Northwestern Named One of “America’s Best Colleges for Student Voting” by Washington Monthly

The University was listed 2nd among the 205 colleges & universities that made the honor roll, based on a variety of criteria including registration rates

Northwestern University was recently named one of America’s Best Colleges for Student Voting in Washington Monthly’s annual college rankings. The nonprofit news magazine publishes a number of higher education lists each year, assessing institutions on a variety of characteristics including the production of research, recruitment of first generation and low socio-economic status students, and efforts to develop responsible citizenship among students.

Northwestern has long been a national leader in student voter engagement. Through the NU Votes initiative, administered by the Center for Civic Engagement (CCE), the University has integrated voter services into undergraduate and graduate orientation programs, hosts on-campus voter engagement events, and a maintains a suite of online tools and resources that have helped dramatically increase student voter registration and turnout rates.

According to Tufts University’s National Study of Learning, Voting, and Engagement (NSLVE), Northwestern regularly boasts voter registration rates of over 90% of all eligible students, and voter turnout rates that are among the highest in the nation (and increasing). For example, in the 2018 midterm elections, over 52% of all eligible Northwestern students voted, a 30-point increase over the University’s 2014 rates, and 13 points higher than the national average for college students (39%).

Northwestern’s success in voter engagement has been recognized through national media, including stories in the New York Times, the Washington Post, and Inside Higher Ed, among others. The University was also recognized with five national awards for its voter engagement efforts in 2016, including having the “Highest voting rate among large, private 4-year institutions” and the “Most improved voting rate among all U.S. universities.” (Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, data on student voting rates from the 2020 elections are still being assembled and analyzed through the NSLVE study, with results expected later this fall.)