Religion at America's Most Selective Colleges: Some Findings from the National Longitudinal Survey of Freshmen (NLSF)
Margarita A. Mooney, Princeton University
ABSTRACT Using a sample of nearly 4,000 college students from 28 elite American colleges and universities drawn from the National Longitudinal Survey of Freshmen (NLSF), I examine the influence of religion on several measures of college achievement. The most significant finding of the paper is that students who participate in religious ritual once a week or more reported higher college GPAs. In addition, other measures of religiosity had a significant and positive impact on two other outcomes: the number of hours studied and school satisfaction. Students who are more religiously observant reported studying longer hours, and both students who said they are more religiously observant and those who attend religious services once a week or more reported higher satisfaction with their college experience. These findings both confirm numerous studies on religion and high school achievement and suggest numerous avenues for further research on religion at the college level.