College Senior Survey

Registration for the 2015-2016 CSS survey is now open!
Administer anytime between November 16, 2015 through June 24, 2016

Register Now

The College Senior Survey (CSS) connects academic, civic, and diversity outcomes with a comprehensive set of college experiences to measure the impact of college. Although the CSS can be used as a stand-alone instrument, when used in conjunction with the CIRP Freshman Survey (TFS), the Diverse Learning Environments Survey (DLE), or the Your First College Year Survey (YFCY), the CSS generates valuable longitudinal data on students' cognitive and affective growth during college.

About the College Senior Survey

The College Senior Survey is designed as an exit survey for graduating seniors. The CSS focuses on a broad range of college outcomes and post-college goals and plans including:

  • academic achievement and engagement
  • student-faculty interaction
  • cognitive and affective development
  • student goals and values
  • satisfaction with the college experience
  • degree aspirations and career plans
  • post-college plans

Schools participating in the CSS receive an institutional profile, which includes your institutional results broken out by sex, full and part-time status, comparisons with other similar institutions, significance testing, effect sizes, CIRP Constructs and Theme reports, and a data file of your student responses.

Schools using the CSS as a post-test to the TFS, YFCY, or DLE will also receive a Longitudinal Profile, which can be used to assess growth and change over time.

Administering the CSS Survey Administered anytime between November 16, 2015 and June 24, 2016

The 2015-2016 administration of the CSS is available as a paper or as an online survey.

The Paper Survey
The paper survey can be administered in the classroom, a group setting, or as a mail-out survey. The most successful administration of the CSS is in large group settings, such as a graduation rehearsal. You select the delivery date and the number of questionnaires needed.
The Web Survey
The web survey can be administered either with your campus managing the email notification process, or for ease of use, you can elect to have HERI manage the email notifications to students. Our web portal allows you to set email notification and reminder dates, customize "welcome" and "thank you" pages, customize email notifications, and upload your additional questions. Throughout the administration, you can monitor your response rates in real time. Your survey data updates in real time, so you can download your preliminary data file at any point to analyze early responses.

Reporting Samples

View Full Screen Sample Report Page
View Sample PowerPoint Slide

The Survey Instrument

Important Forms and Documentation

Survey Fees

Standard Costs

Participation Fee



Processing Fee


$3.25 per survey processed

Optional Costs

Customized Welcome and Thank You Pages



Additional questions for web administration - 20 closed-ended and/or 5 open-ended



Additional questions for paper administration - 20 closed-ended



HERI-managed email distribution to students



School-managed distribution (bulk codes)


Billing Policy

Upon registration, institutions are sent one bill for the participation fee. After each institution completes their survey administration and returns the data for processing, the per-survey processing fees are calculated and a second bill is sent to each institution for their respective processing charges. Institutions are also billed separately for any Data Service Orders they may place, and these bills are sent out after the completion and fulfillment of each Data Service Order.

Withdrawal Policy

For Web Administrations
You may cancel without penalty up to the time that the unique URL(s) have been sent to your institution, or distributed per your institution's direction. If the URL(s) have already been sent to your institution or distributed via HERI's email distribution service to your intended survey participants, you will be charged a withdrawal fee of $100. In addition, if HERI has provided any customized services at your request (e.g., incorporated on-line additional questions, etc), you will also be responsible for the full cost of these services.

For Paper Administrations
You may cancel without penalty up to the time that the questionnaires have been sent to your institution. If questionnaires have already been sent to your institution, you will be charged the full participation fee unless you return all of the questionnaires intact to our processing center. Once the unused questionnaires have been received and verified at our processing center, the participation fee will be waived and a withdrawal fee of $100 will be assessed.