Only 36% of Americans Have Confidence in Higher Education

( – A new poll has shown that a small percentage of Americans believe in higher education, and most are skeptical of the value and cost of higher education and believe it’s going in the “wrong direction.”

A report from Gallup and the Lumina Foundation has shown that only thirty-six percent of Americans say they have a “great deal” of confidence or “quite a lot” in higher education. To compare, about ten years ago the rate for this exact statistic was fifty-seven percent, but it’s been steadily declining since.

This is in line with the declining enrollment in colleges as many struggle with the student debt crisis and are concerned about the high cost of tuition. Randy Hill, 59, a registered Republican in Connecticut, expressed his opinion, saying, “It’s so expensive, and I don’t think colleges are teaching people what they need to get a job.” He continued, “You graduate out of college, you’re up to eyeballs in debt, you can’t get a job, then you can’t pay it off. What’s the point?”

According to the poll, thirty-six percent of adults have confidence in higher education, unchanged from last year. Much fewer Americans are saying they have “some” confidence and instead have reported having “very little” or “no” confidence at all; thirty percent stated they have “no confidence” in American higher education.

Experts are concerned about what this means for the job force, because if there are fewer college graduates, then this could worsen labor shortages in fields like healthcare or technology. They’ve said that those without degrees could lose their jobs, or they will make much less than those with degrees.

Courtney Brown, vice president at Lumina, said, “It is sad to see that confidence hasn’t grown at all. What’s shocking to me is that the people who have low or no confidence are actually increasing.”

Looking at other areas of the report, sixty-seven percent of Americans said that college is headed in the “wrong direction.” When comparing four-year and two-year colleges, it’s said that more people have confidence in two-year colleges over four-year colleges.

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