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Traditional Students Less Satisfied Than Adult and Online Learners According to National Study

New research outlines areas of the college student experience with lowest and highest satisfaction

November 27, 2017: Traditional students show lower satisfaction with their college experience than online and adult learners, according to a new national satisfaction report from Ruffalo Noel Levitz, leading provider of higher education enrollment management, student success, and fundraising solutions. Sixty-seven percent of adult learners and 74 percent of online learners reported they were satisfied with their experience overall compared to just over 50 percent of students at four-year public and private institutions and 64 percent of students at two-year public schools.

The 2017 National Student Satisfaction and Priorities Report also revealed that between 56 percent and 75 percent of students indicated that they would be likely to re-enroll at the institution they were attending, with more online learners reporting they would re-enroll compared to other students.

The 2017 report is based on survey responses from more than 600,000 traditional-age, adult, and online learners attending nearly 1,000 two-year, four-year, public, and private institutions.

Included in the report are:

  • Students’ overall satisfaction levels, reported separately for two-year and four-year, public and private institutions, as well as for nontraditional adults and online learners
  • Areas of strength identified by students
  • Students’ calls for improvement encompassing specific aspects of registration, instruction, admissions, financial aid, campus climate, and campus safety
  • Top factors in students’ original decisions to enroll, for recruitment and strategic planning

According to Patricia Maben, senior vice president of product strategy, “Student outcomes are a high priority for colleges and universities across the country, and understanding the satisfaction levels of students helps position colleges to better focus their resources to improve student success on their campuses—whether that experience is on a physical campus or online.”

RNL Satisfaction-Priorities Surveys provide colleges and universities with actionable, prioritized data for strategic institutional planning, student retention and completion, re-accreditation, and student recruitment and marketing. The dual satisfaction-priorities assessments used in this study were the RNL Student Satisfaction Inventory™, the RNL Adult Student Priorities Survey™, and the RNL Priorities Survey for Online Learners™. Students completed the surveys over a three-year period, 2014-17. In addition, RNL utilizes the Satisfaction-Priorities Surveys within RNL Student Success (the company’s integrated analytics and consulting solution) to set strategic priorities and plans to improve student success rates—assuring that students progress and graduate.

To read the full report, visit http://www.RuffaloNL.com/benchmark

About Ruffalo Noel Levitz

Ruffalo Noel Levitz is the leading provider of higher education enrollment, student success, and fundraising solutions. More than 1,900 colleges, universities, and nonprofit organizations rely on RNL for advanced analytics, personalized engagement, and industry-leading insights to achieve their missions. The firm is distinguished by its powerful portfolio of solutions focused on the entire lifecycle of enrollment and fundraising, assuring students find the right college or university, graduate on time, secure their first job, and give back to support the next generation. Ruffalo Noel Levitz conferences, research reports, papers, and articles help clients stay on top of current trends. Visit www.RuffaloNL.com.

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