Methodology: Cost of college survey

Published November 1, 2009  | November 2009 issue

Student surveys regarding the cost and financing of college were conducted with the help of student government or student association organizations at four universities in the Ninth District: Minnesota State University-Mankato, Minnesota State University-Moorhead, Bemidji State University and the University of North Dakota.

University officials and leaders from student organizations at each school made the survey electronically available to students through different means. At the University of North Dakota and the MSU campuses at Mankato and Moorhead, an e-mail notice was sent to all students through the school’s e-mail listserv. The notice alerted students to a 10-question online poll available on SurveyMonkey, an online survey tool. The notice included hypertext links directly to the poll as well as URLs that could be pasted into a student’s Web browser to access the poll. A total of about 37,500 students received notice of the survey by this means at these three institutions. An exact figure was unable to be obtained because a small number of students choose to opt out of e-mail systems, according to university sources.

Bemidji State University students received notice of the survey through a link, along with a brief description of the survey, on the BSU homepage where students log in to receive their e-mail. The school has a student population of about 5,000.

The poll was conducted from Aug. 20 to Sept. 7, 2009. A total of 1,492 responses were received from students on the four campuses noted above.