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Widener University Reaches Record Highs in National Student Satisfaction Survey

Widener students gave their university a resounding thumbs-up in a recent national survey of student satisfaction. It seems the pride runs deep with nearly three quarters of Widener students saying they would choose Widener again if they had to do it all over.

Widener met or exceeded expectations for 83 percent of students on the national Noel Levitz Students Satisfaction Inventory, and 72 percent of students would choose Widener if they had to make their college choice again. Both are record high responses for Widener in student satisfaction, and are an average of six percentage points higher than the norm for four-year private colleges and universities in the eastern region of the United States.

The university also received the highest ever average scores for satisfaction in the areas of instructional effectiveness, concern for the individual, student centeredness, recruitment and financial aid, campus climate, registration effectiveness, service excellence, campus support services and campus life.

“This is certainly a point of pride,” said Widener University President Julie E. Wollman. “We achieved the highest levels of student satisfaction since the survey was first launched in 2007. We want Widener to be students’ first choice when they are considering college, and this is a very positive step in that direction.”

Over the past two years, the greatest gains in satisfaction occurred in the areas of campus safety, student centeredness, campus climate and campus life.

In the area of campus safety, the university installed security cameras last summer throughout the Sun Hill neighborhood adjoining campus where a number of students live. In the areas of campus life, Dean of Students Denise Gifford said the university has made a concerted effort over the past few years to increase student programming on campus, especially weekend events and intramurals.

“The results have been astounding,” Gifford said. “It’s exciting for us and a real validation of the resources we have invested in those areas.”

According to Wollman, just as important as the record-breaking responses in student satisfaction, are those areas where the survey showed room for improvement.

“The survey points to some areas where we can—and will—become even better,” Wollman said. “My goal is for the university to achieve historically high scores in those categories when we administer the survey again in two years.”

Administered during March and April to nearly 2,900 undergraduate day students at Widener, about 20 percent of students responded to the survey, a high response rate for surveys. First administered in back-to-back years in 2007 and 2008, Widener students have taken the survey every other year since then.

Widener University is a metropolitan university that connects curricula to social issues through civic engagement. Dynamic teaching, active scholarship, personal attention, leadership development and experiential learning are key components of the Widener experience. A comprehensive doctorate-granting university, Widener is comprised of eight schools and colleges that offer liberal arts and sciences, professional and pre-professional curricula leading to associate’s, baccalaureate, master’s, and doctoral degrees. The university’s campuses in Chester, Exton and Harrisburg, Pa., and Wilmington, Del., are proud to be a tobacco-free. Visit the university’s website,