Date of Award

Fall 12-15-2023

Document Type

Undergraduate Honors Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts in Political Science


Political Science & International Relations


Dr. Evan Crawford


Dr. Susannah Stern


Voter turnout in the youth demographic has been the subject of increased attention and research in the past several years, with many questions left unanswered. The 18-25 age demographic can play a crucial and impactful role in elections. However, many young adults do not vote. Higher education has often been viewed as a catalyst for civic engagement amongst this age demographic, with correlations between enrollment in higher education and increased rates of voter turnout being evident. Given there is much variation between different kinds of institutions, however, this raises the question: what types of institutions and their respective characteristics correlate with higher rates of turnout? This project aims to answer this question through statistical analysis of relationships between different kinds of institutions (Liberal Arts Colleges, National Universities, and Regional Colleges) and student voter turnout rates. The hypothesis being tested is that due to having smaller class sizes, a larger live-on population, and a robust curriculum that offers the opportunity for critical discussion, Liberal Arts Colleges yield higher student voter turnout rates. By comparing turnout rates from 2016 and 2020 across institution types, this project will explore first, if there is a relationship between institution type and turnout, and second, what specific institutional characteristics impact this relationship independently or collectively. Through this research, education organizations can gain insight into how to better serve as catalysts for civic engagement for their students given or despite their institution-specific characteristics.

R Studios Data Set.xlsx (135 kB)
Data Compilation Used for Analysis