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Survey: Students Think Schools Should Use Personal Data to Improve College Experience

Seventy-seven percent of college students think schools should do a better job of using their personal data to improve the college experience, according to a new survey from Ellucian.

The company released the results of a survey on the same day as its new data analytics platform, Ellucian Analytics. The online survey was conducted by Wakefield Research from October 13 to 18 and included 1,000 United States college students.

The key takeaway from the survey is that students already share vast amounts of personal data with their schools, and they expect those schools to use that data in ways that benefit them. "Today's students are savvy users of technology and comfortable sharing their data, but they expect more from colleges and universities when they do," said Jeff Ray, president and CEO of Ellucian, in a prepared statement. "They expect institutions to utilize their data to improve their educational/academic experience just like the apps on their phone."

Key findings from the survey include:

  • 98 percent of respondents said they want their school to use their personal information to improve academic processes;
  • 62 percent said they want schools to track graduation requirements and progress;
  • 59 percent told researchers they want schools to use personal information to help them select and register for courses;
  • 53 percent said they want schools to use data for scheduling academic advising sessions;
  • 95 percent of students said they expect the personal data they give their school to improve many other aspects of their college experience, including their student life;
  • 49 percent reported that they want schools to use their personal data to help them obtain student health care;
  • 46 percent said they want schools to use data to help secure housing;
  • 44 percent told researchers they want schools to use it to help join student organizations;
  • 42 percent of students said they are willing to let schools use their data for offers from local bookstores, retailers and restaurants;
  • 82 percent of students surveyed said tehy believe the personal information schools collect will transform the college experience in 10 years; and
  • 93 percent of students think they should only have to provide their personal information to their institution once, with 53 percent agreeing strongly.

Ellucian is exhibiting in booth 601 at the Educause 2016 conference being held in Anaheim, CA this week.

About the Author

Leila Meyer is a technology writer based in British Columbia. She can be reached at [email protected].

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