CIRP Freshman Survey

The Cooperative Institutional Research Program (CIRP) is a national longitudinal study of the American higher education system. It is regarded as the most comprehensive source of information on college students. Established in 1966 at the American Council on Education, the CIRP is now the nation's largest and oldest empirical study of higher education, involving data on some 1,900 institutions, over 15 million students, and more than 300,000 faculty. CIRP surveys have been administered by the Higher Education Research Institute (HERI) since 1973. The annual report of the CIRP Freshman Survey provides national normative data for first-time, full-time entering college freshmen. 

How are the data used?

The survey collects extensive information that provides a snapshot of our incoming students before they experience college. Key sections of the survey examine:

  • Established behaviors in high school
  • Academic preparedness
  • Admissions decisions
  • Expectations of college
  • Interactions with peers and faculty
  • Student values and goals
  • Student demographic characteristics
  • Concerns about financing college

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