instance, 82 percent of professors surveyed this year called themselves either "liberal" or "very liberal," compared with just 1 percent who identified as conservative.

Fewer Americans believe the government should fund higher education, declining by 6 percentage points over the past two years.

Published under: Campus