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Survey shows young alumni are satisfied with UW experience (Dec 10, 2010)

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December 10, 2010

Survey shows young alumni are satisfied with UW experience

Graduates are well prepared, and they believe that college is worth the time and money

MADISON, Wis. – Young alumni think highly of their University of Wisconsin System alma maters, and most believe that college has prepared them with the knowledge and skills they need.

Eleven of UW System’s four-year universities recently participated in a national survey of young alumni, ages 25-39, conducted by the American Council on Education (ACE). Terry Hartle, Senior Vice President of Government and Public Affairs at ACE, addressed the UW System Board of Regents today, providing an overview of the national survey results.

Four hundred alumni from each participating institution were asked about their educational experiences, and their overall view of American colleges and universities. Median responses from the 11 UW institutions show that UW alumni give their alma maters high marks.

About 92% of UW graduates surveyed agreed that their alma mater charged a “fair price” for their education.  About 94% agreed that college was worth all the time and money required.

More than eight out of ten (81%) UW graduates said they would attend the same school if they could begin again, and 85% reported that they were “effectively prepared with the knowledge and skills they needed.”

“On its own, this survey is encouraging. Taken together with other data, it paints a very positive picture about the University’s contribution to our citizens’ success,” said UW System President Kevin P. Reilly. “In a time of tight budgets, we’re serving more students than ever before, with nearly 182,000 students enrolled at 26 campuses. From a review of our alumni records, we know that Wisconsin residents who attend a UW System school are very likely to remain in the state, putting their college education to good use.”

Last month, the Board of Regents learned that Wisconsin does relatively well at retaining college graduates, and that 81% of students who start out as Wisconsin residents stay in Wisconsin.  University of Wisconsin institutions also serve as “brain gain” magnets, with 13% of students who start as non-residents choosing to stay in Wisconsin after graduation. 

“No matter where they go, our alumni believe that UW provided high-quality experience and a great overall value,” said Reilly.  “As State leaders work to confront pressing economic challenges, this serves as more evidence that the UW System is delivering a strong return-on-investment to students and taxpayers alike, and strengthening the State’s workforce in the process. This is no accident. It’s the result of hard work by our faculty and academic staff. Looking forward, it’s critical that they have the resources and flexibility they need to maintain high levels of service and satisfaction.”

Generally, UW alumni reported a positive view of higher education, with nearly three quarters (74%) agreeing that “America’s colleges and universities are prepared to meet the challenges of the future.” When asked about their own alma mater, responses were overwhelmingly positive, with 98% reporting a “favorable” impression of their UW institution.

As part of the UW System’s Growth Agenda for Wisconsin, all UW institutions are striving to increase the number of well-prepared college graduates and create more better-paying jobs in Wisconsin.

ACE Young Alumni Survey

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Media Contact:

David F. Giroux
UW System
608-262-4464