Does College Make Us More Liberal and Less Religious?

Does College Make Us More Liberal and Less Religious?

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Does attending college actually make you more liberal and less religious? Research indicates that the answer is: not so much. Contrary to conservative rhetoric, studies show that going to college does not make students substantially more liberal. A study analyzing changes in student political attitudes between their freshman and senior years at 38 colleges and universities from 1999 to 2003 found that on average, students shifted somewhat to the left — but that these changes were in line with shifts experienced by most Americans between the ages of 18 and 24 during the same period of time.

Similarly, a survey that tracked the political attitudes of about 1,000 high school students through their college years and into middle age found that the tendency of college graduates to be more liberal reflects to a large extent the fact that more liberal students are more likely to go to college in the first place.

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