Creating a Profile of the Class of 2024

In partnership with the Dean of Students, the Office of Research, Planning and Assessment (RPA) surveyed the Class of 2024 to gather data about incoming students’ family background, high school experience, social perspectives, and expectations for college. Students’ responses will help staff and faculty develop and implement impactful academic and co-curricular services that reflect students’ preferences.

Students were asked about a variety of topics that considered in aggregate will allow RPA and the Dean of Students to create a demographic and attitudinal profile of the incoming class. Students answered questions about their college search process, factors that influenced their enrollment decision, their socio-economic and cultural background, as well as their academic experiences and expectations.

Incoming students were emailed an invitation to participate in the survey soon after their arrival on campus this August. 378 First Year students were emailed and 299 of them completed the survey, putting the survey at a 78% response rate.

On the socio-economic and cultural background:
Students were asked about their families’ educational background, religious affiliations, and their political viewpoints. 30% of the respondents identified as first generation college students, while 35% said at least one parent held an undergraduate degree.

Asked about their religious affiliations, over 70% of the students identified as Protestant Christians. 17% said they were either agnostic (12%) or atheists (5%), and the rest were divided between Roman Catholicism (8%), Islam (4%), and a host of other belief systems. As for their political views, 19% of students surveyed identified as consistently or mostly conservative, 50% said they were consistently or mostly liberal, and 31% described their political beliefs as mixed.

On the college search process and enrollment decision:
The survey asked students to rate the importance of various factors in their college choice. Some key factors that students cited as somewhat important, important, or very important in choosing Meredith are as follows.

  • 99% – Meredith’s offer of financial assistance
  • 97% – Knowing that Meredith graduates are able to get good jobs
  • 96% – Meredith’s impressive academic reputation
  • 95% – Social and co-curricular activities offered by Meredith
  • 95% – Campus visit to Meredith

On their expectations of Meredith: 
The following are some activities students believed they were somewhat likely, likely, or very likely to engage in while at Meredith.

  • 99% – Join Meredith clubs and organizations.
  • 95% – Work on/off campus to pay for college.
  • 93% – Participate in service and leadership activities.
  • 92% – Partner with Meredith faculty on a research project.
  • 76% – Study abroad (when it is safe to travel again).

Summing up her college search process and her decision to attend Meredith, one student wrote:

I chose Meredith because of the small community, friendliness, [and] the academic as well as study abroad opportunities. I also just wanted to say thank you to Meredith College. I’m honored to be a student here and look forward to when the pandemic is over and I can fully embrace and enjoy all the opportunities Meredith will provide.

To request a report based on this survey or for further information about it,  please contact Dilnavaz Mirza Sharma ( or Dianne Raubenheimer ( in the Office of Research, Planning and Assessment.

Melyssa Allen

News Director
316 Johnson Hall
(919) 760-8087
Fax: (919) 760-8330