Registration for the Sense of Community Survey will open on August 12, 2024.

HEDS Sense of Community Survey

The HEDS Sense of Community Survey asks everyone at your institution—undergraduate students, graduate students, faculty, staff, and administrators—about the extent to which they feel a sense of community at your institution and what experiences promote or diminish their sense of community. The survey asks people:

  • If they feel welcome and supported at your institution
  • If they are comfortable sharing their perspectives and opinions with other people in the community
  • How connected they feel to other people at your institution
  • How satisfied they are with their sense of community at your institution
  • How their interactions with students, coworkers, colleagues, and supervisors impact their sense of community
  • The degree to which they believe that people at your institution are working together to fulfill your institution’s mission
  • How your institution can better support people and increase their sense of community

The survey is anonymous to encourage people to openly share information about their experiences and perspectives. This means that we will not include personal information, such as name, email address, student or employee identification number, or IP address, in the data we send to your institution.

Survey Background

We developed this survey using findings from focus groups on community with students, faculty, and staff that we’ve held at a range of institutions across the country over the past few years. We grounded the survey questions in the four dimensions of McMillan & Chavis’s (1986) definition and theory of community:

  • Membership
  • Influence
  • Integration and fulfillment of needs
  • Emotional connection

View a copy of the survey instrument with development notes.

Click on the following questions to learn more.

You can administer the HEDS Sense of Community Survey for any 3–6 week period between October 7, 2024, and May 30, 2025.

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. The last day to register for a 2024-2025 administration is March 24, 2025.

Institutions that administer the HEDS Sense of Community Survey will receive:

  • A report that compares your results to those at other participating institutions. This report will include data disaggregated by respondents’ identities. Please note that we cannot begin working on comparison reports until the survey closes at the end of May 2025.
  • Unit-record SPSS and Microsoft Excel files with your institution’s survey data. We will send a preliminary data file within 10 business days after your survey closes. You will receive a finalized data file with your comparison report.

YES!  Here’s how:

  • We insert your institution’s name at the top of each page of the survey and in the text of applicable questions
  • You can customize the survey invitations and reminders
  • You can add custom, institution-specific questions at the end of the survey

While you can add 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 – $2,300
  • Survey base cost for HEDS members$575

These prices include up to 10 supplemental questions. There are some custom options for additional fees. We will post more information on survey options, policies, and fees soon.

To learn more about your institution becoming a HEDS member, please visit our Join HEDS page.

If you have any questions, please email us at



Please contact us with any questions or to be notified when the HEDS Sense of Community Survey opens for registration.

Email HEDS