Closing the community college student voting gap

The American Association of Community Colleges (AACC) is part of a newly launched national effort to increase voting among community college students, namely an additional 500,000 new two-year college student voters by 2028.

Levi Strauss & Co., Lyft, and SHOWTIME/MTV Entertainment Studios (MTVE) announced this week the launch of the Community College Commitment, a new nonpartisan initiative to narrow the voting gap between students at community college and those at four-year universities.

Community colleges – whose students comprise about one-third of U.S. postsecondary students in 2020 and are traditionally more diverse than four-year institutions — saw a national voting rate nearly 10 percentage points lower than four-year universities in the last presidential election, according to a press release from the initiative.

AACC and the Students Learn Students Vote Coalition will collaborate with the founding companies on their efforts to educate and motivate community college students to vote by focusing on increasing voter registration and turnout. The founding companies will begin their outreach through various activities, such as a National Voter Registration Day and a Community College Concert Competition, where campuses will have their voting registration efforts compete for a special guest concert.

The initiative is an opportunity to advance civic engagement and promote the importance of exercising the privilege to vote among the nation’s more than 10 million community college students, said AACC President and CEO Walter Bumphus.

“We are proud to provide resources to colleges to encourage active participation in get-out-the-vote efforts but know that community colleges can benefit from targeted programs aimed at increasing voter registration and participation,” he said in a statement.

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