College Experience Survey

FPPC’s College Experience Survey (CES) is a longitudinal survey that follows cohorts of students from freshman to senior year.

Since 2014, FPPC has undertaken the project with about 35 partner universities and colleges – involving 10,999 sampled students out of a universe of 81,240 students.

The CES endeavors to identify external drivers of change in student behavior, identify which components of the college experience has heavy impact on student perception and involvement, and provide information for institutions in assessing student perceptions and needs.

The longitudinal nature of CES allows for changes in thinking, behavior, and actions to be tracked and compared from year to year. FPPC administers the CES to private and public-school students across the country. In the first two cycles, it tracked college students belonging to the 2014 and 2015 cohorts. It is currently tracking college students belonging to the 2020 cohort.


Broadly, the CES hopes to provide information to determine whether schools are:

a) Providing the tools to mold the kind of students they hope to produce.

b) Providing the type of college experience that their clients had hoped for at the outset of their college experience.

The Design

The CES is meant to track the impact of a college education on the way students think and behave, in order for schools to make adjustments to their respective curricula and service offerings. It collects student responses on a wide range of topics:

  • Socio-economic characteristics of respondents and their household
  • Factors that affect school choice
  • Self-assessment of academic performance
  • Educational and career aspirations
  • Allocated time for common activities
  • Personal views on select social issues


Stratified sampling for each school. Surveys are administered online. Freshmen were grouped into “blocks” by academic program, by sex.

For blocks with 12 or more students, one-fourth of the students were randomly chosen.

For blocks with fewer students, oversampling was performed—with all students being chosen in blocks with fewer than 3 students and 3 students being chosen in blocks with between 3.

The Sample

The survey has so far covered two cohorts of Freshmen in participating schools, those that started college in 2014, and those that started in 2015, and tracked their experience until their Senior years. There were a total of 8243 observations recorded for the 2014 cohort and 10665 recorded for the 2015 cohort.

In 2019, the survey covered, for the first time, college Freshmen who have graduated under the new K-12 curriculum. A total of 10 schools have signed up to participate in the 2020 survey implementation.

Implementation Notes

The CES has collected a total of 11,645 respondents from all partner schools. Its results have been forwarded to partner schools in October. The survey data has since been used in two studies by Dr. Tina Epetia and Mr. Justin Muyot, respectively (See next pages.) The FPPC takes note of the following lessons in implementing the 2020 CES: