Alumni and Family Attitude Survey FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions

Is the 8% overall response rate a good representation of our entire alumni population?

PEG typically observes 3 to 8% response rates for its survey projects, so 8% is a strong response relative to the other similar studies conducted with over 1 million alumni respondents and more than 350 educational institutions over the last 20 years.

The key number in question is 2,130, which reflects the sample size (n) or number of total survey participants. Based on our total alumni and family population, there is sufficient sample size to ensure statistical confidence in cohort representation and response data in comparison to the overall constituent population.

Overall, the confidence intervals fall between 2 to 4% depending on the answering pattern of each survey question.

What is the response rate between alumni and families?

The alumni constituent response rate was 9% (n = 1,428).

The family constituent response rate was 6% (n = 609).

Is there favorable bias from survey respondents (i.e., those who typically are more favorable about the college will more likely respond)?

PEG analyzed survey response by donor status and affirmed we will always be oversampled on “current givers” (19% response rate or n=782) because this group is already engaged and unsurprisingly more likely to respond to a survey.

Even with 3% survey response rate from our “never” givers, we have a large enough sample size (n=419) to have statistical confidence in the non-donor cohort representation and survey question response differences relative to others (i.e., current givers and lapsed donors).

How do our demographics compare to our peers?

While our in-state residence demographics are higher (35%) than our comps (29%), our survey respondent geographic distribution is consistent with our peers and all schools, but notably more geographically dispersed; many survey respondents presently live over 250 miles away from Pomona College, but within the U.S.

Survey response by gender was 53% female, 43% male and 14% other or preferred not to say.

Our survey response observed a more ethnically diverse identity composition than our peers, including 4% of “multi-ethnic” or “other” self-reported categories.

What do “all school comparable” and “peer institutions” mean and how were they selected?

For comparative insights, PEG generated an “all school comparable” list by comparing results against a broad mixture of large public/private and small public/private higher education institutions who participated in similar PEG alumni survey studies within the last 5 years.

PEG also compared our survey results with a smaller cohort of “peer” colleges and universities closer in size and profile to Pomona, including California Institute of Technology, Duke University, Georgetown University, Grinnell College, and Lafayette College, among others.

PEG’s working definition of “all school comparable” and “peer institution” groups allow us gauge how an “average” alumnus/a responds to most survey questions relative to the Pomona College community.