2017 HEDS Senior Survey

The HEDS Senior Survey asks graduating college seniors to evaluate teaching practices and institutional conditions they experienced as undergraduates, assess the impact of their college experience on their intellectual growth and development, and describe their plans following graduation. The survey is based both on Wabash National Study findings on effective teaching practices and on the Association of American Colleges & Universities’ (AAC&U) LEAP Essential Learning Outcomes. All institutions, regardless of whether they belong to HEDS, are welcome to participate. (Download a print version of the information about the 2017 HEDS Senior Survey.)

The HEDS Senior Survey asks seniors to report on four dimensions of their undergraduate experience: 

  • Good Teaching and High-Quality Interactions with Faculty – 9 statements, Cronbach's α = 0.90
  • Challenging Assignments and High Faculty Expectations – 6 statements and 8 questions, Cronbach's α = 0.89
  • Interactions with Diversity – 6 questions, Cronbach's α = 0.88
  • Development of Social and Civic Engagement – 4 questions, Cronbach's α = 0.81

We administer the HEDS Senior Survey every spring. There are two versions of the survey: (1) the standard version, which takes about 15 minutes to complete, and (2) a longer, 20-minute version, which includes questions about students’ satisfaction with the quality of their advising, in- and out-of-classroom experiences, campus services and facilities, and campus life. 

Survey Administration 

The standard administration period for the HEDS Senior Survey is 3–6 weeks. The survey must begin within the last 6 weeks of seniors’ final term, so the earliest possible start date is 6 weeks prior to the last day of spring classes at your institution. Survey administrations must be completed by 2 weeks after the last day of spring classes.

Survey Liaison

To ensure a smooth administration process, we require that you designate one individual from your institution to serve as the survey liaison. We will direct all communication to the survey liaison, and the survey liaison is responsible for contacting other people on her or his campus about the survey as necessary. The survey liaison will have other responsibilities that differ by administration method. We will provide details about these responsibilities after you register. 

Administration Methods

The HEDS Senior Survey can be administered by two different methods:

Email Method

A member of the HEDS staff sends your students an individualized email invitation with a unique link to the survey. If students do not complete the survey, we will send reminders via email. You may customize both the invitation and the reminders. Email is the most common administration method.

Authentication Method

Your institution’s survey liaison distributes a general survey link and a unique password to seniors so they can log into the survey. Institutions often use this method when they wish to administer the survey in a classroom or computer lab.

Although survey liaisons typically select one survey administration method, you can, for an additional fee, select both methods. To ensure consistency in the administration process and the integrity of the comparative data, we do not allow institutions to administer any HEDS survey through their own survey engines.

HEDS administers its surveys via the commercial survey engine Qualtrics. Survey liaisons can use Qualtrics to monitor how many students have responded to the survey and when they responded, and they can also view and download reports of participants’ responses during and after the administration period. They will have access to their data and reports on the HEDS Qualtrics site until August 15, 2018. After this date, we will delete the data, reports, and participant information from Qualtrics.

If you have any questions about which administration method would be best for your campus or about the role of the survey liaison, please contact Ivaylo Mantchev.

Reports and Data Files

We will send the following data files and reports to participating institutions:

 HEDS institutionsInstitutions not
SPSS and/or Microsoft Excel file with their participants’ responses. (We will add values/labels to SPSS files.)
Institutional frequency report comparing their graduating seniors’ responses to those of graduating seniors at all other participating institutions.
SPSS and/or Microsoft Excel file with student-level data from participating HEDS institutions. Institutional identifiers will be included in the file, but participants’ identifiers will be removed.  
Interactive Microsoft Excel file with data on the four HEDS Senior Survey scales: Good Teaching and High-Quality Interactions with Faculty, Challenging Assignments and High Faculty Expectations, Interactions with Diversity, and Development of Social and Civic Engagement. This interactive data file allows you to create customized comparison groups among participating HEDS institutions.  

As a benefit of consortium membership, all HEDS institutions that participate in this survey will share their student- and institution-level data with one another unmasked. We will remove student names, identification numbers, and open-ended responses from the multi-institution data files. If necessary, we will further deprecate the data files to protect student identity.

In order to provide HEDS members with the largest number of comparison institutions, the interactive Microsoft Excel file and student-level data you receive will include data from HEDS institutions that have participated in the HEDS Senior Survey over a 3-year span. This means that in 2018 and 2019, we will send you updated files with comparative data from institutions that participated in the 2018 and 2019 survey administrations.

Other HEDS Senior Survey Information

  • IRB approval – The HEDS Senior Survey has been approved by the Wabash College Institutional Review Board (IRB) for use as a voluntary survey. We encourage your institution’s survey liaison to contact the IRB at your institution to determine whether their approval is needed prior to administering the survey.
  • Mandatory participation – Institutions should not make the survey mandatory or use survey incentives that may affect voluntary participation without consulting their institution’s IRB. In addition, the introduction to the HEDS Senior Survey, which informs participants that the survey is voluntary, cannot be altered.
  • Submitting graduation information – The 2017 HEDS Senior Survey is designed to be administered to seniors who are graduating at the end of the 2017 spring term. After the survey has closed, we will ask you to submit a list of students who graduated at the end of the 2017 spring term. All responses will be included in your institutional data file, but we will use this list to remove the students that did not graduate from the subsequent reports. After you submit this list, you will receive your data file and reports from us.
  • Embedding institution names in the survey – We will configure the survey so that the institution’s name appears prominently on each page of the survey.
  • Supplemental questions – You can add up to 20 supplemental questions, the first 10 of which are free, at the end of the HEDS Senior Survey. (See Fees below for more information.) Each of the following counts as one supplemental question: 
    • Each subquestion on a multipart or matrix question
    • "Check all that apply" question or “Choose up to 3” question
    • Ranking question
    • Multiple-choice question
    • Open-response question
    Supplemental questions should relate to the HEDS Senior Survey’s subject matter so they fall within the scope of our IRB approval and the instructions at the beginning of the survey. All institutions interested in adding supplemental questions need to submit their finalized supplemental questions when registering for the survey. This will give us time to review your questions and follow up if we have questions about formatting or style. Your data file will include participants’ responses to these questions, but these responses will not be included in any HEDS reports.


We list the fees for the 2017 administration of the HEDS Senior Survey in the table below. There are two payment options on the registration form. You can choose to receive an invoice and pay with a check, or you can pay at the time of registration with your credit card. We send out invoices at the end of the month in which you register to participate in the survey.

 HEDS institutionsInstitutions not
Base administration cost
  • Choice between standard HEDS Senior Survey and HEDS Senior Survey with additional student satisfaction questions as described above
  • One 3–6 week survey administration
  • One administration method: email or authentication
  • Up to 1,000 responses
  • One survey invitation and up to three reminders for email method
  • 10 supplemental questions
  • Reports and data files as described above
$500 $1,600
Using both administration methods (email and authentication)

+ $250 
+ $250 
11 to 20 supplemental questions (1 to 10 supplemental questions are included in base cost) + $250 + $250

Additional responses (after first 1,000 responses; count includes all administration methods, incomplete responses, and duplicate responses)

Additional response charges are invoiced after the survey closes and are separate from fees charged at registration. We will send data files and reports after an institution has paid its invoice.

+ $0.50 per extra response (including incomplete and duplicate responses)

+ $0.50 per extra response (including incomplete and duplicate responses)

Late registration fee (see explanation in registration section below) + $250 + $250

You may request unique invitations, reminders, supplemental questions, etc., for different subsamples (for example, transfer students). However, due to the additional labor such requests require, we will treat the surveys for each subsample as separate surveys and the full survey price will apply to each one.

Registering for the HEDS Senior Survey

You can register for the 2017 HEDS Senior Survey via the online registration form. At the time of registration, you may choose to pay with a credit card or receive an invoice and pay with a check. We send out invoices at the end of the month in which you register.

You must register at least 3 weeks prior to the date on which you plan to begin administering the survey. We will make decisions about accepting late registrations on a case-by-case basis. If we can accommodate a late registration, we will charge an additional $250 late fee.

HEDS Senior Survey Administration Contact

Please contact Ivaylo Mantchev (also at 765-361-6381) if you have any questions about administering the HEDS Senior Survey.