Noel-Levitz Releases Annual Student Satisfaction Study

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New national report on college student satisfaction shows many students dissatisfied with the value of tuition and the financial aid process. Report is available at http://www.noellevitz.com/2014benchmark .

Noel-Levitz National Student Satisfaction and Priorities Report

If students do not feel their tuition is a valuable investment, it can undermine their desire to persist and complete their degrees.

Approximately half of all students at four-year colleges and universities do not agree that the tuition they pay is a worthwhile investment. Forty-five percent of students at those institutions and 58 percent at community colleges also do not believe there is adequate financial aid available.

These are just two findings from the 2014 National Student Satisfaction and Priorities Report, published by the enrollment management consulting firm Noel-Levitz. The report examines data from more than 600,000 students at four-year public institutions, four-year private colleges and universities, community colleges, and career schools.

In addition to dissatisfaction with the value of tuition and the amount of available financial aid, students also expressed significant dissatisfaction in other key areas. Forty-five percent of students at four-year public and private institutions did not feel that faculty were “fair and unbiased.” Forty percent of students at community colleges also reported dissatisfaction about registering for classes with few conflicts and the scheduling of classes at convenient times—the latter being especially relevant to the nontraditional community college student population that often juggles studies with work and family responsibilities. Around half of students at four-year institutions showed some level of dissatisfaction with the registration process as well.

“These findings highlight some of the top priorities for colleges and universities nationwide,” says Julie Bryant, associate vice president at Noel-Levitz who has consulted with thousands of campuses about student satisfaction assessment. “For instance, if students do not feel their tuition is a valuable investment, it can undermine their desire to persist and complete their degrees. Likewise, class registration challenges can add to the length of time it takes to complete a program of study, which can also lead to frustration and students withdrawing from college.”

The report does find important areas where campuses are doing well. Students across all campus types felt faculty were knowledgeable, and students at four-year privates, community colleges, and career schools all expressed high satisfaction with the quality of instruction. Furthermore, 60 percent of students at community colleges and career schools were satisfied with their overall college experience.

“These results do highlight areas where campuses are doing well,” Bryant adds. “That is the value of student satisfaction assessment for colleges: it identifies areas to celebrate as well as the top challenges. Systematic student satisfaction assessment gives colleges a reliable way to prioritize initiatives for improving the student experience, which helps a campus use its resources more wisely and deliver a better college experience to students. And when students are satisfied, they are more likely to persist and graduate.”

The 2014 National Student Satisfaction Report may be downloaded from: http://www.noellevitz.com/2014benchmark
About Noel-Levitz

Noel-Levitz is a recognized leader in higher education consulting and research. Since 1973, they have partnered with more than 3,000 campuses to optimize enrollment management and student success through experienced consultation, advanced analytic tools, and campus assessments.

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Pam Jennings
Noel-Levitz
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