Home / Education / Jewish students look to southern colleges as antisemitism spikes at liberal universities
antisemitic southern
Elon University. Image: Rob Brown, Elon.

Jewish students look to southern colleges as antisemitism spikes at liberal universities

The rising tide of antisemitism at elite colleges in the Northeast has many Jewish students considering alternative schools in the South and Midwest. Scott Katz, for example, opted for Elon in South Carolina, which received an A grade from the Anti-Defamation League for its work to protect Jewish students from hate on campus.

“It was a big deal,” he told Fox News. “Even if I could’ve gotten into Harvard, I wouldn’t have gone. I wanted a school that felt right for me, not someplace that we’re told we’re supposed to want to go.”

Rick Clark, assistant vice provost and executive director of undergraduate admissions at Georgia Tech, reported seeing the same trend. “Never before have we seen so much interest in colleges like Clemson, Georgia Tech and North Carolina State,” he said. “That’s just unprecedented.”

Other parents and students cited COVID-era lockdown policies as the reason that they started to more seriously consider southern schools.

“Kids up north were pretty unhappy during those COVID lockdown years,” said Larry Glazer, father of a prospective college student. “And colleges down south were offering something different. My son and his friends would look at TikTok and see all these college kids going to football games, throwing parties, living their lives. It has an impact.”

Julie Ketover, a Yale graduate, said, “I don’t know that the value of an Ivy League education is the same as it used to be. People ask me all the time, ‘Would you do Yale again?’ I would. I loved it. But it used to mean something to go to a really, really good school. I think it means less today.”

Christopher Rim, CEO of the college consulting firm Command Education, said some students are giving up on going to elite schools entirely and are even interested in transferring to other institutions.

“One student we work with recently abandoned her yearslong dream of attending Columbia” due to antisemitism, he said. “We’ve also seen a number of Jewish students who are interested in transferring, especially from Columbia, Cornell, and Penn.”

As for schools closer to home, just one Missouri or Kansas college was rated.

In January 2024, a number of Jewish students enrolled at Washington University in St. Louis, reports the ADL, via a rare, mid-year transfer after reporting “feeling unsafe on their previous campuses due to antisemitism.” The school received a B rating from the ADL.

–Dwight Widaman

Leave a Reply