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Nontraditional Student Survey - Fall 1997
Population and Sample
The population consisted of all students who entered CU-Boulder at the age of 23 or greater
and who were enrolled at CU-Boulder in fall 1997. The population included 470 new students (i.e.,
those who entered CU-Boulder in the fall 1997 term) and 1,577 continuing students. The sample consisted
of 274 (58%) of the new students and 263 (17%) of the continuing students randomly selected from the population.
The questionnaire was designed to determine:
- the importance of and students' satisfaction with the information they have
received on various issues (e.g., financial aid, job opportunities, campus events);
- the importance of and students' satisfaction with various activities (e.g., getting
advising on courses, participating in class, opportunities to get to know other nontraditional students);
- the extent to which students experience problems in various areas (e.g., finding places to
study on campus, having enough money for living expenses, having access to services); and
- what percentage of nontraditional students have children under the age of 12 and the extent
to which these students experience problems finding quality child care.
The questionnaire was emailed to the 394 (73%) sample members who had an email account on October
6, 1997. The questionnaire was emailed again on October 21, 1997 to those sample members who had not yet
responded to the first email questionnaire. In an attempt to increase the number of students who
completed the questionnaire, a random sample of 153 of the nonrespondents as of November 3rd was
selected to be interviewed on the phone. Between November 10th and December 1st, members of the
Office of Off-Campus Student Services attempted to contact these 150 students. The 150 students consisted of
students who did not have an email account as well as students who had an email account
but had not responded to the email questionnaire. The interview protocol was identical to the email questionnaire.
31% (121) of the 394 students with an email account completed the email questionnaire. An additional
50 students (33% of the 153 students who were selected to be interviewed on the phone) were successfully
contacted and interviewed on the phone. Thus, the total response rate was 32% (171/537).
Response rates by various respondent characteristics were examined to determine if certain groups of students
were more likely to respond than others. These analyses showed no response rate biases by gender,
cumulative GPA, or whether a student was a continuing or new student. However, foreign students were
more likely to respond than students of other race/ethnicities (55% vs 30-38%), and engineering students were
more likely to respond than students in other colleges (55% vs 26-29%). We have not weighted the analyses
to take into account these response rate differences by race/ethnicity or college because the differences
are relatively small and the weights would have had little effect on the overall results.