Fall 2021 First Term Survey Highlights

Background

Students received an email invitation to participate in the First Term Survey 8 weeks into the fall 2021 semester. 1,947 first-year and 417 transfer students responded to the survey, for response rates of 39% and 30% respectively. The full reports, including demographics and qualitative data, are available at go.ncsu.edu/first-term. Partial survey results are provided below.

Academic Adjustment to College

First-year and transfer students overall express confidence in their ability to manage time and utilize academic resources. However, open-ended responses revealed that some students still struggle with balancing academics with involvement, work, and social time.

81% of first-year and 77% of transfer respondents reported feeling very or somewhat confident in their ability to effectively manage their time (i.e., balance work, class, and social life). However, students who shared their greatest struggles often mentioned time management as a skill they still work to develop.

93% of first-year and 91% of transfer respondents are very or somewhat confident in their ability to contact an instructor (e.g., to ask for help or clarification).

89% of first-year and 88% of transfer respondents are very or somewhat confident in their ability to find information and resources required for their academic work (e.g., textbooks, journal articles, books, etc.).

79% of first-year and 78% of transfer respondents have thought about or planned for their spring course schedule, either some or a great deal (survey was administered 8 weeks into the fall semester).

Making Connections with Others

First-year and transfer students overall express confidence in their ability to make friends and get connected at NC State. However, open-ended responses revealed that some students still struggle to find a sense of community during their first semester. Additionally, transfer students report having more difficulty making friends than first-year students.

85% of first-year and 73% of transfer respondents are very or somewhat confident in their ability to connect with others at NC State. However, students who shared their greatest struggles often mentioned that they are still working on making friends and joining groups.

91% of first-year and 85% of transfer respondents are very or somewhat confident in their ability to identify groups at NC State in which they would like to get involved.

84% of first-year and 79% of transfer respondents are very or somewhat confident in their ability to identify a group at NC State that supports an identity important to them.

80% of first-year but only 54% of transfer student respondents have made friends with other students either "somewhat" or "a great deal" by 8 weeks into the semester.

Overcoming Stress and Challenges

First-year and transfer students overall express confidence in their ability to identify resources that support their wellbeing and cope with stress. However, a notable percentage of students report experiencing feelings of being overwhelmed.

74% of first-year and 72% of transfer respondents were very or somewhat confident in their ability to cope with stress by identifying and implementing healthy stress relief strategies.

39% of first-year and 46% of transfer respondents felt often or constantly overwhelmed.

61% of first-year and 57% of transfer respondents who shared their primary source of stress during the fall 2021 semester indicated that it was "academics." The second most selected response was "mental health concerns," indicated by 12% of first-years and 13% of transfers who replied to the question.

85% of first-year and 77% of transfer respondents were very or somewhat confident in their ability to identify at least one NC State resource for personal or psychological health/support.

85% of first-year and 82% of transfer respondents were very or somewhat confident in their ability to identify resources to assist in meeting their basic needs if necessary (e.g., food, housing, financial, and educational security).