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Institute for Democracy & Higher Education

2016 NSLVE National Report: Democracy Counts

2012-2016 Report Cover

The National Study of Learning, Voting, and Engagement (NSLVE, pronounced "n-solve") is a study of U.S. college and university student voting.  At the time of this report, the database consists of deidentified records for 9,511,711 and 9,784,931 students enrolled at the time of the 2012 and 2016 elections, respectively.  These students attended 1,023 higher education institutions in the U.S. across all 50 states.  Participating institutions give NSLVE permission for their student enrollment records to be matched with public voting records, yielding precise data on their students' turnout.  The demographics of the nearly 10 million students in NSLVE resemble those of the approximately 20 million college students in the U.S.

NSLVE marks a significant step forward in measuring students' political interest and engagement.  By combining student enrollment records with publicly available voting records, we have created a one-of-a-kind database that provides the higher education community with its only objective measure of student voting.

In this report, we are pleased to provide a first-of-its-kind overview of college and university voting in the 2016 presidential election, along with comparisons to 2012.