Carolina State University
2003 First-Year Student Survey:
- NC State conducted its annual survey of entering first-year students during
New Student Orientation sessions held in July and early August 2003. The survey response rate was 86.5% (N=3,402 of 3,934). There were no significant gender or racial/ethnic differences between the
first-year students actually enrolled at NC State and those responding to
- A majority of fathers/male
guardians (62.9%) and mothers/female guardians (57.3%) had a baccalaureate
or higher (e.g. M.S., Ph.D.) degree. African American and other minority respondents
were more likely than whites to report that neither parent had attended college
(12.6% and 15.1% vs. 6.2%, respectively).
- Over 40 percent of respondents said they were "well prepared"
for college by their high school (45.9%) and by their own efforts (45.0%).
African Americans were less likely than whites and
non-African American minorities to say they were "well prepared"
by their high school (38.2% vs. 46.3% and 51.5%, respectively) and through their own efforts (35.0% vs. 46.2% and 46.0%, respectively). Men were slightly less likely than women to
feel "well prepared" through their own efforts (43.4% vs. 47.2%).
- One-third or more respondents in the Colleges of Design (41.7%), Engineering (35.0%), Textiles (40.5%), and Management (34.4%) report that they will seek employment "anywhere." Almost half of College of Education respondents report that they will seek employment in North Carolina only. This figure is more than twice that reported by first-year students in other colleges.
- More than half of respondents (56.2%) applied to "three or more colleges" including
NC State. Men were more likely than women (24.4% vs. 15.9%) and whites were more than twice as likely as African Americans (22.2% vs. 9.4%) to report having applied "only to NC State."
- Overall, academic reputation (25.0%) was most likely to be rated the "single most influential factor" in the decision to attend NC State, followed by availability of program (16.3%), and level of support for intended major (13.7%). African Americans were more than twice as likely as both white and non-African American minority respondents to report that scholarships/financial aid available (13.7% vs. 5.1 and 6.0%, respectively) was the "single most influential factor" in their decision to attend NC State.
- The vast majority of respondents were "moderately" or "very satisfied" with
university (94.7%) and departmental (93.9%) admissions processes.
Fewer respondents (71.3%) reported being "moderately" (45.7%) or "very satisfied" (25.6%)
with the university financial aid process.
- A majority of respondents reported that their primary goal or objective for attending NC State is to "obtain a bachelor's degree as preparation for graduate or professional school" (53.6%). Women were more likely than men (61.0% vs. 48.2%) and African Americans were more likely than whites and non-African American minorities (62.3% vs. 52.5% and 55.0%) to report that their primary goal or objective is to "obtain a bachelor's degree as preparation for graduate or professional school." More than two-thirds of respondents from the Colleges of Agriculture and Life Sciences (81.4%) and Physical and Mathematical Sciences (69.3%) report that graduate or professional school preparation is their primary goal.
- Nearly two-thirds of respondents (63.7%) reported that they do not intend to work during
their first semester at NC State. African Americans (42.2%) and non-African American minorities (42.6%) were more likely than whites (35.1%) to report that they plan to work during their first semester at NC State. The majority of respondents who plan on working said they would work less than 20 hours
per week (83.7%).
- Respondents consistently gave higher importance ratings than current development ratings to 35 knowledge, skills, and personal development goals asked about. While current development ratings tended to be higher for personal development and world view goals than for general education goals, importance ratings were consistently higher for personal development goals than for both general education and world view goals.
- In general, goals that received high importance ratings tended to receive high development ratings. Taking responsibility for my own behavior is the highest ranking goal in terms of both importance and development. Other goals ranking high in importance and development include valuing racial equity and valuing gender equity. Managing my time and handling stress ranked high in importance, but low in development. Several goals central to the University's core general education
curriculum received low importance and development ratings, including developing an appreciation of the arts, developing the ability to apply scientific principles, developing the ability to communicate in writing, understanding the present as it relates to history, and being involved with public/community affairs.
For more information on the 2003
First-Year Student Survey contact:
Dr. Nancy Whelchel, Associate Director for Survey Research
Office of Institutional Planning and Research
Phone: (919) 515-4184
Posted: January, 2004
Microsoft Word Version of this report.
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