The impact of politics on colleges and universities across the country isn’t just making headlines. It’s also driving prospective colleges students away from certain states, a new study released Monday suggests.
One in four high school seniors reported they ruled out certain campuses based on the politics, policies or unfolding legal situations in certain states, according to polling from the Art & Science Group, a consulting firm specializing in higher education.
The findings held true across the political spectrum, with self-identified liberal students (31 percent), conservative students (28 percent) and moderates (22 percent) all reporting they avoided certain states.
“Possibly the most interesting subgroup difference is the lack of a difference,” the report on the study reads. “In our research, students who identify as conservatives are about as likely to reject an institution on politically charged grounds overall as are students who classify themselves as liberals. Indeed, for those intent on generationally derived behavioral explanations, our study suggests that ‘snowflake’ students may exist on both the conservative and liberal sides of the aisle, with the phenomenon of ruling out an institution being cited by around 30% of both liberals and conservatives.”
The study’s authors note that their polling was fielded this winter, before the biggest political conflicts in higher education erupted in Florida, Texas and Ohio.
The states most likely to be ruled out by students: Alabama (38 percent), Texas (29 percent), Louisiana and Florida (both 21 percent).
Students who identified as liberal-leaning said they were more likely to rule out schools in the South or Midwest while conservative-leaning students said they were more likely to rule out New York and California. Read more