We are keeping an updated table summarizing the various COVID surveys capturing student sentiment and plans for Fall 2020 enrollment.
These surveys seek to get a better picture of the student experience this spring, providing potential insight into the fall. The table below lists the organizations that conducted each survey; the links to the results from each survey; the month of survey administration (or the latest month with significant response numbers for open surveys); the number of each survey’s respondents (n), which ranged from 500 to 76,000; and each survey’s scope, which ranged from individual institutions to the entire world.
You can sort the table on each of the column headers.
|Organization||Link to Survey and/or Survey Results||Month of Survey Administration||Number of Survey Respondents (n)||Survey|
|Active Minds||COVID-19 Impact on College Student Mental Health (infographic)||4 - April 2020||2,086||Nationwide||Mental health, COVID-19 impact on student lives, resource needs|
|brightspot||Student Experience Snapshot COVID-19||4 - April 2020||502||Nationwide||fall enrollment plans; perception of value & satisfaction re spr 2020; perception of institution; feelings re online courses & online services|
|EDUCAUSE||COVID-19 QuickPoll Results: Fall Planning for Education and Student Support||5 - May 2020||579||Worldwide||Institution plans for fall; prep for teaching; support for students; assessment practices; common challenges|
|EY-Parthenon||Higher Education and COVID-19 National Student Survey||4 - April 2020||3,675||Nationwide||Satisfaction w remote learning; support; fall enrollment plans|
|Georgetown University IID&E||COVID-19 Student Impact Survey||4 - April 2020||516||Worldwide||well-being, relocation, finances, disruption, institutional response, the future|
|Higher Education Data Sharing (HEDS) Consortium||COVID-19 Institutional Response Student Survey||6 - June 2020||20,000||Nationwide||stress, worries, Institutional support, fall enrollment plans|
|Ithaka S+R||Student Experiences During the Pandemic Pivot||5 - May 2020||15,000||Nationwide||Institutional communications and support, Course activities and formats, Student well-being, fall enrollment|
|Niche Partners||Impact of Coronavirus on Students’ Academic Progress and College Plans||4 - April 2020||25,068||Nationwide||Institution response, fall enrollment plans, the future|
|Simpson Scarborough||Higher Ed and COVID-19 National Student Survey||4 - April 2020||513||Nationwide||Changes in opinion and feelings, School response & communications, online instruction, impact on future plans|
|Skyline College||Student Survey on Transition to Online Learning During COVID-19 Pandemic||4 - April 2020||1,217||Single Institution||Transition to online lrng, access to tech, stressors, access to study space|
|Student Senate for the California Community Colleges (SSCCC)||COVID-19 CCC Student Challenges||4 - April 2020||1,690||Systemwide||Challenges students face, how inst can help|
|California Student Aid Commission||COVID-19 Student Survey||5 - May 2020||77,787 (combined HS and HE)||Statewide||Finances/Housing/Emergency Aid; Worries; fall enrollment plans|
|Niche Partners||Student Voices – The Path to Fall 2020||5 - May 2020||21,847||Nationwide||Prefs re fall scenarios, campus life, feelings about tuition|
|Every Learner Everywhere||Suddenly Online: National Undergraduate Survey||6 - June 2020||1,000||Nationwide||Satisfaction w courses; access to tech; challenges; experiences of low-income, underrepresented and rural students|
|College Pulse||COVID-19 On Campus: The Future of Learning||6 - June 2020||5,000||Nationwide||Assessing university response; student perspectives on online lrng; what students value|
|Top Hat||COVID-19 State of Flux||4 - April 2020||3,089||Nationwide||Fall plans; online learning experience|
|NACS||Impact of COVID-19 on Students (not public)||3 - March 2020||2,406||Nationwide||Feelings institution response, feelings online, access to tech, student well-being|
|NACS||Impact of COVID-19 on Students (not public)||5 - May 2020||2,919||Nationwide||Feelings institution response, feelings online, access to tech, student well-being|
|Survey Monkey||Distance learning for college students during the coronavirus outbreak||3 - March 2020||955||Nationwide||Plans for fall, prep for online learning, disruption|
|Survey Monkey||Distance learning for college students during the coronavirus outbreak||5 - May 2020||1,812||Nationwide||Plans for fall, prep for online learning, disruption|
|Hope Center||RealCollege During The Pandemic||5 - May 2020||38,602||Nationwide||Mental health, COVID-19 impact on student lives, resource needs|
|Simpson Scarborough||April Replication:|
National Student Survey
|4 - April 2020||1,172 (combined HS and HE)||Nationwide||Feelings institution, Feelings online learning, fall plans|
|Healthy Minds Network||The Impact of COVID-19 on College Student Wellbeing||5 - May 2020||18,760||Nationwide||Mental health, feelings institution|
|College Reaction / Axios||Axios/College Reaction COVID-19 Poll||7 - July 2020||800||Nationwide||Fall plans|
|Council on Social Work Education / Sacramento State U||Social Work Student Perceptions: Impact of COVID-19 Pandemic on Educational Experience and Goals||5 - May 2020||3,564||Nationwide (within social work discipline)||School response, plans for fall|
|Simpson Scarborough||National Student Survey, Pt. III —|
The Fragility of Trust
|7 - July 2020||905||Nationwide||Fall plans|
|Eduventures||Eduventures 2020 Survey of Admitted Students||7 - July 2020||49,277||Nationwide||Enrollment drivers, deposit behavior, and in 2020, anticipated changes in plans due to the COVID-19 pandemic|
|Top Hat||Student Sentiment for Fall 2020||9 - September 2020||3,412||Nationwide||Spring 2021 plans; online learning experience|
|Int'l Journal of Education Research||College Students’ Use and Acceptance of Emergency Online Learning Due to COVID-19||5 - May 2020||270||Public university east coast of US||Student perceptions, online learning acceptance|
The organizations identified fairly different goals, methodologies and levels of protocol in their efforts to collect data. For example, Simpson Scarborough’s survey was “designed to isolate [student] decisions and/or plans being made as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.” The Ithaka S+R survey was meant to “address the pressing needs of the community as colleges and universities have pivoted to online instruction.” EY-Parthenon’s goal was to “provide insight to colleges and universities to help them improve remote engagement and learning for students.”
Equally important, we need to know who participated–and who did not participate–in answering these surveys.
- For Simpson Scarborough, almost two-thirds (64%) of the college student respondents were White, and over three-quarters (77%) were not in the first generation in their family to go to college.
- In Georgetown’s survey, two-thirds (67%) of the respondents were graduate students. As Daniels et al. noted about their Georgetown survey, “these kinds of surveys are not representative of any group of students.”
- The Ithaka S+R team reached over 15,000 students at 21 different institutions, including 8 schools that grant graduate degrees, 8 baccalaureate colleges, and 4 associate’s colleges. They described a robust methodology for data collection and analysis, including cross-tabulations by demographic characteristics and by other relevant survey questions. The high number of respondents may help counteract a less diverse population overall – e.g., while 75% of respondents were white, almost 4,000 respondents were non-white.
- Several other groups disaggregated their results in useful ways as well – e.g., HEDS compared responses by ethnicity and/or gender (including people who identify as non-binary), and brightspot provided multiple ways for students to identify themselves (including first-generation (28% of respondents), low-income (20%), 25 or older (24%), part-time student (19%), with a disability (9%)). [NOTE: I was not able to easily find the numbers or percentages of respondents in each attribute category for HEDS.]
- The Student Senate for the California Community Colleges (SSCCC) was one of the few organizations to acknowledge directly that the students we need to hear from most may not have responded to their survey. In their webinar to discuss their survey results last week, SSCCC President Danny Thirakul said this was possibly due to more pressing issues or obligations (e.g., being an essential worker, caring for family), as well as inadequate access to technology or the Internet.
- Conversely, Skyline College had “balanced representation across all ethnic groups, international, low income, first generation to college, past online learning experience,” but degree/transfer seeking students were overrepresented in the sample.
Looking at the surveys collectively, one thing jumps out: What institutions say they are or will be doing does not always match up to the support students say they are getting or the support students say they need.