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New poll shows abortion access a factor in college selection

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For years, paid consultants solicited premium facilities, posh student centers and professional-grade athletic complexes to help colleges attract more applicants. But, in the current climate, an unexpected selling point has quietly emerged: access to abortion rights.

in the new installment of research Nearly three-quarters of college students told pollsters that laws governing reproductive health factored into their decision to stay enrolled at or leave their current campus, according to a study released Thursday from Gallup and the Lumina Foundation. While Democrats have the most interest in abortion rights, apparently 62% of Republicans also said they play a factor in choosing a university. Among all college students, support for states that have greater access to abortion is up by a whopping 4 to 1 margin, including two-thirds of Republicans who said they prefer states with less restrictive abortion laws. It’s a clear winner among women (86%) and men (74%) alike.

The survey of nearly 6,000 current college students and 6,000 college-age adults is one of the first hard pieces of evidence for second-order effects from last year. dobbs The decision that overturned half a century of national legal access to abortion rights. dobbs referred the abortion question back to the state legislatures, and 13 states The medical procedure has been declared completely illegal. Five other states have already banned it after six weeks of pregnancy, and federal courts are considering competing cases dealing with the abortion drug.

The results may not come as a total surprise to anyone involved in the higher ed world, but for those scrambling to maintain student rolls in the red, it’s one more piece of bad news that has already brought policy to a halt. I was winning: Nomination Rock.

Higher ed officials across the country are already banking on the very real possibility of what application rates will be for the next few years. dip, more difficult. This is because the children of young professionals in their late and early 10s did not age at the same rate as their slightly older counterparts. birth rates fell And stopped Fewer because young families were worried about providing in a shaky economy. COVID, too, was a baby bust, As a result, the number of applicants – and then matriculators – is projected to shrink for the next two decades. While high-demand flagship and marquee schools will do just fine, mid- and lower-tier universities may find themselves hollowed out because the economics of their offerings simply don’t match the moment.

Statistically, the trend against red states is hitting especially hard. Right now in states with Republican governors, enrollment has declined on average this fall, while states with Democratic governors have seen what I believe to be very small increases at times. Study Did Number, Of course, there were outliers: Wyoming was up 8%, Maryland was off about 5%. But on average, the states that could afford to lose with the least number of potential college students were the ones where Republicans now lead, and those are the states that are moving to curtail abortion rights on a large scale. . In other words, his culture war agenda is designed to present his high-ed policies as bank-shot casualties.

So many state leaders are limiting abortion rights to health clinics, missing the broader ripples here. The way corporations and sports vote with their feet when states adopt policies that run counter to their values, college applicants are looking closely at the cultural climate of the places where they can afford four—or are likely to. More—a study of the years and the discovery of their lives as young adults. were red states already Having a hard time attracting talent among students and professors alike, and turning to the right on abortion is only going to make it more difficult to maintain their rankings and reputations.

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write to Philip Elliott at [email protected].