HEDS New Student Survey

Registration for the 2020 HEDS New Student Survey is now closed.

2020 HEDS New Student Survey

The HEDS New Student Survey includes two components. The first component is the survey itself. The second component is institutional data collection aimed at helping institutions see the link between their students’ responses on the survey and their academic progress over the first year of college.

The survey:

  • prompts new students to think about their goals for college, their vision for the successful life they want to lead after college, and how their experiences in college can help them move towards their vision of success.
  • asks incoming students what they worry about, so institutions can help students address those concerns.
  • asks students how much time they spent on various activities in high school, and how much time they plan to spend on those activities in college. Institutions can use this information to see how students’ experiences and expectations compare to what faculty and staff know first-year students should do to be successful at their institution.
  • includes two scales developed by other researchers, Pascarella and Terenzini’s Institutional and Goal Commitments Scale (see citation below) and the Perseverance of Effort subscale from Duckworth’s Grit Scale, which will be useful in predicting student persistence and success.

We will ask institutions to provide student-level institutional data that we can merge with the survey data to further analyze factors that contribute to first-year students’ retention and success. We will ask institutions to send us this institutional data at three different times: before students take the survey (data will be included in the survey panel), at the end of students’ first term in college, and at the end of students’ first year in college. We will use these data to identify the relationship, both across institutions and for individual institutions, between students’ responses on the survey and their academic progress at their institution.

You can learn more about the development of this survey and how it connects to the HEDS Student Success Project here.

Design Features of the Survey

  • Students can send their survey responses to particular people on campus so they can have a conversation with them about their goals and how to achieve them. Institutions will identify people/offices that students can send their survey responses to (e.g., a student’s academic advisor or the class dean). When a student asks to have a conversation with people on campus about their survey results, those individuals will receive an email with a summary of that individual student’s survey responses.
  • You will have access to a report to see aggregated real-time responses to the closed-ended survey questions as students complete the survey. Students will also be able to see this real-time report after they complete the survey.

Using the Survey

The survey is for new, first-year students starting at your institution this fall.

You can administer the survey anytime between August 7-October 15, 2020. If you would like to administer the first week, please register as soon as possible. For later survey administrations, please register at least two weeks before you plan to administer the survey, to allow us time to work through the administration details and testing with you.

You may add up to three supplemental questions to the survey. We want to keep the survey short, so students will be more likely to complete it.

This survey has been approved by the Wabash College Institutional Review Board (IRB). The approval letter is available here.

The survey is free for HEDS members. For institutions that do not belong to HEDS, we charge $750 to administer the survey. We may need to charge large institutions additional fees depending on response rates. Please contact us to learn more.

*Pascarella, E. T., & Terenzini, P. T. (1980). Predicting freshman persistence and voluntary dropout decisions from a theoretical model. The Journal of Higher Education, 51, 60-75.

Please contact Lisa Kidd if you have questions.

Call 1-765-361-6170 Email