As part of our ongoing partnership  with CARA, we will be regularly calling attention to their recent findings on "In All Things." Here you can read about  the changing attitudes of Catholic students in the 20 years since the promulgation of the papal encyclical Ex corde ecclesiae:
Among other things, the document calls for renewal in Catholic identity at Catholic higher education institutions. In the 20 years since, noticeable changes in Catholic higher education have taken form. For example, Catholic colleges and universities have seen an increase in student enrollment since 1990 of 24%
Since the publication of the document, the number of incoming freshman citing the importance of the religious orientation/affiliation of the university at Catholic higher education institutions has risen slightly, from 13% in 1990 to almost 16% in 2009 saying the religious orientation/affiliation is “very important” (Source: Higher Education Research Institute Cooperative Institutional Research Program, The Freshman Survey).
Increases in the attraction to the religious orientation/affiliation of Catholic colleges and universities are higher at those schools where it is more difficult to gain admissions. Incoming freshmen at Catholic colleges and universities with high selectivity also reported in higher numbers that the religious orientation/affiliation of the Catholic institution was “very important” to them selecting that institution at higher rates than those students at Catholic colleges and universities with lower selectivity.
Read the full post (with graphs) here .