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Parent Satisfaction Inventory™

Free telephone consultations are available to assist you with selecting your parent sample, deciding how to administer the survey, interpreting the findings, and planning appropriate follow-up initiatives. Call us at 1-800-876-1117 or contact us via email.

What is the survey completion time?

Parents need approximately 10-15 minutes to complete the Parent Satisfaction Inventory.

How is the survey administered?

Ruffalo Noel Levitz will administer the Parent Satisfaction Inventory using parent email addresses that you supply. We recommend collecting parent email addresses on the admissions application or at orientation. You may want to coordinate with your admissions office or your alumni/development office to maintain up-to-date email addresses of the parents of your currently enrolled students.

The survey typically remains open for a three-week window, but can be extended as necessary. Learn more about the online administration in the implementation guidelines (PDF).

Please note that the survey is only available for online administration. There is not a paper administration option.

Who should be invited to complete the survey?

We recommend inviting 100 percent of the parents of your currently enrolled students to complete the survey, across all four class levels. Please note that the survey is designed for the parents of students at four-year public and private college and universities. It is not appropriate for parents of community college students or for parents of students in online programs.

What response rate can we expect?

Typical response rates for the parent survey have been around 30 percent in response to an email invitation and two reminder email messages which are included with the Ruffalo Noel Levitz service. Campuses can help to achieve this response rate by offering additional incentives to parents for completing the survey, including such things as gift certificates for the bookstore or local restaurants, and by publicizing the survey’s availability on the campus website or through other communication methods.

When do we get the reports?

Your scored reports will be available online on a secure website approximately 10 to 12 business days after we close your survey. You will be notified via email when your results are ready to access.

How much does it cost?

The survey fees are $1.70 for each completed survey, plus $0.25 per invited parent and a $225 processing and set-up fee. A 5 percent handling charge also applies. All other fees are optional. Click here to check prices and place an order.

Can the survey be customized?

Similar to the other Ruffalo Noel Levitz Satisfaction-Priorities Surveys, the Parent Satisfaction Inventory allows room for you to add up to 10 items of your choosing which can be rated for importance and satisfaction (typically these items parallel any custom items included in your Student Satisfaction Inventory administration). In addition, you may add two campus-defined demographic items which ask one question each, with up to six possible responses each, and you may add one additional demographic item with an unlimited number of responses that you define using four-digit codes.

Can parents provide comments?

Yes, the Parent Satisfaction Inventory provides a section for any comments the parents would like to share with the institution. The comment section appears at the end of the survey. The comment section cannot be customized with specific free-response questions. Ruffalo Noel Levitz delivers the comments to the institution in a separate text document when the survey results are delivered.

How soon can the survey be ready for administration?

Your online survey account can be ready within three to five business days after you place your order with Ruffalo Noel Levitz. We will send you an email with directions on how to access your account and directions for customizing the survey. You will want to allow a couple of days for customization before you make your survey available to parents. Ruffalo Noel Levitz will provide technical support for any assistance you need for customizing your survey.

When is the best time to survey our parents?

Similar to the Student Satisfaction Inventory™, it is appropriate to survey parents in either the fall or the spring semesters. We encourage you to wait at least four to six weeks into the new school year, so that parents can form their opinions on a variety of experiences their students are having. You may want to time the administration of the Parent Satisfaction Inventory to coincide with your administration of the Student Satisfaction Inventory so you have data gathered at similar points in time.

Can the Parent Satisfaction Inventory be administered without also surveying our students?

Ruffalo Noel Levitz recommends that you survey your students as well as your parents. The data from the Parent Satisfaction Inventory are going to be most meaningful when analyzed in connection with the Student Satisfaction Inventory results. However, you may find that you would like to survey your students and parents in alternating years rather than at the same time. Or you may want to begin with surveying one population currently, such as parents, and add survey administrations of other populations, such as students, in the future. You may also want to consider incorporating the Institutional Priorities Survey™ for faculty, administration and staff into your assessment plan to be able to triangulate the data across key campus constituencies.

Which inventory version should we use, Form A or Form B?

You will want to administer the Form A or Form B version of the Parent Satisfaction Inventory depending on the version of the Student Satisfaction Inventory that you are currently using on your campus. The survey items are parallel based on the corresponding survey version.

Who is included in the national comparison group?

The national comparison group currently includes 25 four-year private and public institutions from across the U.S. As the use of the inventory expands, the national comparison group may be split into separate four-year private and four-year public groups. You can view a list of the 25 institutions in the appendix of the 2012 National Parent Satisfaction and Priorities Report.

What is the reliability and validity for the Parent Satisfaction Inventory?

The reliability and validity of the Parent Satisfaction Inventory are strong. To learn more, see this document (PDF).

Other questions? Please contact Ruffalo Noel Levitz at 1-800-876-1117 or via email.