Show an ad over header. AMP

I am the FIRST

Axios-Ipsos poll: 51% of Black people say they’re disadvantaged in U.S. higher education

Data: Axios/Ipsos Poll; Chart: Thomas Oide/Axios

Asian, Black and Hispanic Americans are more likely to say colleges and universities reflect white people's views, while white Americans — especially Republicans — are more likely to say these institutions favor liberal beliefs, according to a new Axios/Ipsos poll on inequity in higher education.

The big picture: Everybody sees the necessity of a college education in today's world. But fewer than one in 10 thinks a four-year degree is affordable, and six in 10 think it should be free for all U.S. citizens.


  • The poll was conducted for an Axios deep dive on higher education that will be released this afternoon as part of our "Hard Truths" series on systemic racism.

What they're saying: "If conservatives think they’re being excluded and minorities feel they’re being excluded, is this the next flashpoint?" said Cliff Young, president of Ipsos U.S. Public Affairs.

  • "Everyone believes in higher education to get ahead. But it’s all about means and access. People of color have always felt they’ve been excluded, haven't had access. And now you have white Americans who’d always had access and now feel that ease of access has been threatened."

By the numbers: Majorities across every racial and ethnic group support making four-year college or university educations free to all U.S. citizens, a view especially held by Americans under 50.

  • That's true for 51% of white Americans, 66% of Asian Americans, 71% of Hispanic Americans and 78% of Black Americans.
  • 48% of Asian Americans, 43% of Black Americans, 39% of Hispanic Americans and 31% of white Americans said colleges are biased toward white values and beliefs.
  • Meanwhile, 50% of white Americans, 45% of Asian Americans, 39% of Hispanic Americans and 30% of Black Americans said colleges have a liberal bias.

The intrigue: Asked how comfortable "a person like you" would be in different types of higher education institutions, white respondents were the least comfortable — a trend that's driven by partisanship, but becomes especially strong for more advanced studies.

  • 79% of all respondents said they'd feel comfortable in a trade school or community college — including 75% of Asian Americans, 78% of white Americans, 80% of Black Americans and 84% of Hispanic Americans.
  • 67% of all respondents said they'd feel comfortable at a four-year college or university — but only 62% of white Americans and 55% of Republicans felt that way, compared with 74% of Black Americans, 76% of Hispanic Americans and 83% of Asian Americans.
  • But color made little difference when respondents were asked if institutions of higher learning equip "people like you" professionally and financially.

Black, Hispanic and Asian-Americans respondents were far more likely than white respondents to support an admissions process that gives favorable consideration to applicants from disadvantaged communities. They were also more likely to support forgiving student debt.

  • White respondents were four times as likely as Black respondents and twice as likely as Hispanic respondents to say affirmative action was discriminatory against white Americans.

Between the lines: Respondents were asked if their own race helped or hurt them when it came to access and opportunity for higher education. White Americans were most likely to say it helped them, though only 29% said so. Just 5% of Black Americans said their race has been an advantage.

  • Just 43% of white respondents — compared with 65% of Asian Americans, 67% of Hispanic Americans and 81% of Black Americans — said higher education must keep making changes to give students of other colors equal opportunities.

Methodology: This Axios/Ipsos Poll was conducted Aug. 11-18 by Ipsos' KnowledgePanel®. This poll is based on a nationally representative probability sample of 1,992 general population adults age 18 or older.

  • The survey included interviews with 761 white respondents, 510 Black respondents, 477 Hispanic respondents and 205 Asian American/Pacific Islander respondents.
  • The study was conducted in both English and Spanish. The data were weighted to adjust for gender by age, race/ethnicity, education, Census region, metropolitan status, household income, race/ethnicity by gender, race/ethnicity by age, race/ethnicity by education and race/ethnicity by region.
  • The margin of sampling error is ±2.6 percentage points at the 95% confidence level, for results based on the entire sample of adults.

Why the startup world needs to ditch "unicorns" for "dragons"

When Aileen Lee originally coined the term "unicorn" in late 2013, she was describing the 39 "U.S.-based software companies started since 2003 and valued at over $1 billion by public or private market investors."

Flashback: It got redefined in early 2015 by yours truly and Erin Griffith, in a cover story for Fortune, as any privately-held startup valued at $1 billion or more. At the time, we counted 80 of them.

Keep reading... Show less

Scoop: Facebook's new moves to lower News Feed's political volume

Facebook plans to announce that it will de-emphasize political posts and current events content in the News Feed based on negative user feedback, Axios has learned. It also plans to expand tests to limit the amount of political content that people see in their News Feeds to more countries outside of the U.S.

Why it matters: The changes could reduce traffic to some news publishers, particularly companies that post a lot of political content.

Keep reading... Show less

Scoop: Amazon quietly getting into live audio business

Amazon is investing heavily in a new live audio feature that's similar to other live audio offerings like Clubhouse, Twitter Spaces and Spotify's new live audio platform, sources tell Axios.

Why it matters: As with Amazon's efforts in podcasting and music subscriptions, the company sees live audio as a way to bolster the types of content it can offer through its voice assistant, Alexa, and its smart speaker products.

Keep reading... Show less

Hurricane Ida exposes America's precarious energy infrastructure

The powerful hurricane that plunged New Orleans into darkness for what could be weeks is the latest sign that U.S. power systems are not ready for a warmer, more volatile world.

The big picture: “Our current infrastructure is not adequate when it comes to these kinds of weather extremes,” Joshua Rhodes, a University of Texas energy expert, tells Axios.

Keep reading... Show less

"We must go further": 70% of adults in European Union are fully vaccinated

About 70% of adults in the European Union are fully vaccinated against COVID-19, Ursula von der Leyen, the president of the European Commission, said Tuesday.

Why it matters: The milestone makes the E.U. one of the world's leaders in inoculations, after an initially lagging vaccine campaign, the New York Times notes.

Keep reading... Show less

What Elizabeth Holmes jurors will be asked ahead of fraud trial

Jury selection begins today in USA v. Elizabeth Holmes, with the actual jury trial to get underway on Sept. 8.

Why it matters: Theranos was the biggest fraud in Silicon Valley history, putting both hundreds of millions of dollars and thousands of patients' health at risk.

Keep reading... Show less

Insights

mail-copy

Get Goodhumans in your inbox

Most Read

More Stories