Skip to main content

Abortion policy and freshman migration, 2018 and 2020

The recent SCOTUS ruling overturning Roe v. Wade has set off an interesting debate about student college choice.  People who favor legal access to abortion seem convinced that students--especially women--will change their college plans based on the climate in the state of the college(s) they're considering.

Will it?  I don't know.  I do know that when everyone seems to be convinced of something related to college admissions and student choice, the reality is often very different than the predictions, after all is said and done.  And on the other hand, this feels different, somehow.  To repeat: I don't know.

Of course, the ability of students to migrate across state lines is generally reserved for those with more wealth and privilege, and as I've demonstrated before (here and here), educated and wealthier communities tend to vote Democratic, and thus, are more likely to be pro-choice and more likely to be upset by the SCOTUS decision.  And I, like a lot of people, live in an echo chamber and mostly listen to people who share my political beliefs (which is also why I haven't heard from my brother since November, 2020.  But that's another story.)

Additionally, politics is probably already a factor in college choice for those students who can move out of state, and those who go to institutions with more conservative religious affiliations, like BYU, or Notre Dame, or Grove City.  Finally, not everyone is political, and not everyone disagrees with the SCOTUS ruling.

But I still wanted to look at the data, so here it is in a single view.  I looked at freshman migration in 2018 and 2020 to smooth out some of bumps that might be a result of COVID in 2020.  And before you ask, IPEDS only requires this data to be reported in even-numbered years, so we won't have 2022, let alone 2024, for a long time yet.

I broke down a college's freshman classes into four categories: State residents (the state breakdown tab here shows that about 79% of students attend college in their home state); international students, students from states with mostly unrestricted abortion laws, and students with more restrictive abortion laws.  Counts are on the left; percentages on the right.  I used the classifications here in case you were wondering, so argue with the New York times if you don't agree.

What do you see here?  Leave a comment below or hit me up on Twitter

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

The Highly Rejective Colleges

If you're not following Akil Bello on Twitter, you should be.  His timeline is filled with great insights about standardized testing, and he takes great effort to point out racism (both subtle and not-so-subtle) in higher education, all while throwing in references to the Knicks and his daughter Enid, making the experience interesting, compelling, and sometimes, fun. Recently, he created the term " highly rejective colleges " as a more apt description for what are otherwise called "highly selective colleges."  As I've said before, a college that admits 15% of applicants really has a rejections office, not an admissions office.  The term appears to have taken off on Twitter, and I hope it will stick. So I took a look at the highly rejectives (really, that's all I'm going to call them from now on) and found some interesting patterns in the data. Take a look:  The 1,132 four-year, private colleges and universities with admissions data in IPEDS are incl

On Rankings, 1911, and Economic Mobility

If you're alive today, you have lived your whole life with college rankings.  Yes, even you.  You may not have knows you were living in the time of college rankings, but indeed, you have been, unless you were born before 1911 (or maybe earlier.)  If you're interested, you can read this Twitter thread from 2020 where I discuss them and include snippets of those 1911 rankings as well as those from 1957, written by Chesley Manly. You can read for yourself, or you can trust me, that in fact the rankings as we know them have been surprisingly consistent over time, and most people would have only minor quibbles with the ratings from 1911.  Perhaps that's because they have always tended to measure the same thing. But what if we did different rankings?  No, not like the Princeton Review where they make an attempt to measure best party school, or best cafeteria food, or worst social life.  Something more quantifiable and concrete, although still, admittedly, a hard thing to get rig

Freshman Migration, 1986 to 2020

(Note: I discovered that in IPEDS, Penn State Main Campus now reports with "The Pennsylvania State University" as one system.  So when you'd look at things over time, Penn State would have data until 2018, and then The Penn....etc would show up in 2020.  I found out Penn State main campus still reports its own data on the website, so I went there, and edited the IPEDS data by hand.  So if you noticed that error, it should be corrected now, but I'm not sure what I'll do in years going forward.) Freshman migration to and from the states is always a favorite visualization of mine, both because I find it a compelling and interesting topic, and because I had a few breakthroughs with calculated variables the first time I tried to do it. If you're a loyal reader, you know what this shows: The number of freshman and their movement between the states.  And if you're a loyal viewer and you use this for your work in your business, please consider supporting the costs