As voter registration ramps up across the nation ahead of the November midterm elections, a common perception about who votes is being challenged by universities like the University of Nebraska at Omaha (UNO).
In their recently-released list of "America's Best Colleges for Student Voting," Washington Monthly identified UNO as one of a handful of schools - public and private - from across the country with a student voter participation rate higher than 85 percent. UNO is the only university, other than the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, from the state to be recognized.
"It has long been conventional wisdom that young people don’t vote," the organization reported. "Compared to older groups of voters, that is true. But it is far less true than it used to be. More than half of 18- to 24-year-olds cast ballots in 2020, a threshold that had not been reached since 18-year-olds were first allowed to vote in 1971."
To make the student voting honor roll, universities had to submit 2020 and 2022 action plans to the ALL IN Campus Democracy Challenge. Schools also needed to have signed up to receive data from the National Study of Learning, Voting, and Engagement (NSLVE), which calculates college-specific registration and voting rates.
UNO's ranking places Maverick student engagement higher than that at universities such as Boston University, Arizona State University, and George Washington University in Washington, D.C.
The recognition follows similar recognitions from the ALL IN Campus Democracy Challenge, which gave UNO a "Gold Seal" for participation in the 2020 and 2018 elections for greatly surpassing the national average of 66 percent.
More than 800 campuses, enrolling millions of students, have joined the challenge since its launch in summer 2016.
About the University of Nebraska at Omaha
Located in one of America’s best cities to live, work and learn, the University of Nebraska at Omaha (UNO) is Nebraska’s premier metropolitan university. With more than 15,000 students enrolled in 200-plus programs of study, UNO is recognized nationally for its online education, graduate education, military friendliness and community engagement efforts. Founded in 1908, UNO has served learners of all backgrounds for more than 100 years and is dedicated to another century of excellence both in the classroom and in the community.