heri logo heri home
Your First College Year Survey

HERI has been offering the Your First College Year (YFCY) survey since 2000. YFCY is the first national survey designed specifically to assess the academic and personal development of students over the first year of college.

Developed through a collaboration between HERI and the Policy Center on the First Year of College at Brevard College, YFCY enables institutions to identify features of the first year that encourage student learning, involvement, satisfaction, retention and success, thereby enhancing first-year programs and retention strategies at campuses across the country.


About the Your First College Year Survey

Your First College Year is a survey designed to provide higher education practitioners and researchers with comprehensive information on the academic and personal development of first-year college students. As such, YFCY collects information on a wide range of cognitive and affective measures, providing comprehensive institutional and comparative data for analyses of persistence, adjustment, and other first-year outcomes. Further, YFCY was designed as a follow-up survey to the annual CIRP Freshman Survey and allows for longitudinal research on the first year of college. However, YFCY also may be used as a stand-alone instrument.

Specifically colleges use the YFCY to:

Evaluate student adjustment to college
YFCY includes several measures of adjustment during the first year of college, such as students' level of satisfaction with various aspects of campus life, institutional facilities, and student services; personal challenges that they face during their transition from high school to college; and feelings of personal success at the end of the first year.
Assess students' academic experiences and achievement
The survey collects information on a number of academic experiences of first-year students, including classroom activities, academic engagement and disengagement, and interaction with faculty. Further, YFCY asks students to rate their overall academic capabilities as well as skills in specific intellectual areas and to report their first-year GPA.
Collect information about extracurricular experiences
YFCY collects information on all aspects of student life including social commitments, study habits, volunteer and service work, student employment, residential life experiences, involvement in campus organizations, religious practices, and family obligations. Survey items provide information on both the quantity and quality of these experiences.
Study specific first-year programs
Several questions on YFCY assess students' experiences with various campus programs such as orientation, honors courses, first-year seminars, remedial coursework, service learning opportunities, academic advising, and learning communities as well as interaction with campus advisors, counselors, and other support personnel.
Examine student change
As a follow-up instrument, YFCY is designed to help institutions assess how their students have changed since entering college. When combined with CIRP Freshman Survey data, the YFCY serves as a longitudinal measure of students' cognitive and affective growth during the first year.

Schools participating in the YFCY 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 YFCY as a post-test to the CIRP Freshman Survey will also receive a Longitudinal Profile, which can be used to assess growth and change over the first year of college.

ADMINISTERING THE SURVEY

Administered anytime between early/mid-March 2014 and June 13, 2014.

The YFCY is conducted from March-June to facilitate surveying freshmen at the end of their first college year, and is offered as a web survey to provide greater flexibility when managing your survey administration.

The 2014 administration of the YFCY will be available only as an online survey. The 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 CIRP Web Portal allows you maximum flexibility in setting email notification and reminder dates, customized, "welcome" and "thank you" pages, customized email notifications, and input of 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.

Web Survey Features

  • HERI can send customizable email notifications (including reminders) to your students
  • Your "Welcome" and "Thank you" screens can be customized
  • You can upload your own additional questions, including 30 closed-ended questions and five open-ended questions

Review our Frequently Asked Questions page about web survey administration.

The Survey Instrument

Important Forms and Documentation

Survey Fees

STANDARD COSTS

Participation Fee

  $825

Processing Fee

  $1.00 per survey processed
     
     
OPTIONAL COSTS
 

 

Customized Welcome and Thank You Pages

 

FREE

Close-ended (30) and Open-ended (5) questions

 

$350

Email distribution to students

 

$150

     

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

You may cancel without penalty up to the time that the unique web log-in codes have been sent to your institution, or distributed per your institution's direction. If the web log-in codes 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.

  • YFCY Infographic
    yfcy infographic
  • Customizable YFCY Infographic
    yfcy infographic custom

    Our YFCY infographic is based on data from our YFCY survey. The customizable version of the infographic can be customized with your institution's data. For more information on how to use our customizable infographic, click here

  • View Full Screen Sample Report Page
  • View Sample PowerPoint Slide