HEDS New Student Survey is open for 2024: REGISTER NOW

HEDS New Student Survey

The HEDS New Student Survey is uniquely designed to be actionable. Unlike a traditional survey that provides your institution with aggregate information about your students, this survey is designed to strengthen the connection between your institution and the students who take the survey.

The survey prompts new students to reflect on their goals for college, their vision of a successful life after college, and how their experiences in college can move them towards achieving that vision. It encourages them to talk to people at your institution about these goals.

The survey works by fostering an interaction between your students and your institution. As a result:

  • Your students will have a clearer picture of their goals and a better understanding of how college can help them achieve those goals.
  • Your institution will have a better sense of what your students hope to achieve.
  • Your institution will be able to better monitor and address your students’ worries and concerns.
  • Your institution will see how your students’ expectations compare to what faculty and staff know new students should do to be successful.
  • Your institution will build stronger connections with students by holding meaningful conversations with them about their goals and aspirations.

If you’re interested in learning more about the goals of students who’ve already started at your institution and will be returning this fall, you can administer the HEDS Returning Student Survey in tandem with the HEDS New Student Survey.

We developed the HEDS New Student and Returning Student Surveys from work we did in our HEDS student success project. We wanted to learn first-hand the ways that students think about their success, so we conducted focus groups at HEDS member institutions. We then created these surveys to expand on and continue that work. You can read an article describing the project and the development of the surveys on our Findings page.

Institutional Readiness for Incoming Students Optional Module

This short module is designed to help you understand your incoming students’ precollege academic experiences and work habits. It asks students how much time they spent in high school preparing for classes, their note-taking and reading habits, their experience writing different kinds of papers, and whether or not they think they can correctly answer questions about reading graphs, solving for x, unit conversions, exponents, and logarithms. This is not a placement test. It is designed solely to give you information to help you ensure that your institution’s courses, programs, and support structures are aligned with the habits and practices of your incoming students.

Registration Deadline Change

We are now requiring that you register at least seven weeks (35 business days) before the day you want your survey to start. With the high demand for our surveys, this new timeline ensures we can do a good job of administering your survey for you. We urge you to download and read the survey information sheet by clicking on the “Survey Options, Policies, and Fees (PDF)” button found in the Downloads section of this webpage. This document details all the survey options available to you, as well as our expectations, practices, fees, and terms of service.

Click on the following questions to learn more.

Traditional surveys create a one-way flow of information from survey respondents to the survey administrator. The HEDS New Student Survey is aimed at fostering an interaction between students and their institutions.

  • When they complete the survey, students receive a link that takes them to a summary of how other students at their institution responded to the survey. They may check back as often as they like to see updates.
  • The survey asks students whether they would like to have a follow-up conversation with someone at your institution about their goals for the future and ways to improve their college experience. The survey automatically sends a summary of each student’s responses to the people who’ve been designated to have follow-up conversations with students. We will work with you to help identify people on your campus who would have these follow-up conversations and to ensure that student’s requests go to the right people.
  • Immediately after a student completes their survey, they will receive an email with a copy of their responses to the survey so they have a record of how they responded.

The 2024 HEDS New Student Survey can be administered for a 3-6 week period between June 3 and September 27, 2024.

The survey is for any new student–first-time, first-year or transfer–starting at your institution this fall.

Please be aware that you must register at least seven weeks (35 business days) prior to the date on which you plan to begin administering the survey.

Institutions that administer the HEDS New Student Survey will receive:

  • A ready-to-share summary report of findings.
  • Unit-record SPSS and Microsoft Excel files with your institution’s survey data. We will send these files within 10 business days after your survey closes.
  • Real-time updates of how students are responding to key questions during the administration.

YES!  Here’s how:

  • We insert your institution’s name at the top of each page of the survey
  • You can select the particular people/offices at your institution that students can ask to have a conversation with
  • You can customize the survey invitations and reminders
  • You can add up to three custom, institution-specific questions at the end of the survey

While you can add three supplemental questions to the end, we do not modify our survey questions or response options. In order for us to offer the benefit of comparative data between participating institutions in our survey reports, the questions and response options have to be the same across all the colleges and universities using the survey.

  • Survey base cost – $1,325
  • Survey base cost for HEDS members $0

These prices include up to three supplemental questions. You will find all survey options and fees in the survey information sheet. Please click on the “Survey Options, Policies, and Fees (PDF)” button in the Downloads section of this webpage.

This survey is one part of a suite of surveys and data exchanges focused on student success that are free as part of HEDS membership. To learn more about becoming a HEDS member, please visit our Join HEDS page.

If you have any questions, please email us at NewStudentSurvey@hedsconsortium.org, and we will get back to you right away.

Help students see the connection between their college experiences and their post-college goals with the HEDS New Student Survey.