April 3, 2015

According to admin survey, UChicago students are satisfied

College students had the opportunity to share their thoughts about UChicago with the administration by completing the Enrolled Student Survey in March. The survey had students reflect on a range of topics, including safety and security, which have been controversial issues since fall quarter.

The Enrolled Student Survey, which was e-mailed to students last month by Dean Boyer, is administered every couple years, and is unrelated to UChicago’s larger effort to address diversity and inclusion by administering two campus climate surveys. However, the results of the Enrolled Student Survey may be used to compare and validate questions on the upcoming campus climate surveys.

Specific results of the Enrolled Student Survey will not be released to the public, but according to the administration, responses show that UChicago students are comparably satisfied with their overall experience compared to students at peer institutions.

The Consortium on Financing Higher Education (COFHE), an organization of 31 private American universities including the Ivy League, Stanford, Georgetown, and Williams College, was responsible for creating and maintaining the Enrolled Student Survey. While COFHE focuses primarily on tuition and financial aid, it collects data about other aspects of student life as well. “Over the past three decades,” according to its website, “COFHE has crafted a suite of surveys that allows for a systematic and robust examination of the undergraduate experience.”

Similarities among the selective member schools are conducive to data sharing and comparison. “The aim of the survey is to understand broadly how the student experience differs at participating institutions, covering a wide range of academic, co-curricular, and non-academic activities,” administrators involved in the survey wrote in an e-mail to the maroon. Areas of interest include the classroom experience, advising, and “high-level questions of campus climate.”

Senior administrators and academic officers will review and discuss the results of the survey. Responses to this survey will be compared to those from past surveys and those from other COFHE institutions to help the administration understand student concerns and shape campus policy.

The deadline to complete the roughly 20-minute-long survey was extended from March 24 to March 27. The final response rate was lower than usual, at 44 percent. However, response rates this year were low across the board among COFHE members.