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Survey: Students Satisfied, Likely to Return in Fall

A newly released survey of students at four-year colleges shows steady overall satisfaction, a deep dip in the perceived value of college and that, despite the challenges of going to college during Covid-19, student plans for the fall have not changed.

The info is courtesy of brightspot strategy, which works with colleges to transform their student experience by better connecting their people, programs, and places, according to their press announcement.

The biggest finding is that, despite everything that’s happened to and around college students because of the Covid-19 outbreak, a sizable 81% of non-graduating students at four-year schools say they plan to return to their schools come fall. That’s the exact percentage of four-year students who returned for fall the previous year – 81%.

That the fall return rate is on par with past years links, more thank likely, to the fact that overall student satisfaction with the college experiences has not wavered either.  According to the release, “Nearly three-quarters (74%) of students are satisfied with their overall college experience, down only slightly from the 78% who reported being satisfied in brightspot’s 2018 Snapshot.

Where there may have been a sizeable change in student perception is in their thoughts on the value of college. That, brightspot found, is down considerably. The survey found that “Only 15% of students said they thought their education was not worth the money before Covid-19, now 27% say it is not. And less than 40% of surveyed students say their college experience is currently worth the cost.”

That drop in perceived value is likely correlated to the shift in the college experience for students – displacement from friends and campus culture and the shift to studying online. Those two were named the top “challenges” in the survey. Fifty-seven percent of students said separation was a challenge, half said online learning was, according to the press release.

“Since this crisis started, we’ve talked with more than 60 college leaders about what’s happening and what they can do to plan ahead,” said Elliot Felix, Founder and CEO of brightspot strategy, in the release. “We’ve been stressing the importance of looking ahead to 2030 so decisions for the fall put them on the path to success and how to reopen their campuses with care by thinking about their spaces, student services, and systems together.”

The survey was of 500 college students and can be found at: https://www.brightspotstrategy.com/whitepaper/student-experience-snapshot-covid-19/