ANN ARBOR, Mich., June 1, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- The 2016 Voice of the Student Survey, which polled more than 9,300 undergraduates, highlights potential "blind spots" in conventional college rankings. By announcing its findings, the independent College Research Council (CRC) intends to arm schools with more sophisticated data to improve student life, and better inform families making significant social and financial decisions during the college-selection process.
Most notably, the survey uncovered dramatic differences in student experiences and outcomes at similarly-ranked institutions. "While two schools might appear alike on the surface, in reality, the student experience and campus environment could be completely dissimilar," says David Kochanek, publisher of the Voice of the Student research.
Indeed, in key metrics, some lesser-known and lower-ranked schools actually outperform ones with higher reputations. Traditional rankings often fail to capture these and other critical differences. By using a Net Promoter Score – the unique indicator relied on by the world's leading businesses – the survey offers a much more sophisticated understanding of student experience.
"The voice of the customer, in this case, the student, is the ultimate barometer of an institution's position in the market. As colleges continue to prioritize the student experience, they will experience improved Net Promoter Scores and ultimately success for both the institution, but most importantly, the student," says Brian Wm. Niles, Founder and Chief Evangelist at TargetX.
The report provides aggregate comparisons of liberal arts colleges and Big Ten schools as well as results among individual colleges, including some of the highest ranked and best-known institutions in the United States.
It also identifies the six key factors that matter most to students of liberal arts colleges. Some elements – like sense of community, discrimination, and campus safety – are so important that the students most positively assessing these were as much as 17 times more likely to recommend their schools when compared to those giving lesser assessments.
"Much like in the business world, it's important for higher education administrators to listen to their customers. In this case it's the student voice that matters most," states Gil Rogers, Director of Enrollment Marketing at Chegg.
Colleges seeking a better understanding of their students' experience can visit the College Research Council website to receive a summary of the survey and request a customized research report that compares findings to those of their peer institutions.
About the Survey
Now in its second year, the Voice of the Student survey directly captures the opinions and perceptions of undergraduate students, primarily from private liberal arts colleges. It draws attention to the reality of student experiences, and reveals how much of this information has previously been missing from the college selection process.
In all, over 9,300 students responded to the 2016 survey, including students from both liberal arts colleges and Big Ten institutions.
About College Research Council
College Research Council conducts independent, authentic and credible research solely focused on the higher-education market. We discuss the drivers of a valuable college experience and help families make more informed college selection decisions. In addition, our data and insights are used by schools to improve quality and satisfaction of the educational experience.
Most importantly, we make it easier for students to discover schools that are a great fit – a concept much talked about but, without comparative campus experience data, difficult to define.
For more, visit: http://www.collegeresearch.org/summary.html
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