High schools and universities have an obligation to their students — to educate them, prepare them for their next steps, and equip them with the skills to be successful. And while schools can do everything right, it’s important to recognize changing trends and the importance of adapting to students’ needs as they evolve. One key way to tap into those changes? Alumni feedback surveys. This useful tool can be utilized to gauge your alumni satisfaction with their education, and collect insights into areas for improvement. Include these three vital areas in your alumni survey to gather the information you need.
One surefire way to measure whether or not your alumni are satisfied with their education is to learn about their employment status now that they’ve graduated. For a lot of people, the goal of an education is to secure a stable and fulfilling job. Ask your alumni whether or not they feel that their education has given them the right skills to be successful in the workplace. For others whose goal may not have been to secure a job right out of school, you can ask whether they’ve decided to continue their education and how satisfied they are with the path that they’ve chosen.
Surveys can also contribute to fundraising efforts. Many schools have teams dedicated to reaching out to alumni to ask if they’re willing to make a donation. Use an alumni survey to pinpoint who is still actively engaged with the school, whether through attending alumni events or participating in the interview process with prospective new students. By collecting this information, you can pass it along to the fundraising department so that they can prioritize contacting alumni who are more likely to donate.
It’s hard to plan a survey that will cover everything that you’ll want to know about your alumni. So in an effort to avoid a 100-question-long survey, simply leave an area where people will be able to send general feedback about their time at school. Ask them to submit their favorite memory or what they miss the most. This can even turn out to be a great tool for putting together amazing quotes to be used in school brochures or websites.
Your alumni are simply one of the best resources you have at your disposal. They had the opportunity to experience your school to the fullest and will be able to give you the most detailed feedback. Take the time to learn about their experiences and how they’re doing now to help inform how you can offer even better opportunities for your current students.
Get started creating your first Alumni Feedback Survey here.
Have you sent out an alumni feedback survey in the past? What was the most useful question you asked?
This article is originally published on Apr 07, 2016, and updated on Feb 26, 2020