Americans unimpressed with Ivy Leagues, poll finds after anti-Israel protests

The poll is not heavily split along party lines.

Published: June 23, 2024 10:03pm

Few Americans are impressed with Ivy League workers, with just 10% of people polled saying that they believe Ivy graduates are better workers.

The survey comes after months of protests against Israel on college campuses.

Three-quarters of U.S. adults, 75%, say that they do not think Ivy League graduates are better workers, while nearly the same percentage, 74%, say that it is a very or somewhat serious problem that elite university graduates are out of touch with the values of ordinary Americans, according to a poll this week by Rasmussen Reports

Additionally, more than two-thirds of respondents, 67% said that students are better off saving money and going to a state school over an Ivy League school. Just 15% of respondents said the Ivy League price tag, which can be more than $350,000 for four years, is worth it.

Although Republicans had a slightly more negative attitude overall toward Ivy Leagues, the poll is not heavily split along party lines either. For example, While 76% of Democrats said that it is a very or somewhat serious problem that Ivy League graduates are out of touch with the values of ordinary Americans, 81% of Republicans said the same.

The poll, which was conducted with 1,232 U.S. adults from June 10-12 and has a margin of error of 3%.

The results did show an elevated opinion of Ivy Leagues from the last Rasmussen poll of the question in 2011, where 3% of people said those who go to Ivy League schools are better than those who go to other schools.

The results of the latest poll come after a prominent string of anti-Israel protests, some of which became violent, occurred. The protests culminated in "Gaza Solidarity Encampments," which started at Columbia University and spread to every single Ivy League school. Many of the encampment protests nationwide were marked with acts of antisemitism.

Meanwhile, even before the protests, Jewish student enrollment at Ivy Leagues was decreasing. 

For example, in the 2000s, about 20% of Yale University incoming freshman where Jewish, according to Ivy Coach, a college admissions service. By 2023, about 12% of undergraduate students were Jewish.

The admissions service predicted that Jewish enrollment would not decline at the schools this fall, however. 

"Perhaps it takes a Jewish person to share something that non-Jews may never understand about our people. We will always seek out the very best education in the world. After all, if history is any guide, people — nations even — can take our businesses, possessions, even our lives, but they can never take our educations," the article, presumably written by an anonymous Jew for the admissions agency, states. 

Tablet Magazine said in an article earlier this year titled, "Ivy League Exodus," that the "number of Jews on major Ivy League campuses has been cut in half or more over the past decade by new elite doctrines that downplay merit in favor of amorphous definitions of 'diversity' and 'privilege.'"

Other schools may be taking the place of Ivies, according to an analysis by Forbes last month, which reported that "new Ivies," are emerging. Those schools, many of which are public, have been considered to be of "Ivy caliber," which includes 10 publilc schools including the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign and the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor, and 10 private schools, including Rice University and Vanderbuilt University.

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