I just re-found this analysis of the correlation between voting Democratic and level of education. It's only suggestive - on the level of states - but does show the big factor in shifting populations out of hard conservatism (as opposed to the Dems' soft conservatism) is not high school but college completion.
The author adds,
I'm well aware that these results do not mean that getting a degree makes one vote Democratic. It is more likely that getting a degree makes one reject simplistic populism in favor of issue-based analysis, makes one more likely to live in cities, and makes one gravitate to the more college-dense and simultaneously more Democratic states on the coasts and Great Lakes -- and that those things are much more causative than the degree itself.Well ok - close enough.
One of the California students in Grenoble said it's pretty obvious why Republicans cut higher ed spending - it grows their vote. There are worse explanations.
hoping, wishing, and all but praying