Student Voice

Student Voice

Student Voice is a news hub spotlighting the student perspective on higher education. This collaboration, is presented by Kaplan in association with Inside Higher Ed and College Pulse.

Presented by Kaplan

First-Generation Student Success

Understanding how students who aspire to be the first in their family to earn a bachelor’s degree feel about college and their future is key to supporting them.

Two people silhouetted against the rising sun. They are climbing a mountain and are tethered together.

9 Ways to Elevate First-Generation Student Support

July 29, 2022

Efforts by colleges and universities to strengthen and personalize supports for first-generation students largely get noticed. A survey reveals areas for expanded communication and connection opportunities.

Standout Stat: 24% of first-generation students surveyed strongly agree that their colleges help first-generation students navigate college life; 60% agree at least somewhat.

A brown-skinned woman with dark hair faces away from the camera. She is wearing a backpack.

First in the Family Make Their Mark in College

July 19, 2022

While first-generation college students’ backgrounds and challenges are unique to the individual, they tend to have high expectations and multifaceted postgraduation goals—plus complex support needs.

Standout Stat: 51% of first-generation students surveyed feel like they belong on campus over all, while an additional 29% feel like they belong but only in certain spaces on campus.

A piece of blue paper with a section torn away. Underneath the torn-off section it reads, "Ask for help."
Opinion

Normalizing the Unknown for First-Gen Students

July 28, 2022

Higher ed institutions must reassure first-generation students that it’s OK not to have all the answers, writes Nick Ladany, a first-gen student who became a university president.

Campus Safety and Security

Students share how safe they feel on and around campus, how much trust they have for campus police, and what aspects of security could use more attention. 

An illustration showing outlines of people walking and biking on a college campus.

Security Uncertainties: What’s Worrying Students

July 15, 2022

Our infographic highlights eight safety concerns, in students’ own words, and what colleges can do to address them.

Standout Stat: 26% of students would prioritize adding security cameras if more funding were available for campus security.

Screen showing visualization of survey data.

Interact With Student Voice Survey Data

June 29, 2022

How to access results from the survey on campus safety and other student surveys.

A female student runs alone at night.

Student Safety Wishes: Visible Security, Brighter Walkways, More Crime Prevention

June 29, 2022

Six approaches and actions for creating safer campuses based on student opinion and perspectives.

Standout Stat: 26% of students say their campus feels safer than they anticipated prior to starting college, while 11% say it feels less safe.

Students Mostly Feel Safe on College Campuses, but Not Equally So

June 22, 2022

Creating more positive perceptions of safety and security involves understanding precollege experiences, which groups need strategic outreach and where the worries lie.

Standout Stat: 19% of LGBTQIA+ students rate interactions with campus security as very positive, compared to 33% of straight students.

Opinion

The Safety and Security Side of Teacher Preparation

July 08, 2022

Schools of education must prepare future teachers for the mental and emotional toll of school safety and security, writes counselor education professor Emily Sallee.

Student Views on Faculty

From course expectations to opinions on tenure, students weigh in on teaching, learning and academic structures at their higher ed institutions.

Illustration of a to-do list and various figures holding up star shapes.

Students See COVID’s Impact on Professors

June 17, 2022

Two years after initial shutdowns, students notice and have opinions on faculty performance, as our infographic shows.

Standout Stat: 33% of students surveyed had at least one professor in spring 2022 who chose to teach virtually when the class was meant to be in person.

A group of people giving thumbs-up.

Students’ Opinions of Professors Lean Positive

May 26, 2022

Asked about professors’ choices in instructional materials, fairness in grading and other factors, students rate professors highly. But there’s still work to be done.

Standout Stat: 61% of students report their professors generally choose up-to-date instructional materials, and 53% say that content reflects diversity.

Students sitting at desks. An instructor is handing out papers.

Students Seek Stronger Connections With Professors but Rarely Take the Lead

May 20, 2022

Professors could be better about building relationships with students, many of whom hope for assistance with career planning and networking. But students may not realize their role in connecting.

Standout Stat: 28% of students say they never utilize faculty office hours; among those who do, more than half visit professors just once or twice in a semester.

Opinion

Reinvent Career Services to Create Pathways to Employability

June 21, 2022

To help students develop career readiness skills and prepare for work, related content should be embedded in coursework, writes Provost Kerry Fulcher.

Students gather in a lecture hall.
Opinion

Opening the Doors for Student-Faculty Connection

June 15, 2022

Due to the pandemic, current college students place higher value on personal connections with faculty, staff and peers, writes Laurel Bongiorno.

Current State of Mental Health

Two years into the pandemic, students reflect on their mental health ups and downs, how their colleges have supported them, and the investments they would like to see in mental health and wellness efforts.

Professors’ Part in Maintaining Student Mental Health

May 17, 2022

What faculty members think, actions they take and adjustments they make can go a long way to lessen student mental health and wellness challenges, as this infographic shows.

Standout Stat: 57% of students identified “keeping up with coursework” as a top stressor from the past month.

Students Need More Counseling—and More Than Counseling

April 20, 2022

Student impressions of and experiences with campus mental health services and supports show there’s still work to be done in providing needed help. How can colleges make existing services more accessible and expand offerings?

Standout Stat: 50% of students who have used telecounseling services through their college believe expansion of on-campus counseling staff should be a top priority, compared to 37% of all survey respondents.

Student Mental Health Status Report: Struggles, Stressors and Supports

April 19, 2022

While the pandemic has taken a serious toll on students, few have stayed in a dark place the entire time, and the present time period is rated by the greatest percentage of students as the best one in terms of mental health.

Standout Stat: 33% of students feel the pandemic has made them focus more on caring for their mental health.

An illustration of multicolored hands placing gears and parts of machinery in a person's head.
Opinion

Students Can Change the Culture of Mental Health on Campus

May 26, 2022

Colleges must maintain a continuous presence and emphasis on mental health within student life, writes Geela Ramos, an Active Minds student advocate.

People spread out on a white background and connected by black lines. The image resembles a drawing of neurons in the brain.
Opinion

College Counseling Centers Cannot Act Alone

May 12, 2022

Colleges should reach across the campus and collaborate with established resources in the community rather than relying on traditional models of campus counseling, writes Eric Wood.

Two students stand in front of oversize letters spelling out "CSU," which are filled with gold and green balloons.
Opinion

Traditional Models of Care Are Not Enough

May 05, 2022

Jody Donovan of Colorado State University explores how institutions can innovate to prioritize student mental health needs with an inclusive lens.

Outlook on Admissions

Students weigh in on their college admissions experiences and what changes they think are needed. 

COVID or Not, Why They Come (and How It’s Going)

April 12, 2022

A look at how the pandemic impacted—or didn’t—students’ admissions and college choice process and experiences.

Virtual or In Person, Students Say Campus Tours Could Achieve More

March 28, 2022

COVID offered colleges an opportunity to consider how to maximize their online and in-person tours so that all students can be prepared to make their college choice.

Students Approach Admissions Strategically and Practically

March 21, 2022

Current admissions and enrollment decision making and desires involve common-sense thinking on location, price and flexibility throughout the process.

A male student tour guide addresses a group of prospective students.
Opinion

Helping Prospective Students See Themselves on Campus

May 02, 2022

With some students not able to make it to campus for an in-person tour, colleges must ensure their virtual tours offer a clear sense of what the campus is like, says Mary Kreta of the University of Montana.

Opinion

Waiving Fees and Other Measures to Improve College Access

April 18, 2022

Institutions need to continue to waive fees and implement cost-saving measures for students post-COVID, writes Provost Denise Runge.

Opinion

Focus on the Basics in Virtual Tours

April 14, 2022

Colleges should expand online content plus campus visit opportunities, writes educational consultant Matthew Greene.

Financial Wellness

From basic budgeting to planning for post-college, personal finance skills for many students are lacking. 

Student Financial Wellness Across the Campus

March 17, 2022

Helping students gain money-management skills and stay afloat in a crisis is not the role of any one department, as this infographic shows.

Standout Stat: Just 8% of students surveyed say their college requires a class or program in financial literacy.

Campus Financial Aid Supports Shine in Crisis but Are Otherwise Lackluster

March 03, 2022

While many students don’t lean in on opportunities to learn more about student loans and other aspects of personal finance, they tend to have high expectations when it comes to getting help during tough times.

Standout Stat: Only 9% of students disagree that colleges “should be responsible” for helping a student in financial crisis.

Where the Weaknesses Are in Student Financial Wellness

February 25, 2022

A survey of students’ personal finance realities reveals the need for stronger financial literacy education and support.

Standout Stat: 35% of students are very worried about being able to remain in college if they experience a financial setback such as a big car-repair bill.

Opinion

Why Higher Ed Must Advocate for Mandatory Personal Finance Education in High School

March 18, 2022

Emotion is driving college choice, but reason should prevail, writes financial literacy advocate John Pelletier.

Opinion

Every Woman Deserves a Financial Education

March 09, 2022

With a college education being the first large financial investment for many students, institutions should be responsible for helping students develop financial literacy skills, writes Beth Hwang.

Students Feeling Understood

How well do faculty, staff and campus officials “see” students and the challenges they’re facing now and have managed in life?

Reading Between the Lines to Support Struggling Students

February 17, 2022

What higher ed educators and leaders need to know about how student identities and the traumas they’ve experienced in life relate to current challenges.

Connecting With Students by Hearing Their Personal Stories

February 02, 2022

Faculty, staff and administrative efforts to build trust can help make college students feel understood.

Standout Stat: 40% of students with learning disabilities DISAGREE (at least somewhat) that their college is responsive to the needs of all its students.

Seeing Students for Who They Are and Where They’ve Been

February 01, 2022

How precollege experiences and students’ identities shape the challenges they face and connections they make in postsecondary education.

Standout Stat: 1 in 4 students DISAGREE (somewhat or strongly) that their college understands the connections they have to their family and home community.

Opinion

Bringing PEACE to Support All Students

February 23, 2022

Preparation, expertise, authenticity, caring and engagement should guide educators in crafting their individual teaching personae, writes teaching scholar Donald A. Saucier.

Opinion

Engaging First-Gen Students’ Families Is Critical to Their Success

February 08, 2022

Being a first-generation student is an asset, and families of these students can be partners in supporting success, writes Julie Carballo.

Fall 2021 in Review

College students nearing the end of the semester reflected on their health and wellness, academic and social experiences, and on what they need looking ahead.

Diversity, Advocacy and Career Prep: Back in Sight, Top of Mind?

January 11, 2022

Student observations about campus communities, advocacy activity and career-prep catch-up.

Standout Stat: 59% of students agree at least somewhat that there was a noticeable difference in diversity of students and employees on their campuses this fall.

Reflections on Fall Campus Connections

December 20, 2021

Normal? Not exactly—but academic, social and wellness realities this semester have pointed in a positive direction for many students.

Standout Stat: 35% of students say their mental health is better now than it was during the spring 2021 semester.

Opinion

Fostering Wellness During a Time of Continued COVID Uncertainty

January 21, 2022

Campus counselor Tracee Anderson offers advice on meeting evolving mental health needs of college students.

Opinion

Students Notice Diversity. That’s a Good First Step

January 06, 2022

Creating a more diverse campus must include fostering a sense of belonging, writes DEI administrator Mary Ann Villarreal.

Academic Integrity Actions

Student behaviors and perspectives related to academic integrity are influenced by policies and practices at all levels, from institution-wide to professor-specific.

Student Ideas for Academic Integrity

December 14, 2021

Suggestions from students who were surveyed about why cheating occurs about how higher ed institutions can help prevent it.

Standout Stat: 58% of students say lack of preparation for exams is a factor that contributes to cheating in higher education.

Shades of Gray on Student Cheating

December 07, 2021

With students disagreeing on how acceptable some actions are, colleges must carefully handle cheating reports and manage accusations fairly.

Standout Stat: 84% of students agree at least somewhat that their colleges are fair about the way they handle cheating accusations.

How Students See Cheating, and How Colleges Can Contain It

November 23, 2021

Student perceptions of academic integrity and exposure to unethical behaviors uncovered in our survey can guide colleges in educating about such issues and taking action to prevent cheating.

Standout Stat: Just 17% of students say all or nearly all their professors have put effort into using authentic assessments that make cheating more difficult; another quarter say many professors have done so.

Opinion

Keeping Academic Integrity at the Forefront of Higher Education

December 15, 2021

Marquette’s president reflects on how and why the university guides students toward a moral future.

Mentor Connections

Certain groups of students are most likely to seek out and benefit from mentor relationships. College leaders can help by practicing a variety of mentor program approaches. 

Making the Mentor and Mentee Match (infographic)

November 16, 2021

Successful connections between students and mentors often require careful thinking about which individuals are likely to be a good pair. Follow these 10 matchmaking tips.

Standout Stat: 65% of students who have not had a mentor think they would want or might want to have one.

Students Need Mentors, and More Help in Making Those Connections

October 28, 2021

Nine strategies and tactics for ensuring more students desire a mentor and expanding opportunities for connection.

Standout Stat: 32% of students identify not wanting or not needing a mentor as a reason for not having one

Savvy Students Get the Guidance

October 22, 2021

Having a professor, adviser or other mentor can greatly help in navigating college and launching a career, but many students aren’t seeking out such relationships.

Standout Stat: 31% of students of color prefer a mentor of the same racial identity, compared to 5% of white students.

Opinion

Black and Brown Students Want Black and Brown Mentors. What’s a Primarily White Institution to Do?

November 10, 2021

S. Brooke Vick from Muhlenberg College shares three ways mentoring efforts can support students of color.

Opinion

To Reduce Inequality on College Campuses, Invest in Relationships

November 01, 2021

Proactive student support and mentorship culture is undervalued in academia, writes Becca Spindel Bassett, who studies inequity in higher ed.

Pandemic-Era Career Prep

COVID-19 has impacted student goals and career preparation experiences. Here is how colleges can support students during this time.

What to Know About Students Wishing for a College Choice Do-Over

October 06, 2021

Infographic: Students with negative views on the college enrollment decision may need more outreach and support.

Standout Stat: Just 14% of students who would not choose their college over again strongly agree that career center supports have been sufficient during the pandemic

Next Steps, New Directions Emerge for Life Beyond College: Part 2

September 22, 2021

In light of virtual internship and alternative career exploration experiences that occurred (or did not) during COVID, what supports do students now expect and need?

Standout Stat: 32% of students who had virtual internships during the pandemic say it was hard to tell if they would want to pursue that kind of work.

Next Steps, New Directions Emerge for Life Beyond College: Part 1

September 21, 2021

Future plans and career preparation approaches have shifted for students during the pandemic. How have they turned to college supports for help?

Standout Stat: Only 23% of students who have changed their major in part because of the pandemic are very confident they’re in the right academic program, considering the current economy and job market.

Opinion

How Students Are Navigating Changes in Career Plans

October 20, 2021

As the pandemic has forced students to make shifts in their career decisions, career centers can help equip them to adapt, writes Austin Wechter.

Opinion

The Fix to Student Work Readiness? Provosts

October 11, 2021

With the availability of work experiences for college students at an all-time low, chief academic officers have the power to save the day.

Data Privacy Awareness

Many students haven’t given much thought to the data being collected about them by their colleges, but higher ed can play a role in giving students the knowledge to become informed data consumers. 

Data Defense: Privacy Protection Actions

September 14, 2021

Four actions to encourage students to take for better understanding of what data are collected about them and what control they may have over the use of their private information.

Data Collection Comforts: Most Students Trust Their Colleges

August 17, 2021

Students don’t know a lot about what their colleges are doing with their data, and experts say institutions must help them think more critically about data privacy. Here’s how.

Standout Stat: Only 12% of students know their college has a data privacy policy in place and have read it; an additional 37% know there is one but have not read it.

Opinion

Decoding Data Security

September 23, 2021

Student Kyra O’Connor offers perspective on privacy policies, data collection and the university’s role in cybersecurity.

Opinion

Privacy Opt-Out May Lead to Inequities

September 20, 2021

Rushing to provide opt-out mechanisms may be hurting rather than protecting students, writes Christopher Brooks, who teaches in a school of information.

Student Policy Perspectives

From free college and student loan forgiveness to admissions and free speech, here’s what students think about various higher ed policies at the federal, state and institutional levels.

Best Safety Practices and Policy, According to Students

August 02, 2021

From free speech and campus security approaches to Title IX regulation and COVID-19 mitigation, here’s what students say would help them feel safe and secure.

Standout Stat: 63% of students whose colleges currently use volunteer mediators and other mental health professionals as part of campus safety departments believe it’s a good idea to do so

Students Favor Free College, Oppose Admissions Preferences

July 20, 2021

Survey reveals what education policy makers working on behalf of students need to know about solutions that students support for making college more affordable and equitable.

Standout Stat: 60% of students strongly support free four-year college

Opinion

Building Back Better: Beyond Free College

August 31, 2021

Free college proposals would only exacerbate the degree completion gap in higher ed, write Stephen J. Handel and Eileen L. Strempel.

Opinion

The Fundamental Attribution Error of Admission Test Policies

August 12, 2021

The funding model of higher education -- not test scores -- is the greatest barrier to college access, writes Joe Bagnoli.

Student Success Beyond COVID

Reflecting on their learning through the pandemic, many students feel unimpressed by their education this year. Here’s what they need from colleges as many prepare to return to the post-COVID campus.

 

Reflections on Success

July 16, 2021

Success in college is about much more than getting a diploma. Our survey captured how students currently define success.

Stepping Out From COVID

June 23, 2021

Three ways campus leaders and educators can help college students get back on track after the challenges of learning within the confines of the pandemic (part two of a two-part article).

Standout Stat: Only 7% of students would rate the value of education received this past year as excellent.

How COVID-19 Damaged Student Success

June 21, 2021

Many students think the pandemic impeded their learning and academic progress, but the experience likely taught them some lessons about higher education and themselves.

Standout Stat: 52% of students say they learned less this year compared to pre-COVID years.

Opinion

Lost Handshakes, Eye Contact and Flow State of Learning

July 15, 2021

President Marlene Tromp offers ideas on how to give what was lost during COVID online learning back to students.

Opinion

Pedagogy of Healing: Bearing Witness to Trauma and Resilience

July 08, 2021

Mays Imad suggests 13 actions professors and other educators can take to help promote students’ mental health before and during the fall semester.

Opinion

If Colleges Were Rated Like Uber Drivers…

June 24, 2021

Students say the pandemic switch to online learning was a disaster. Using Uber driver ratings, colleges would have been fired many times over this year.

Student Health

The pandemic has impacted exercise, diet and sleep habits of students, who are also experiencing the physical effects of increased screen time. As the pandemic eases, colleges and universities can support students as they return more fully to campuses and hope to get back into healthier routines.

The Campus Vaccine Scene

June 07, 2021

Higher ed vaccine mandates are a hot topic for college students. Here’s what they think about requirements and related communication.

Health Habits: Emerging From the COVID Crush

May 27, 2021

Students who have fallen into unhealthy lifestyle routines this past year need support in getting back on track. How can colleges help?

Standout Stat: Only 27% of students have experienced no physical symptoms caused by increased screen time during the pandemic.

Opinion

5 New Realities to Know About College Hunger

July 01, 2021

The pandemic shines a bigger spotlight on the issue of college students with food insecurity and how their institutions can support them, writes Rachel Sumekh.

Opinion

Complain, Educatedly

June 18, 2021

When advocating against injustice, one must first put their own adversity, such as discomforts from the pandemic, in perspective, writes student Alexandra Bowman.

Racial Justice and Equality

In the past year, people on campuses and off have engaged in discussions and activism related to racial justice and equality with renewed intensity. What are students thinking about the racial climate and actions (or inactions) they see?

Infographic: Campus Racial Climate Expectations and Observations

May 14, 2021

Students speak out about what they’ve seen and what they expect from their colleges with regard to racial justice and climate.

More Discussion Than Action: Racial Justice on Campus

May 06, 2021

The latest Student Voice survey shows what college students think about their institutions’ actions in the aftermath and year since George Floyd was killed last May -- and what campus leaders can do now to take bolder steps toward racial justice and equality.

Standout Stat: Only 6% of survey respondents agree strongly that the BLM movement has resulted in their institutions being a better place.

Opinion

The Transformative Power of Student Voices in the Midst of Racial Injustice

May 17, 2021

The demands that come from student activists can lead to transformative change if campus leaders work with them respectfully and in partnership, say Joy Gaston Gayles and Alyssa Rockenbach.

Mental Health Perceptions

A year into the pandemic, student mental health remains a big problem. With many not accessing campus counseling services, what can colleges do to help?

Infographic: 6 Factors Impacting Campus Counseling Centers

April 21, 2021

Students need mental health help but often don’t turn to their colleges and universities for support. Knowing where the challenges lie can help higher ed leaders figure out solutions.

Students Struggle but Don’t Seek Colleges’ Help

April 14, 2021

While students are still reporting COVID-19 mental health challenges, they are generally not taking advantage of counseling center services. As the following 12 ideas show, even centers strapped for resources can strive for better supports, both now and post-pandemic.

Standout Stat: 47% of students say they could have used some or a lot more support from their college during the past year.

Opinion

Students: You're Doing Better Than You Think. And You Should Still Ask for Help

May 11, 2021

In the wake of the pandemic, it’s time to rethink how we approach campus mental health, says Elisa Bolton.

Opinion

We Are Not OK and We Need Your Help

April 23, 2021

Student Joseph Maronski reflects on mental health and what higher ed leaders and staff have done this past year to support their campus communities.

Learning From COVID

Students have gotten experience living and learning during the pandemic. One year into this era, it’s clear that higher ed institutions should not be returning to the old normal, but rather learning from this time and evolving.

Distant Existence: Virtual Internships and First Jobs

April 02, 2021

How comfortable are students with remote work experiences, and what can colleges do to help ensure a virtual role is still successful?

COVID-Era College: Are Students Satisfied?

March 24, 2021

Students reflect on what has worked, what has not and what they want from their colleges post-COVID. (Hint: Keep that lecture recording button handy and virtual support options available.)

Standout Stat: 67% of students back on campus in some capacity had not expected in-person events to be canceled this year.

Opinion

The Remote College Experience: More Than Just Zoom Fatigue

April 15, 2021

Relationship building is not just a wish for college students but also the foundation for success in jobs, communities and more, writes JP Flores, a student at Occidental College in California.

Opinion

Masked and Engaged

March 30, 2021

Enhancing student experience during a pandemic, as seen through the eyes of Tom Ellett, the new chief experience officer at Quinnipiac University.

Student Influence on Campus

Do students feel “heard” by professors in the classroom and by administrators at their college or university? The survey explores the issues students most want a voice in and offers insights into how campus officials might listen and respond better.

7 Ways Colleges Can Help Support Students in Speaking Up

March 02, 2021

Findings from the Inside Higher Ed/College Pulse survey on student voices across campus and in the classroom -- plus ideas for action.

Do Students Feel Heard on Campus?

February 24, 2021

When students have problems or concerns, they are likelier to seek out professors than administrators and to feel faculty members listen more to their perspectives, Inside Higher Ed’s initial Student Voice survey finds.

Standout Stat: 50% of students are just slightly or not at all confident that if they had to raise an issue on campus, they would know which department could address it.

Opinion

The Student Connection Challenge

March 10, 2021

As both a professor and a vice provost, Claudia Lampman reflects on students’ comfort levels in approaching faculty compared to administrators and on the need to build meaningful interactions.

Opinion

Talk to Us, Please! We Really Are Here to Help!

March 04, 2021

Jon Kapell, a campus activities administrator, suggests questions college officials should be asking about giving students support in sharing their opinions and concerns.

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