College-student voting rates rose nationwide, including by 20 percent at Sewanee, in the 2018 midterms.

The University reported that student voting on its campus was up by 22.7 percentage points in last year’s election, increasing to 31.2 percent in 2018 from a rate of 13 percent in 2014.

The report is part of the National Study of Learning, Voting, and Engagement, conducted by the Institute for Democracy & Higher Education (IDHE) at Tufts University’s Tisch College of Civic Life. The study shows that nationwide, the voting rates at participating college campuses doubled on average compared to the previous 2014 midterm. In 2018, the average institutional voting rate among campuses in the study was 39.1 percent, nearly 20 percentage points higher than 2014’s average turnout rate. 

“We are committed to practicing and fostering active global citizenship at the University of the South,” said Vice-Chancellor John McCardell. “This study not only shows how far we have come in a short time, but also the commitment of the University and its students to lives of democratic engagement.”

The National Study of Learning, Voting, and Engagement is the only national study of college-student voting. It is based on the voting records of more than 10 million students at more than 1,000 colleges and universities in all 50 states and the District of Columbia; IDHE does not receive any information that could individually identify students or how they voted. The study provides reports to participating colleges and universities, which use them to support political learning and civic engagement, as well as to identify and address gaps in political and civic participation.