Assessment Matters: Fall 2020 First Year Start Strong Survey

Last fall, Meredith’s Dean of Student and the Office of Research, Planning and Assessment (RPA) surveyed the Class of 2024 to gather data about incoming students’ family background, high school experience, social perspectives, and expectations for college. Students answered questions about their college search process, enrollment decision, socio-economic standing, and academic expectations. Of the 378 First Year students who were invited to participate in the survey, 299 (78%) completed it. 

This infographic provides a snapshot of the experiences, attitudes, and expectations that Meredith’s first year students expressed through their responses to the 2020 First Year Start Strong Survey. The following are some key findings from the various survey topic areas.

Socio-economic and cultural background:

Students were asked about their families’ educational background, religious affiliations, and their political viewpoints. 30% of the respondents identified as first generation college students, while 35% said at least one parent held an undergraduate degree.

College search process and enrollment decision:

Three top factors that students cited as somewhat important, important, or very important in choosing Meredith are as follows. 

  • 99% – Meredith’s offer of financial assistance
  • 97% – Knowing that Meredith graduates are able to get good jobs 
  • 96% – Meredith’s impressive academic reputation 

Expectations of Meredith: 

Three top activities students believe they are somewhat likely, likely, or very likely to engage in while at Meredith. 

  • 99% – Join Meredith clubs and organizations.
  • 95% – Work on/off campus to pay for college.
  • 93% – Participate in service and leadership activities.

See the infographic for more detail

To request a report based on this survey or for further information about it, please contact Dilnavaz Mirza Sharma ( or Dianne Raubenheimer ( in the Office of Research, Planning and Assessment.


Melyssa Allen

News Director
316 Johnson Hall
(919) 760-8087
Fax: (919) 760-8330