Support First Things by turning your adblocker off or by making a  donation. Thanks!

A new survey of 2,508 Americans conducted by the Intercollegiate Studies Institute asked 39 questions intended to evaluate the impact of a college education on people’s beliefs. The results are as discouraging as they are predictable:

Conventional wisdom holds that there is a strong connection between how much people know and how much college education they receive—the more college, the more knowledge. ISI’s research, however, demonstrates that on most campuses, this seemingly obvious correlation is quite marginal where knowledge of America’s history and institutions is concerned.

Additionally, the survey discovered that if two people share the same basic characteristics, the one who has taught at the college level is more likely to agree that:
* America corrupts otherwise good people;
* The Ten Commandments are irrelevant today;
* Raising the minimum wage decreases employment;
* Educators should instill more doubt in students and reject certainty;
* Homeschooling families neglect their community obligations.

Read more of the findings at the ISI website .

Dear Reader,

We launched the First Things 2023 Year-End Campaign to keep articles like the one you just read free of charge to everyone.

Measured in dollars and cents, this doesn't make sense. But consider who is able to read First Things: pastors and priests, college students and professors, young professionals and families. Last year, we had more than three million unique readers on

Informing and inspiring these people is why First Things doesn't only think in terms of dollars and cents. And it's why we urgently need your year-end support.

Will you give today?

Make My Gift

Comments are visible to subscribers only. Log in or subscribe to join the conversation.



Filter First Thoughts Posts

Related Articles