The crisis in confidence coincides with a similar decline in the public's view that higher education is affordable and available to those who need it, according to the report - suggesting that affordability and access are linked to the faith people have in the institution of higher learning.
The waning confidence in higher education isn't limited to the general public either; academics have begun to lose faith as well.
Concerns about the future of higher education also exist within academia. College and university trustees and board members -- many of whom are intimately familiar with higher ed's services, operations and impact -- remain concerned about the industry's future, despite being more confident in their own institution's future. The AGB 2018 Trustee Index, a recent study conducted by the Association of Governing Boards and Gallup, finds that three in four trustees (74%) are concerned or very concerned about the future of higher education in the U.S. Their concerns remain focused largely on one main challenge: affordability. -Gallup
What do college and university trustees point to as the top issues causing the drop in public confidence? Negative media reports about student debt (72%) and news reports on the cost of tuition (64%). To that end, more than half of trustees (58%) say their top concern about the future of higher education is the cost.