Course Hero today announced an ambitious new get-out-the-vote campaign, in collaboration with First Lady Michelle Obama’s When We All Vote initiative, a non-profit, nonpartisan organization on a mission to increase participation in every election and close the race and age voting gap. Designed to increase voter participation among student voters, the campaign will target the more than 10 million students active in Course Hero’s online community between now and the 2020 election, sharing information on voter registration, mail-in voting laws in their state, and tips on how to vote safely and find a polling location on election day.
“In a year where college students have been tested by circumstances that seemed unimaginable, this campaign reflects our heightened feeling of responsibility as a company to ensure that student voices are heard in this election,” said Andrew Grauer, co-founder and CEO of Course Hero. “From an economic and health care crisis to a national reckoning on issues of race and justice, students have so much to contribute to today’s current political conversation. This work is about empowering students with essential information they need to exercise their right to vote during this moment of profound national importance.”
While college students have historically voted at significantly lower levels than other age groups, their numbers are expected to rise significantly in 2020, with millennials and Gen Z projected to be the largest share of eligible voters. A 2018 report from the Institute for Democracy and Higher Education at Tufts University found that student voters nearly doubled between the 2014 and 2018 midterm elections, increasing from 19 to 40 percent.
In spite of the increased participation among students, the pandemic has created a number of new challenges that could inhibit student voting, including restrictions on in-person events and meetings, concerns about personal and family health, and loss of employment or income. In the coming weeks, Course Hero will share key findings from a survey on student attitudes toward voting and civic engagement conducted in partnership with When We All Vote.
The new get-out-the-vote campaign builds on a series of community outreach initiatives launched by Course Hero to respond to the pressing needs of the more than 10 million monthly active students and 40,000 educators who use its platform for study as well as teaching. This includes an investment of more than $1 million in emergency student aid to help students experiencing financial distress during the pandemic and the launch of a nationwide emergency aid network in collaboration with national nonprofit Believe in Students, Edquity—a technology platform designed to administer emergency aid.