HEDS Returning Student Survey
The HEDS Returning 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 your existing students to reflect on their vision of post-college success, their reasons for staying in college, and the college experiences that have most prepared them to accomplish their goals for life. 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 their experiences in college are helping them achieve those goals.
- Your students will be reminded of their reasons for completing their degree.
- Your institution will have a better sense of what your students hope to achieve and which experiences have had the most impact for your students.
- Your institution will be able to better monitor and address your students’ worries and concerns.
- 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 new students starting at your institution this fall, you can administer the HEDS New Student Survey in tandem with the HEDS Returning Student Survey.
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 Returning 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 HEDS Returning Student Survey can be administered for a 3-6 week period between July 1 and September 30, 2021.
The survey is for students who have already attended your institution and are eligible to return in the fall.
Please register at least three weeks before you plan to administer the survey, to allow us time to work through the administration details and testing with you.
Institutions that administer the HEDS Returning Student Survey will receive:
- password-protected access to a website that shows real-time, aggregate data on how students at your institution are responding to the closed-ended survey questions;
- a report that compares your students’ results to those of students at other participating institutions;
- a compilation of your participants’ responses to the open-ended questions; and
- SPSS and Microsoft Excel files with your participants’ responses. We will add values/labels to the SPSS file.
Institutions in HEDS can also request a post-survey phone consultation with a member of the HEDS staff about your institution’s survey data.
YES! Here’s how:
- We insert your institution’s name at the top of each page of the survey
- You can add up to three supplemental questions at the end of the survey
- You can customize the survey invitations and reminders
- You can customize parts of Question 5 – which asks students about high-impact experiences such as service learning, internships, and off-campus study programs – with the names of specific programs at your institution.
- You can select the particular people/offices at your institution that students can ask to have a conversation with.
The survey is free to HEDS member institutions. The base cost for institutions not in HEDS is $2,000. There are some custom options for additional fees. You will find full administration and cost details under Downloads.
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.