CIRP Freshman Survey

Prepared by Shaina Harris

January 26, 2010

2009 CIRP Survey of New Students

The following tables are based on responses of incoming students on the 2009 CIRP Survey.  The survey was completed by 253 of the first-time first-year students (87%).

Although this information is valuable and provides a glimpse into some characteristics of the incoming class, please keep in mind that not all students completed the survey.  These data, therefore, are not intended to represent or profile the entire incoming class. 

Links to tables

Gender Student Estimate of Parents' Income
Ethnicity Financial Worry
English as Native Language Students' Probable Major Field of Study
High School Graduation Year Highest Degree Planned to Obtain
Number of Miles from home Self rating of Traits
Political Views Activities Engaged in by Student in Past Year
Average Grade in High School Hours Spent in Certain Activities in Past Year
SAT/ACT Scores Reasons Influencing Students' Decision to attend Earlham
Earlham as First Choice? Ratings of Likelihood of Certain Events in College
Applied at how many other colleges? Ratings of Importance of life Objectives

Housing Plans for Fall Semester

Views on Social Issues
Student and Parent Religious Affiliation Supplemental Questions
Parent Status  
Parents' Highest Education Level  

Gender
 

2009 2008 2007 2006 2005
2004
2003
Gender
% % % % %
%
%
Female
58 58 51 53 59
60
59
Male
41 41 47 45 37
38
40

Race/Ethnicity
 

2009 2008 2007 2006 2005
2004
2003
Ethnicity
% % % % %
%
%
White/Caucasian
79 79 79 81 75
79
85
African American/Black
7 8 6 7 9
7
5
Asian American/Asian
9 5 5 6 6
4
4
Other
10 10 4 4 6
5
3
Other Latino
2 3 3 1 2
1
2
Mexican American/Chicano
.8 2 1 1 2
1
0
American Indian
1 3 1 0 0
2
0
Puerto Rican
1 0.4 1 0 0
1
0

English as Native Language
 

2009 2008 2007 2006 2005
2004
2003
Response
% % % % %
%
%
Yes
82 89 86 86 87
91
92
No
17 11 11 11 11
7
7

High School Graduation
 

2009 2008 2007 2006 2005 2004
2009 89 2008 86 2007 88 2006 83 2005
82
2004
83
Before 2009 11 Before 2008 14 Before 2007 12 Before 2006 17 Before 2005 18 Before 2004
17

Number of Miles from Home
2009
2008
2007
2006
2005
2004
2003
Miles
% % % % %
%
%
More than 500
54 55 50 43 54
47 
42 
101 to 500
27 30 32 31 30
33
38
51 to 100
11 9 11 15 7
12  
9  
11 to 50
3 6 2 5 2
4  
4  
6 to 10
1 0.7 1 1 1
1  
2  
5 or less
2 0.4 3 2 2
3  
2  

Political Views
 

2009 2008 2007 2006 2005
2004
2003
Political Views
% % % % %
%
%
Liberal
58 57 53 56 51
56
59
Middle of the road
23 19 20 21 16
19
22
Far left
12 17 17 15 25
20
13
Conservative
4 3 5 4 5
2
2
Far right
1 1 1 1 0
1
1

Average Grade in High School
 

2009 2008 2007 2006 2005
2004
2003
Grade
% % % % %
%
%
‘A’ Average
42 48 42 44 47
47
45
‘B’ Average
49 48 54 55 49
48
50
‘C’ Average
1 3 4 1 4
4
5

SAT/ACT Scores
 

2009 2008 2007 2006 2005
2004
2003
Test
Average Score Average Score Average Score Average Score Average Score
Average Score
Average Score
SAT Verbal
627
652
647 660 628
636
640
SAT Math
601
606
617 618 607
597
612
ACT
25
27
26 25 27
27
27

"Is this college your…?"
 

2009 2008 2007 2006 2005
2004
2003
Choice
% % % % %
%
%
First choice
62 66 58 62 68
75
72
Second choice
24 22 28 25 21
19
19
Third choice
9 9 9 8 6
2
5
Less than third choice
5 3 4 4 4
3
3

"To how many colleges other than this one did you apply for admission this year?"

 

2009 2008 2007 2006 2005
2004
2003
Number
% % % % %
%
%
1-3 
25 28 28 31 31
34
40
4-6 
35 36 34 36 33
32
30
7 or more 
29 23 27 17 21
17
18
None
9 13 10 14 15
16
14

Housing Plans for Fall Semester
 

2009 2008 2007 2006 2005
2004
2003
Living Situation
% % % % %
%
%
College Dormitory
96 96 97 97 98
96
96
With Parents or Relatives
2 3 2 1 1
2
1
Other campus student housing
1 0.4 1 1 0
0
1
Other private home, apartment or room
0.4 0.4 0 1 1
1
1

Student Religious Affiliation
 

  2009 2008 2007 2006 2005
2004
2003
Religion 
% Student (%)

Student (%)

Student (%) Student (%)
Student (%)

Student (%)

None
37 35 42 40 38
37
35
Quaker
5 12 10 10 12
15
14
Other Religion
9 11 9 6 6
4
12
Other Christian
12 8 7 9 8
7
9
Roman Catholic
7 6 7 8 6
6
6
Jewish
4 6 5 7 5
7
4
Buddhist
2 5 4 5 3
4
2
United Church of Christ
2 0.4 3 0 1
1
1
Methodist
<1 3 1 4 4
3
2
Islamic
6 3 1 3 1
1
1
Presbyterian
1 2 1 2 2
3
2
Baptist
7 3 1 2 3
4
4
Episcopal
<1 2 1 2 2
1
2
Eastern Orthodox
2 0.4 0 0 0
1
0
Lutheran
3 2 0 0 1
1
2

Parent Status
 

  2009 2008 2007 2006 2005
2004
2003
Status 
% % % % %
%
%
Both alive and living with each other
65 71 73 71 67
72
69
Both alive, divorced or living apart
29 25 23 25 29
25
26
One or both deceased
6 4 3 3 4
3
4

Parents’ Highest Education Level
 

  2009 2008 2007 2006   2009 2008 2007 2006
 Education Father (%) Father (%) Father (%) Father (%)   Mother (%) Mother (%) Mother (%) Mother (%)
Grammar school or less
2 0.7 2 0   1 1 1 0
Some high school
5 2 2 2   3 0 2 1
High school graduate
15 7 8 9   13 9 9 8

Post-Secondary School other than college

3 2 2 5   1 2 3 4
Some college
11 11 9 10   11 9 8 11
College degree
20 25 23 24   24 30 28 29
Some graduate school
2 4 5 4   4 5 5 4
Graduate degree
40 49 45 46   40 44 42 44

Student Estimate of Parents’ Income
 

  2009 2008 2007 2006 2005
2004
2003
Income 
% % % % %
%
%
Less than $10,000
10 6 5 4 6
7
3
$10,000 to $14,999
4 4 3 4 1
2
2
$15,000 to $19,999
2 4 4 3 4
2
3
$20,000 to $24,999
4 4 1 2 5
3
2
$25,000 to $29,999
3 2 3 5 3
4
2
$30,000 to $39,999
7 6 4 7 6
6
5
$40,000 to $49,999
2 8 6 5 5
8
7
$50,000 to $59,999
10 6 5 8 9
9
7
$60,000 to $74,999
8 10 9 8 8
11
10
$75,000 to $99,999
17 14 15 13 12
14
14
$100,000 to $149,999
13 16 14 16 14
13
17
$150,000 to $199,999
5 11 10 4 6
6
5
$200,000 to $249,999
4 3 3 3 5
3
4
$250,000 or more
5 7 5 6 6
6
3

Financial Worry
 

  2009 2008 2007 2006 2005
2004
2003
Level of Concern 
% % % % %
%
%
Some (will probably have enough)
60 59 51 48 61
53
50
None (confident will have sufficient funds)
26 33 42 41 29
32
36
Major (not sure will have enough to complete)
13 8 6 9 10
14
11

Students’ Probable Major Field of Study
 

2009 2008 2007 2006 2005 2004 2003
Probable Major
% % % % % % %
Social Science
19 30.2 23.0 24.7 30.1
28.7
20.5
Arts and Humanities
15 20.0 24.5 31.1 28.0
25.2
25.1
Biological Science
11 14.2 17.0 12.4 9.4
10.3
14.0
Undecided
6 8.0 1.4 0.4 3.5
13.5
2.9
Business
7 4.7 5.0 5.7 3.1
3.5
1.8
Physical Science
4 4.0 5.0 2.5 2.8
2.6
4.1
Education
4 3.6 1.4 2.8 3.8
5.2
5.8
Professional
1 3.2 3.5 4.6 6.3
4.5
4.1
Other Fields
0 2.1 16.0 1.1 9.8
3.5
17.5
Engineering
0 1.4 2.1 1.1 1.4
0.6
1.2
Technical
0 1.4 1.1 0.4 0.3
1.6
0.6

Highest Degree Planned to Obtain (Overall)
 

  2009 2008 2007 2006 2005
2004
2003
Degree 
% % % % %
%
%
Master’s degree (M.A., M.S., etc.)
41 37 32 32 34
35
34
Ph.D. or Ed.D.
34 36 30 27 26
30
27
Bachelor’s degree (B.A., B.S., etc.)
10 11 9 19 14
9
9
M.D., D.O., D.D.S., or D.V.M.
5 9 6 6 5
5
6
LL.B. or J.D. (Law)
5 5 4 3 6
2
7
Other
<1 3 2 2 0
2
1
None
<1 0 1 1 1
1
0
B.D. or M.DIV. (Divinity)
0 0 0 1 1
1
1
No Response
0 0 17 9 14
16
16

"Rate yourself on each of the following traits as

compared with the average person your age."
 
 
Area
Highest 10%
Above Average
Average
Below Average
Lowest 10%
Mean* (2009)
Mean* (2008)
Mean* (2007)

Mean* (2006)

Mean* (2005)

Mean* (2004)

Cooperativeness
20.4
58.0
20.0
1.6
0
2.02
2.09
2.14
2.12
2.11
2.16
Self-understanding
28.6
44.4
22.6
4.0
.4
2.03
2.16
2.26
2.19
2.16
2.26
Understanding of others
21.8
48.8
28.2
1.2
0
2.03
2.12
2.25
2.16
2.07
2.04
Drive to achieve
29.7
40.6
24.5
5.2
0
2.05
2.26
2.3
2.31
2.21
2.42
Academic ability
18.4
56.8
23.6
1.2
0
2.07
2.09
2.14
2.07
2.04
2.04
Self-confidence (intellectual)
16.5
44.6
31.7
2.8
1.6
2.22
2.32
2.31
2.4
2.29
2.42
Creativity
21.2
41.2
31.6
4.8
1.2
2.23
2.18
2.28
2.24
2.13
2.28
Writing ability
14.4
46.4
31.6
6.8
.8
2.33
2.38
2.44
2.44
2.28
2.31
Leadership ability
22.8
41.2
26.0
9.6
.4
2.23
2.46
2.52
2.49
2.33
2.43
Physical health
23.9
32.8
33.2
9.3
.8 2.30
2.57
2.54
2.54
2.39
2.51
Emotional health
22.7
28.7
36.8
10.9
.8
2.38
2.64
2.68
2.53
2.63
2.63
Self-confidence (social)
16.5
32.5
36.5
11.6
2.8
2.51
2.72
2.78
2.78
2.72
2.78
Public speaking ability
12.4
34.9
30.9
18.5
3.2
2.65
2.77
2.8
2.81
2.72
2.72
Spirituality
13.1
26.9
34.7
16.7
8.6
2.80
2.94
3.12
2.91
2.78
2.90
Computer Skills
5.6
24.8
59.6
17.6
2.4
2.86
2.91
2.72
2.88
2.99
2.91
Mathematical ability
10.4
20.8
41.2
23.2
4.4
2.90
2.87
2.94
2.86
2.91
2.96
Artistic ability
7.2
31.6
28.8
24.8
7.6
2.94
2.84
3.03
2.83
2.86
2.85

*1=highest 10% to 5=lowest 10%.

   

Activities Engaged in by Students in the Past Year
 
Activity
Frequently (%)
Occasionally (%)
Not at All (%)
Mean* (2009) Mean* (2008)
Mean* (2007)
Mean* (2006)
Mean* (2005)

Mean* (2004)

Used the internet for research
73
23
3
1.29
1.26
1.27
1.28
1.22
1.26
Socialized with different ethnic groups
76
20
3
1.26
1.25
1.32
1.38
1.23
1.32
Was bored in class
11
56
31
1.79
1.77
1.68
1.72
1.65
1.67
Performed volunteer work
37
49
13
1.76
1.72
1.76
1.87
1.80
1.74
Felt overwhelmed
24
64
10
1.85
1.81
1.75
1.85
1.80
1.78
Played a musical instrument
25
23
51
2.26
2.16
2.11
2.16
2.21
2.19
Asked a teacher for advice
31
56
12
1.80
1.74
1.78
1.83
1.88
1.79
Studied with other students
35
52
12
1.79
1.81
1.84
1.93
1.83
1.92
Attended religious service
21
40
37
2.16
2.04
2.13
2.15
1.93
2.03
Voted in a student election
21
45
33
2.12
2.13
2.12
2.17
2.07
2.13
Performed community service for class
19
41
39
2.20
2.24
2.27
2.45
2.34
2.38
Tutored another student
12
39
48
2.35
2.32
2.31
2.42
2.38
2.37
Felt depressed
7
53
39
2.31
2.25
2.16
2.26
2.22
2.17
Came late to class
9
47
43
2.33
2.29
2.32
2.26
2.20
2.20
Smoked cigarettes
6
16
77
2.71
2.69
2.69
2.71
2.71
2.71
Drank beer
6
35
58
2.52
2.46
2.48
2.44
2.43
2.52
Drank wine or liquor
5
53
41
2.45
2.39
2.41
2.38
2.34
2.39
Participated in demonstrations
5
38
55
2.50
2.50
2.53
2.39
2.25
2.29
Was a guest in a teacher’s home
6
33
60
2.54
2.52
2.61
2.57
2.57
2.50
Discussed religion
37
50
13
1.77
1.60
1.67
1.73
1.56
NA
Discussed politics
54
32
12
1.58
1.52
1.56
1.49
NA
NA

* 1=frequently to 3=not at all.
 
 

Hours Spent in Certain Activities in the Past Year
 
Activity
Percentage of Students Reporting Each Range of Hours
None
<1 hr
1-2
3-5
6-10
11-15
16-20
>20
Mean (2009)
Mean (2008)
Mean (2007)
Mean (2006)
Mean (2005)
Mean (2004)
Socializing with friends
0.8
2
9
21
26
16
10
12
5.26
5.29
5.24
5.4
5.31
5.49
Studying/Homework
0.4
6
11
25
20
12
15
7
4.97
4.76
4.78
4.77
4.69
4.68
Exercising/sports
6
11
14
20
16
15
7
8
4.47
4.18
4.15
4.25
4.40
4.27
Reading
18
17
21
22
10
5
1
3
3.30
3.48
3.38
3.29
3.51
3.25
Watching TV
26
14
19
21
13
0.8
2
1
2.98
3.20
3.18
3.17
3.14
3.12
Working (for pay)
56
2
3
9
8
9
6
3
2.83
3.15
3.05
3.06
3.14
3.31
Talking with teachers outside of class
6
32
31
21
4
1
1
0
2.97
2.95
2.85
2.69
2.87
2.82
Volunteer work
21
16
30
18
8
3
0.4
1
2.96
2.97
2.84
2.62
2.91
2.76
Partying
43
18
14
13
7
2
0.4
0.4
2.35
2.57
2.63
2.67
2.64
2.52
Child care/ household duties
31
18
25
15
4
2.1
0.4
1
2.58
2.75
2.67
2.39
2.71
2.48
Video games
46
16
14
11
8
2
0
0
2.28
2.42
2.6
2.53
2.30
2.18


  *1=none to 8=greater than 20 hours.


 

Reasons influencing students’ decision to attend Earlham College
 
        Reason
Very Important (%)
Somewhat Important (%)
Not Important (%)
Mean* (2009)
Mean* (2008)
Mean* (2007)
Mean* (2006)
Mean* (2005)

   Mean* (2004)

This college has a good academic reputation
60
35
4
1.44
1.44
1.43
1.45
1.47
1.46
Wanted to go to a school about this size
58
30
11
1.53
1.56
1.51
1.56
1.51
1.43
I was offered financial assistance
58
28
13
1.55
1.64
1.73
1.74
1.76
1.80
Visit to campus
52
22
23
1.68
1.63
1.65
1.68
1.59

1.54

Grads get good jobs
37
41
21
1.83
1.84
1.92
1.98
1.94
2.03
Grads get admission into top schools
37
41
21
1.86
1.96
1.91
2.08
1.93
2.09
This college has a good reputation for social activities
32
46
20
1.87
1.84
1.94
1.45
1.93
1.77
This college has low tuition
36
31
31
1.94
2.06
2.02
2.09
2.19
2.15
Information from a web site
15
46
37
2.21
2.21
2.22
2.29
2.20
2.39
I was attracted by the religious affiliation/orientation of the college
16
30
53
2.36
2.39
2.42
2.45
2.26
2.27
Rankings in national magazines
9
40
49
2.39
2.47
2.36
2.41
2.35
2.46
High school counselor advised me
12
34
54
2.40
2.46
2.51
2.58
2.61
2.58
My teacher advised me
9
35
54
2.45
2.50
2.53
2.6
2.63
2.59
I was admitted through an Early Action or Early Decision program
13
13
73
2.59
2.60
2.62
2.64
2.48
2.66
Private college counselor advised me
7
16
75
2.68
2.73
2.68
2.81
2.77
2.79
I wanted to live near home
6
14
79
2.72
2.76
2.71
2.73
2.76
2.76
Not offered aid by first choice
7
10
82
2.78
2.75
2.76
2.79
2.75
2.86
My relatives wanted me to come here
8
36
55
2.82
2.80
2.76
2.63
2.56
2.57

*1=very important to 3=not important.

   

Ratings of Likelihood of Certain Events in College
 
Activity
Very Good Chance (%)
Some Chance (%)
Very Little Chance (%)
No Chance (%)
Mean* (2009)
Mean* (2008)
Mean* (2007)
Mean* (2006)
Mean* (2005)

Mean* (2004)

Socialize with other racial groups
81
13
2
2
1.27
1.18
1.13
1.2
1.14
1.15
Make at least a "B" average
68
28
0.8
1
1.35
1.37
1.47
2.13
1.38
1.33
Be satisfied with your college
64
28
3
4
1.40
1.42
1.46
1.4
1.42
1.35
Study Abroad
63
29
6
2
1.52
1.47
1.48
1.51
1.45
1.45
Participate in student clubs
57
30
7
3
1.57
1.51
1.51
1.57
1.53
1.44
Communicate with professors
53
37
7
1
1.58
1.47
1.47
1.52
1.41
1.41
Get a job to help pay for college expenses
54
28
11
6
1.69
1.73
1.74
1.89
1.73
1.79
Participate in volunteer or community service work
49
33
11
5
1.72
1.67
1.7
1.81
1.73
1.64
Change career choice
25
45
22
6
2.10
2.12
1.94
2.12
2.08
1.91
Change major field
15
44
29
10
2.34
2.34
2.18
2.29
2.20
2.05
Participate in protests or demonstrations
19
38
25
16
2.39
2.26
2.27
2.24
1.96
1.90
Seek personal counseling
11
30
43
14
2.60
2.45
2.51
2.66
2.50
2.51
Play varsity/intercollegiate athletics
52
14
7
9
2.92
2.79
2.63
2.71
2.61
2.63
Transfer to another college before graduating
4
16
46
33
3.08
3.01
2.9
2.97
2.95
2.92
Work full time while attending college
5
13
38
42
3.18
3.21
3.2
3.38
3.22
3.21
Join a social fraternity, sorority or club
2
7
10
80
3.68
3.68
3.65
3.7
3.72
3.72

*1=very good chance to 4=no chance.

Ratings of Importance of Life Objectives
 
Objective
Essential (%)
Very Important (%)
Somewhat Important (%)
Not Important (%)
Mean* (2009)
Mean (2008)
Mean (2007)
Mean* (2006)
Theoretically contributing to science
6
9
31
52
1.69
1.75
1.77
1.52
Creating artistic work
7
15
27
50
1.79
1.95
1.88
1.83
Writing original works 
10
13
33
43
1.90
1.94
1.99
1.77
Becoming successful in own business 
14
18
24
43
2.03
1.86
1.88
1.8
Participating in a community action program
12
33
36
18
2.04
2.38
2.29
2.17
Becoming involved in environmental clean-up programs
9
30
42
17
2.32
2.45
2.47
2.27
Becoming a community leader
14
27
35
23
2.33
2.32
2.17
2.04
Obtaining recognition for contributions to my special field
7
37
39
16
2.36
2.48
2.36
2.1
Keeping up to date with political affairs
17
32
32
17
2.50
2.70
2.62
2.56
Becoming an authority in my field
16
34
33
16
2.51
2.66
2.52
2.33
Being very well off financially
21
27
34
16
2.55
2.46
2.35
2.28
Influencing social values
16
37
32
13
2.57
2.55
2.6
2.48
Influencing the political structure
10
20
36
32
2.57
2.23
2.17
2.12
Helping to promote racial understanding
18
36
32
13
2.59
2.65
2.57
2.52
Developing a meaningful life philosophy
30
30
27
12
2.79
2.91
2.87
2.79
Raising a family
36
27
22
13
2.87
2.63
2.72
2.44
Helping others who are in difficulty
32
42
22
2
3.05
3.08
3.0
2.94
Improving my understanding of other cultures and countries
36
39
18
5
3.07
3.18
3.06
3.07
Becoming accomplished in performing arts
7
15
29
47
???
1.76
1.74
1.7

*1=not important to 4=essential

Views on Social Issues
 
Issue
Agree Strongly (%)
Agree Somewhat (%)
Disagree Somewhat (%)
Disagree Strongly (%)
Mean* (2009)
Mean (2008)
Mean (2007)
Mean* (2006)
Mean* (2005)

Mean* (2004)

Same sex couples should have the right to legal marital status
67
13
10
9
1.61
1.46
1.47
1.48
1.51
1.43
Abortion should be legal
61
22
8
10
1.87
1.66
1.73
1.7
1.63
1.66
Only volunteers should serve in the armed forces
49
33
13
5
1.89
1.73
1.72
1.81
Dissent is a critical component of the political process
39
39
20
2
2.02
1.86
1.71
1.74
Colleges should prohibit racist/sexist speech on campus
7
24
32
37
2.17
2.99
2.97
3.06
2.46
2.43
Marijuana should be legalized
21
38
27
15
2.36
2.37
2.34
2.36
2.35
2.20
Too much concern for the rights of criminals
3
24
49
25
2.90
2.96
2.99
3.03
3.09
3.11
An individual can do little to create changes in society
4
16
40
41
3.05
3.17
3.09
3
3.18
3.17
Racial discrimination is no longer a problem in US
3
10
37
50
3.30
3.34
3.39
3.42
3.45
3.43

*1=agree strongly to 4=disagree strongly.

This report was prepared by Shaina Harris, Student Research Assistant, and Mary Ann Weaver, Associate Director of Institutional Research

January, 2010

weavema@earlham.edu