The National Study of Learning, Voting, and Engagement (NSLVE, pronounced “n-solve”), a robust study of college and university student voting and service to more 1,200 U.S. colleges and universities nationally. By supplying tailored NSLVE reports to each participating campus, our team aims to catalyze change at the institutional level. Educators and students use their NSLVE data to teach about democracy in the classroom and beyond, to increase political learning across disciplines, to benchmark student voter participation, to inform accreditation reports, and to challenge unfair state or local voting laws, among many other examples. The reports can also be used to identify gaps in student participation based on age, class level, field of study, race/ethnicity, and gender. Addressing equity gaps is an important step in higher education’s obligation to advance a more just and representational democracy. NSLVE is addressing the civic measurement gap and catalyzing change at the campus level and in U.S. higher education more broadly.
With a database representing over 10 million students (more than half of the degree-seeking students in the U.S.) for each of the past four federal elections, NSLVE is also a significant database for research. We publish national student voting reports containing aggregate data that have attracted the attention of higher education leaders, policy makers, and the media.