Your Voice, Your Future – Wave 2 Results

What Prospective and Current Students are Thinking in the Coronavirus Crisis

CRi and The SchoolFinder Group wanted to understand what prospective and current students are thinking in these difficult times and how their thinking evolves as new developments and new initiatives are announced.

Thousands of students across Canada were happy to tell us what they thought.

Over 4,000 students completed Wave 1 of the Your Voice, Your Future survey between April 27 and May 3, 2020. 

Over 6,000 students completed the Wave 2 survey between May 15 and 23rd. 

While Wave 2 of the survey was in the field, schools across the country began announcing plans for fall 2020. Most are planning a hybrid model of online delivery with some face-to-face instruction. As Wave 3 launches, we’ll continue to monitor students’ feelings about the fall semester and online instruction.

Current Students

2,780 responses (margin of error 2%)

First the good news:

The reality and necessity of online courses for Fall 2020 seems to be setting in

» The proportion of current students who say they won’t return if all courses are online has fallen significantly from 23% in Wave 1 (date) to 14% in the Wave 2 results.

» In parallel, only 19% of students are certain that in-person classes will start in Fall 2020, compared to 35% just two weeks before.

Kudos to professors and TAs

» 85% of respondents agree or strongly agree that their instructors are trying to do their best, closely matching the 83% in Wave 1.

And now the bad news:

Not every student is on board

» Two waves in a row, 59% of respondents say they get easily distracted and are not able to focus their attention in online classes. Talk about a challenge for teachers and retention.

» The percentage of students saying that a gap year makes a lot of sense has jumped 50% in 2 weeks from 12% to 18%. It might take some persuading to draw them to online learning.

» Two waves in a row, 73% of current students say that even with government grants, they will need a job to have enough money to go to school in the fall.

» Only 7% agree that tuition fees should be the same for online and face-to-face courses, with 8% neutral and an overwhelming 85% who disagree.

On the communications front:

» Overall satisfaction with communications has fallen significantly from 63% to 58%. Fewer students report that the communications they receive answer the important questions they have and over a third say no one has asked them about their information needs at all.

» Email remains the best way to reach students (an overwhelming 92% of current students named email in both Waves 1 and 2.)

Prospective Students

3,607 responses (margin of error 2%)

Good news:

Some similar patterns between prospective and current students

» Only 15% of prospects say they won’t attend if all their courses are online.

» As of Wave 2, only 19% of prospects were sure classes would be face-to-face while 51% are convinced that will not happen.

On the bad news side:

Not every prospective student is on board

» More parallels with current students: the proportion of prospects who say a gap year makes sense has jumped more than 50% from 11% in Wave 1 to 19% in Wave 2 while those who disagree that a gap year makes sense has fallen significantly from 72% in Wave 1 to 61% in Wave 2.

» 28% of prospects say they aren’t fully committed to attending school in Fall 2020: once they accept their offer, they are considering asking for a deferral. The proportion saying they will stick with their top choice school has also fallen significantly.

» Confidence in the ability to make progress towards educational goals has fallen from 77% in Wave 1 to 69% in Wave 2.

On the communications front:

» Same pattern of falling satisfaction seen with current student responses.

» Email remains the best way to reach out according to 87% of prospective students.

Next Steps

See Wave 1 Results:

Wave 3 Results will be available soon.

Benchmark your own student body against the national average:

Contact Kirk or Chris for further information:

Kirk Kelly

Chris Wilkins
SchoolFinder Group

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