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Political polarization pierces the dorm room



         By Cyrus Beschloss |

For a while now, political tribalism has trickled into places it ought not trickle: NFL viewership, PTA meetings, and supermarkets, for instance.  

  • Dorms just made the list. 


Each year: Generation Lab and NBC News check in with the college class of 2025 to track shifts, and take their temperature on the top issues of our time:

  • Issues like: Politics, health, trust in leaders, media and government, social issues, job and the economy.



  • Roughly half of students say they wouldn't live with someone who supported the opposite 2020 presidential candidate.

    • 62% of Democrats and 28% of Republicans said they wouldn't dorm across the aisle, as did 30% of men and 54% of women.


  • Since last year, these students' sense of personal optimism has held, but their national and international optimism has plunged.

    • 86% are optimistic/super optimistic about their personal lives (-6 since 2021).

    • 34% are optimistic/super optimistic about the US (-14 since 2021)

    • 36% are optimistic/super optimistic about the world (-24 since 2021)


Methodology overview

The results from the poll — conducted from a proprietary non-opt-in panel built from a database of every U.S. college and university — were weighted by gender, race and institution type using population statistics from the U.S. Department of Education and the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center. (MORE)

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