EC Launches First Index on American Opportunity

Eureka College American Opportunity Index

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New national poll measures Americans’ attitudes on pursuing their dreams

Today, Eureka College announced the results of its first “American Opportunity Index.” The index gauges attitudes of Americans about their future and the opportunities available to them. Is America still viewed as the land of opportunity?

Results from the 2016 Index illustrate respondents’ current views on the concept of American Opportunity is at 66 percent of its full potential. The findings are based on seven metrics; personal access, equality of access, compared to past generations, compared to other nations, attitude about the future, belief in the future of American Opportunity and leadership.

“As the smallest college to graduate a President of the United States and as a college that provides opportunities for all our students, we believe it is essential to assess the general perspectives of the American people on opportunity,” said Eureka College President, Dr. J. David Arnold. “The results from the 2016 American Opportunity Index are also a litmus test whether index respondents share President Reagan’s optimism about the future—do they, like President Reagan, view America as a ‘shining city on a hill.'”

A random sampling of more than 1,000 adults took the seven-question survey conducted by McLaughlin & Associates, a national research and polling firm. The results have a margin of error of +/-3.1%.

More than 90 percent of those surveyed agreed that America gives them the freedoms and opportunities to use their talents and skills to pursue their dreams.

But Americans are more divided when asked if they have the same freedoms and opportunities to pursue their dreams as compared to their parents and grandparents; 45 percent of those surveyed say they do not. Forty-two percent disagreed that future generations will have the same freedoms and opportunities to pursue their dreams compared to today.

When asked if our leaders make sure Americans have the freedom and opportunity to use their talents and skills to pursue their dreams, only 57 percent agreed.

“For 161 years, Eureka College has provided each generation of students with the types of opportunities to ensure that they reach their full potential as leaders in their personal and professional lives,” Arnold said. “This index was inspired by those opportunities that Eureka provided to our most famous alumnus Ronald Wilson Reagan, who went from his rural Illinois origins to world leader with five careers in between.”

This survey was conducted on behalf of Eureka College with the support of The Ronald W. Reagan Society of Eureka College. The results are being released in conjunction with the celebration of Ronald Reagan’s 105th birthday.

“The results from the survey are fascinating and groundbreaking,” said President & Partner of McLaughlin & Associates, Jim McLaughlin. “We are very excited to help Eureka College launch the first-of-its kind Index on American Opportunity, a value so central to its mission.”

Read the full report.