- Institute for Democracy & Higher Education
- Engage and Support
The National Study of Learning, Voting, and Engagement (NSLVE)
The National Study of Learning, Voting, and Engagement (NSLVE) offers colleges and universities an opportunity to learn their student registration and voting rates and, for interested campuses, a closer examination of their campus climate for political learning and engagement and correlations between specific student learning experiences and voting.
Critical to our broader mission of strengthening college student learning for democracy, NSLVE’s goals are to:
- Provide a service to colleges and universities interested in learning about their students’ voting habits
- Build a national database for research on college student political learning and engagement in democracy
Why Join NSLVE?
NSLVE is the first and only study to objectively examine student and institution-level data on student voting and to share these data with participating campuses. Participation is free, easy, and protective of student privacy. Our growing database includes:
- More than 1,100 campuses and 10 million student records
- All 50 states
- All institutional types
What Happens to the Data?
NSLVE data are the result of matching student enrollment records with public voting files.
To match the files while protecting student privacy, IDHE formed a partnership with the National Student Clearinghouse (“Clearinghouse”), a nonprofit organization established by the higher education community to provide educational reporting, verification, and research.
In January 2012, the U.S. Department of Education issued a “call to action” challenging colleges and universities to support academic programs and experiences designed to increase student civic learning and engagement in democracy. Many campuses already support civic learning experiences.
We know very little, however, about whether these experiences increase the knowledge, skills, and commitment students will need to engage in democracy, in politics, policy making, and social action. Voting is by no means the only indicator of civic engagement, but it is fundamental. Studying the voting rates of students provides an important measure that can catalyze improvements in academic programs and co-curricular experiences.