SSN Commentary

What Do Students’ Beliefs About God Have To Do With Grades and Going to College?

Policy field

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Tulane University of Louisiana

Originally published as "What Do Students’ Beliefs About God Have To Do With Grades and Going to College?" The Conversation, February 14, 2022.

In America, the demographic circumstances of a child’s birth substantially shape academic success. Sociologists have spent decades studying how factors beyond students’ control – including the racewealth and ZIP code of their parents – affect their educational opportunities and achievement.

But one often overlooked demographic factor is religion. The U.S. is the most devout wealthy Western democracy. Does a religious upbringing influence teens’ academic outcomes?