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ideology, grading, higher education, undergraduate education, political correctness


While considerable quantitative research demonstrates ideological liberalism among American professors, only qualitative work examines whether this affects undergraduate education. Using the HERI dataset surveying students in their first and fourth years in college (n=7,207), we use OLS regressions to test whether students’ political beliefs are associated with reported college grades and perceived collegiate experiences. We find that while standardized test scores are the best predictors of grade point average, ideology also has impacts. Even with controls for SES, demographics, and SAT scores, liberal students report higher college grades and closer relationships with faculty. Nevertheless, conservative students consistently show higher levels of satisfaction with college courses and experiences, and higher high school grades. We discuss implications.