CIRP Freshman Survey – Executive Summary


Philip Batty, Director of Institutional Analysis



This is a report of results from the 2007 administration of the Cooperative Institutional Research Program (CIRP) Freshman Survey.  The survey was administered during orientation from May - July, 2007.  The results reported here are for the 3,309 respondents who indicated that they would be full-time FTIACs in the fall.


Following are some areas in which GVSU’s freshmen differ from freshmen at similar schools nationwide.  Please refer to the report “2007 CIRP Institutional Summary” for additional details.  Reports showing trends and gender differences in GVSU freshmen’s responses are also available.


·         GVSU freshmen regard GVSU highly…  Our students were more likely to be attending their first choice school (82% vs. 71%).  GVSU freshmen were more likely that national peers to cite a good academic reputation (68% vs. 60%) or a good reputation for social activities (37% vs. 33%) among the reasons for choosing their college. GVSU students also indicate higher expectations for satisfaction with their college than the national norm (62% vs. 53%).


·         GVSU freshmen are less politically involved…  GVSU students are less likely than national peers to consider “influencing the political structure” an important personal goal (14% vs. 22%) or to value “keeping up to date with political affairs” highly (31% vs. 36%). GVSU freshmen are less likely than other freshmen to say they discussed politics frequently (26% vs. 31%).


·         GVSU freshmen have less experience with ethnic diversity…  Our students were more likely to describe their high school as “Mostly White” or “Completely White” (79% vs. 69%).  Similarly, they tended to describe their neighborhoods as mostly or completely white (86% vs. 80%). They were also less likely to say they had socialized frequently with someone of another ethnic group in the past year (62% vs. 66%).


·         Reporting of alcohol and tobacco use is much lower among GVSU freshmen… According to their self-reports, GVSU students are less likely to have drunk beer (20% vs. 42%), drank wine or liquor (25% vs. 48%), or smoked cigarettes frequently (1% vs. 6%) in the last year. However, GVSU freshmen's parents are often present when they complete the survey, so the honesty of their self-reports of illegal substance use is highly suspect


·         GVSU freshmen are concerned about financing college…  GVSU freshmen are less likely than peers to indicate confidence in their ability to finance their education (36% vs. 47%).  They’re more likely to say they’ll get a job to pay for college (64% vs. 43%)  and to count on their own earnings to cover expenses (62% vs. 57%).


For more information on these survey results, please see the attached reports*, or contact the Office of Institutional Analysis (331-8648).

* available at