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The majority of undergraduate alumni of institutions in the UNC System surveyed by Gallup from late November to early this year strongly agreed that their undergraduate education was worth the cost.
That finding, among others, was included in a briefing in late May by Interim Chancellor Kevin Guskiewicz to the UNC Board of Trustees.
In remarks to the GAA Board of Directors on June 8, Guskiewicz added that three-fourths of Carolina alumni surveyed strongly agreed that their undergraduate education was worth the cost.
The Gallup Alumni Outcomes Survey was conducted by email from November 2018 to Feb. 1 and targeted alumni who graduated with bachelor’s degrees between 1940 and 2018 and had active email addresses. In North Carolina, 77,695 undergraduate alumni of institutions in the UNC System responded to the survey, which translates to a 10 percent response rate. Carolina had a response rate of almost 20 percent, which Guskiewicz described as the highest of the system institutions, accounting for 26,525 Carolina alumni.
Guskiewicz told the trustees that the results showed Carolina alumni had high moral engagement and reported the highest feeling of well-being, measured in categories that included assessments relating to sense of purpose, social connections, being happy in a community and good physical health. He said roughly 70 percent of Carolina alumni surveyed strongly agreed that they had at least one professor in college who “made me excited about learning” and that that compared with 61 percent of respondents from public institutions nationally.
Gallup presented the results to the UNC System Board of Governors during meetings earlier in May. More details about how Carolina alumni responded are expected to be released later.
Among alumni of all 16 UNC System universities, 64 percent of the respondents said their educations were worth the cost.
Results from the survey were compared with three groups from Gallup’s national alumni surveys of those who obtained their degrees between 1940 and 2016. Alumni from institutions in the UNC System were compared to Gallup’s samples of U.S. college graduates nationally, graduates of public institutions and graduates of private institutions.
The questionnaire assessed graduates’ perceptions of their individual university experiences and how those perceptions related to their well-being, engagement in the workplace and quality of life years after completing their degrees.
“We were hoping to confirm through data what we have believed for some time — that our alumni have expanded opportunities and a better quality of life as a result of their UNC System education,” said UNC System Interim President Dr. William Roper. “The results show that our alumni are more engaged, better prepared and lead more purposeful lives compared to the average college graduate.”