Overview: An online survey of 1,005 current college students was conducted using College Reaction’s national polling infrastructure from February 11th to February 13th. College Reaction implements a custom approach to offer all members of a college's population an equal opportunity to be surveyed. Samples are aimed to represent the US college student population are weighted to best capture the geographic, political and ethnic variation within the college demographic.
• 55.45% of Republicans support a Green New Deal
• 23.53% of students approve of the job of President Trump
• 82.45% of students support a Green New Deal
• 12.55% of students support building more wall on the Southern Border
• 20.00% of Independents approve of the job of President Trump
• 72.04% of Republicans approve of the job of President Trump
General: College Reaction utilizes multiple measures throughout the polling process to maximize accuracy, ensure internal and external validity, and provide reliable information.
Sampling: College Reaction has a customized approach to get the most accurate randomized sample of students at each college. Samples are aimed to represent the specific population of each college, demographic trends, and the national student population at large.
Depending on the availability of public information and resources available to us, we have a “non-probability” sample of recruited students who have opted-in to participate in our surveys in exchange for a monetary incentive. We have focused our efforts to minimize biases in our recruitment process through different randomizing processes. College Reaction utilizes publicly available information and contacts a randomized group of students with an offer to opt-in for receiving our polls in exchange for an incentive.
College E-mail Address: We utilize students’ college email addresses to prevent multiple responses. We collect demographic information from students. We compare this data to each school’s demographic trends and the national student demographic information to ensure that our sample of students are representative of the target population. This data is also utilized in weighting responses for accurate results.
Survey process: College Reaction sends the survey designed by the client to the requested sample of students via email. The email asks the respondent to complete the attached survey. Student typically have 24 hours, or in case of long surveys certain number of days, to fill out the given survey. There are a few factors that might impact accuracy of the question process or introduce biases, such as question design, order, and whether or not the respondent can be identified.
Question design: The response accuracy could be influenced by the subject of the poll and the wording of the questions. The responsibility of designing questions and the potential biases that it introduces to the outcomes falls on the client. College Reaction is willing and able to provide assistance in survey design. College Reaction takes active measures in the design of its polls to mitigate introduction of any biases
Weighting: The proportions have been weighted by gender and race according to each respondent's self-identified response. The weights were generated by comparing the sample proportion of each combination of gender and race to the corresponding true proportion of college students in the fall of 2015. The true proportion was found on the National Center for Education Statistics website under the total fall enrollment for 2015.
The purpose of weighting the results is to provide a distribution of results that most closely resembles the distribution had the entire population of college students been surveyed. By weighting, the new results are based on a population that, percentage wise, matches the demographics of college students across the nation. When weighting is not conducted, certain demographics are vulnerable to underrepresentation or overrepresentation.
Respondent anonymity: Identifiable responses introduce biases and lower response rate. College Reaction utilizes an anonymous and de-identified survey approach.
Results: The responses to our polls are monitored for multiple responses and accuracy of answers through tracking time spent on the survey, email address, and other traceable web identifiers.
External Validity: Our goal is to provide information to our clients that are generalizable to the larger target population, whether it is an individual college, students within a state or region, or the national college student population. We utilize measures during the recruitment, polling, and weighting process to give weight to different factors that impact the external validity of our polls.
Why conventional sampling methods fail on the college level?
To obtain a randomized sample of an entire population, polling organization commonly utilize random digit dialing which contacts a random sample of landline and cellphone number in the United States. Although this process has some biases and drawbacks, it provides a good sample of the US population. However, students enrolled in degree-granting postsecondary institutions make up around 6% of the larger US population. What adds to the difficulty of surveying is the response rate; reputable organizations have below 10% response rates. This means that using the traditional method, each 1000 calls would yield to less than 5 responses. A typical poll of 1,500 respondents would require approximately 300,000 phone calls. It could take roughly 2 years to conduct a single randomizes digit dialing poll.
That is why College Reaction has started to utilize modern scientific methods to understand the college population. We have a customized approach for every school, to find the most representative set of students that can be obtained to answer questions regarding various topics. Our approach utilizes a scientific approach with swift modern technology to bring our clients polls as quickly as a day, while keeping accuracy at the focus of our polling.
What’s different about College Reaction’s sample?
Some services provide a panel of student to conduct research about college students. However, these services consist of a mix of panel without a centralized recruitment or an intentional sample of students. At College Reaction, we recruit students intentionally and scientifically. We generate our respondent panel from reaching out to a large section of each campus to participate, rather than relying on a snowball effect, which could introduce bias. We know who our participants are and how they were recruited. For instance, we allow our clients to specify which lists of schools they would like to include in their survey, whereas other services simply include demographic tags like “Age 18-24” or “College student.” Our ability to offer in-depth and customizable insights into the college demographic – and the diverse segments within it – set us apart.