A new report reveals some students won’t attend college in states known for political positions different from their own.
The report, published by Art & Science Group, an education consulting firm, surveyed liberal, conservative, and moderate students to discover which states students avoided.
Unsurprisingly, liberal students avoided Southern and Midwestern states like Texas and Alabama, while conservative students steered clear of progressive ones like California.
Both sets of students had similar reasons for avoiding certain states.
On one hand, left-leaning students avoided places they saw as “too Republican,” having strict abortion or LGBT laws, and not prioritizing mental health. On the other hand, right-leaning students avoided states for being “too Democratic,” having lax abortion or LBGT laws, and suppressing conservative ideas.
“It is striking to us that 1 in 4 college-bound students are eliminating schools they’d been considering exclusively because of their perceptions of the political climate in the school’s states,” the report said.
The trend was consistent across political demographics.
The report concludes that since “political polarization” is on the rise, college administrators must be cognizant of how students’ beliefs will impact the school’s culture.
While it is disturbing to see the rates at which students are consciously self-segregating, it’s virtually impossible to blame any one person or group, since politicians, activists, and colleges themselves all play a role in politicizing higher education.
Recent news includes stories of the U.S. Department of Education removing free speech protections, much to the chagrin of religious and conservative groups, and special interest groups creating pro-abortion marketing campaigns for college campuses.
Universities often contribute to the problem as well, with a school in Michigan holding race-based gradation celebrations and a California college firing its black, female DEI director for rejecting certain “toxic ideologies.”
In such a vitriolic environment, it’s hard to blame students for wanting to attend college in states that have similar values to their own.