Student Financial Wellness Survey Process for Participation
Once you have been in contact with the project coordinator, the first step for participation in the Student Financial Wellness Survey (SFWS) will be to submit a letter providing confirmation of institutional participation in the SFWS. This letter should be signed by a senior campus official (e.g. President, Vice President, Dean of Students).
|SAMPLE LETTER OF INSTITUTIONAL AWARENESS/SUPPORT|
|To whom it may concern,
I am writing to provide confirmation that [College/University] is participating in the Student Financial Wellness Survey, implemented by Trellis Company (formerly TG). I am aware that Trellis intends to conduct research at our institution by administering an online survey to a sample of our students.
As [Title], I grant Trellis permission to conduct research at [College/University], pending all necessary institutional processes and approvals.
If you have any questions or concerns, please contact my office at [phone number] or [email address].
You may require approval from your institution’s Institutional Review Board (IRB) prior to administration of the SFWS. Trellis Company (or TG) will be obtaining approval from an IRB of record that may satisfy the guidelines set by your IRB, but please contact your IRB to secure approval. Contact Kasey Klepfer, Trellis Research Analyst and Project Coordinator, at Kasey.Klepfer@trelliscompany.org for support in obtaining all necessary IRB documentation and/or approval.
Note for IRB approval: To encourage response rates and protect student anonymity, Trellis will not be providing participating institutions student-level responses from the SFWS. In addition, Trellis will be obtaining student consent to utilize their educational records in analysis of survey responses.
Student Sample Determination
Institutions will provide a roster of students via file transfer (explained below) to Trellis Company (formerly TG) for implementation of the survey and to analyze results. Trellis is requesting a population sample (all enrolled students) for the survey. Because of the low survey response rates that has been well documented in social science, Trellis feels that a population sample is needed to provide the most accurate profile of student financial wellness and campus climate at your institution. Institutions with enrollment above 10,000 students may, by request, provide a random sampling of their population. Sample size is determined by following the table below:
|UNDERGRADUATE ENROLLMENT SIZE||SAMPLE SIZE|
|Less than 10,000 students||Population (all students)|
|10,000 – 20,000 students||3,000 students|
|20,000+ students||5,000 students|
Sample File Format and Select Demographics
To ensure a representative sample of your students, please provide the contact and demographic information outlined below. Trellis will provide instructions for secure FTP (File Transfer Protocol) after institutions provide a letter of institutional support. Data files should be provided in CSV format.
After survey implementation period, provide select education records for students who consent to having their survey responses matched with their records. Provide to Trellis Company (formerly TG) by April 12, 2018 for Spring 2018 implementation, and by December 18, 2018 for Fall 2018 implementation.
Participants in the SFWS will be asked to consent to having select education records released by their institution for matching with their survey responses. Providing select educational records along with the student sample will allow researchers to:
- Link survey responses to specific student characteristics, enrollment patterns, and academic success metrics.
- Introduce non-self-reported student data into survey analysis.
- Allow for a more comprehensive analysis of student success indicators.
Trellis Company will send a file with students who have consented to the data match after the survey implementation period. Institutions are asked to match the education records for those students who consent and return the file to Trellis.
Student Financial Wellness Survey Data Storage and Security
This document outlines the data and records that will be generated by Trellis’ Student Financial Wellness Survey and describes Trellis’ procedures and protocols for safeguarding anonymity and confidentiality protect against a breach in data security. Potential participants in the Student Financial Wellness Survey should be aware that these protocols represent reasonable precautions but cannot eliminate the risk of data breaches or the connection of data to their identities.
Types of Data and Records
- Survey response data
- Educational records
Survey Response Data
Survey response data refers to all student-level information collected through Trellis’ Student Financial Wellness Survey tool as a component of participation in the study. Survey response data will be located on Trellis’ servers, will be password protected, and will be accessible only from computers connected to Trellis’ internal network. All computers will be locked and password protected when not in use. Furthermore, access to the files will be limited to a small group of Trellis employees with role based access. The data will not be transmitted via external email servers or loaded onto external storage devices, and any physical printouts made will remain in Trellis’ offices under lock and key when not in use. Any physical printout made will be logged, along with the date of printing, the identity of the person printing it, the retention date by which the printout must be destroyed, and the date that the printout was destroyed. In the event that transfer via an external device is necessary, that device will be encrypted in accordance with Trellis’ Information Technology policies.
All digital copies of survey response data held by the Student Financial Wellness Survey will be deleted no later than the one (1) year from the publication of the final report.
These student-level records will be used to provide context and analysis for student response data. Students will be fully informed of Trellis’ data security and records retention protocol and informed of potential risks associated with sharing data with personally identifiable information. Institutions of higher education will only provide education records for students who consent to have this data shared with Trellis. Proof of digital consent will be stored in a secure, password-protected folder on Trellis’ secured servers.
Education records will be located on Trellis’ secure servers, will be password protected, and will be accessible only from computers connected to Trellis’ internal network. All computers will be locked and password protected when not in use. Furthermore, access to the files will be limited to a small group of Trellis employees with role-based access. The data will not be transmitted via external email servers or loaded onto external storage devices, and any physical printouts made will remain in Trellis’ offices under lock and key when not in use. Any physical printout made will be logged, along with the date of printing, the identity of the person printing it, the date by which the printout must be destroyed, and the retention date that the printout was destroyed. In the event that transfer via an external device is necessary, that device will be encrypted in accordance with Trellis’ Information Technology policies.
All digital copies of education records held by the Student Financial Wellness Survey will be deleted no later than the one (1) year from the publication of the final report.
A higher response rate to the SFWS implementation on your campus may facilitate a more accurate representation of your student body. Marketing and incentives are a good way to get higher response rates. Trellis Company will be providing survey-wide incentives across all participating institutions, but providing your own incentives and marketing to students the importance of completing the survey is highly encouraged. A Trellis consultant or the project coordinator can consult with you about best practices in marketing and providing incentives.