Marketing Intelligence Report

Report V  •   May 27, 2011

UHV Freshman Experience Survey

Fifty-nine percent (97 students) of the University of Houston-Victoria’s freshmen participated in an April 2011 survey about their first-year experiences. Of the participants, the split between males and females was about equal. The results of the survey could very well assist faculty and staff in recognizing current perceptions and identifying areas for improvement.

Significant Findings:

  • 92 percent think the UHV campus is a safe place.
  • 92 percent think UHV is affordable.
  • 83 percent think UHV faculty members are accessible outside of the classroom.
  • 78 percent think it is easy to get needed information from UHV support staff.
  • 77 percent think opportunities for engagement in UHV activities are satisfactory.
  • 74 percent said their overall experience at UHV was positive. 
  • 22 percent don’t plan to return in the fall.
  • 28 percent did not find the small-town atmosphere a good fit for them.
  • 61 percent would recommend UHV to others.


Freshmen left Victoria on the weekends less frequently during the spring 2011 semester than they did during the fall 2010 semester.  When asked to indicate the “approximate number of weekends you left Victoria,” students answered:

  Fall 2010
Spring 2011
 Every weekend 25.8% 18.6%
 2-3 times a month 46.4% 37.1%
 Once a month 9.3% 22.7%
 Rarely 18.6% 21.6%


Written comments

It is interesting to note that more than 50 percent of the survey participants (53 students) provided responses to open-ended question No. 4: “Please tell us anything else you think we should know about your first year at UHV.”  Although we must be cautious about interpreting these comments because of the small sampling, here are some of the themes that emerged:

  • 72 percent had either positive or neutral responses.
  • 28 percent had negative responses.
  • 21 percent indicated concerns about a lack of activities.
  • 13 percent said they had concerns about dorms and/or RAs.
  • 13 percent indicated concerns about food and/or food service.

Go to responses to review all comments.

Areas for Improvement

In identifying opportunities to modify perceptions, Marketing focused on the responses that were neutral or where students indicated they didn’t know the answer to a given question. UHV has an opportunity to more positively reinforce the following areas and enhance the freshman experience:

  • 29 percent didn’t know if there was an overall sense of community among students.
  • 27 percent didn’t know if they would recommend UHV to others.
  • 26 percent didn’t know if they would like to have more opportunities to interact with organizations and groups in the Victoria community.
  • 17 percent didn’t know if Jaguar Hall was a safe place.
  • 14 percent didn’t know if their overall experience was positive.
  • 14 percent didn’t know if they would return in the fall.

The 14 percent of survey participants who indicated they are uncertain if they would return in the fall is obviously an area of opportunity, but the percentage of students not returning could be even higher. Marketing recommends that UHV makes a coordinated effort to contact ALL students we are not sure are returning and assist them with their plans for the fall, whether they are coming back to UHV or going to another institution. Contacting the students would give us an opportunity to resell UHV. Marketing is available to produce any series of materials (letter, postcard, Web page, etc.) to assist with this retention effort.

Go to  to review the full survey results.

Source:  UHV Freshman Experience Survey, April 2011