Student learning in higher education is complex and multidimensional, leading to academic, social, and personal development. To gain a better understanding of the incoming students and their needs, the Office of Planning, Analytics & Institutional Research (PAIR) administers the First Year Student Survey (FYS) to all incoming first-year, first-time students. The First Year Survey also contains questions from the Orientation office; the instrument and results presented below contain only PAIR specific questions.


Survey responses are gathered beginning in March for the incoming fall class. Students receive a link to complete the First Year Survey as part of the One Book process through orientation.

Survey Instrument

See questions asked on the First Year Survey 2023-2024.

Note: the instrument was revised for Fall 2023 and only current questions are displayed in the results dashboards. View the Fall 2023 survey for information about which dashboards you should view to see the results.

Preliminary Data Briefs

See key insights derived from preliminary data. Response rate information is included in the preliminary data briefs. Final data will be available in the visualizations in January.


Click on the links below to explore survey results on the following topic areas:

  • Students Choosing JMU (FYS-01)
    Students indicate important reasons for going to college, going to JMU, specifically, and to sources of information about JMU during the application process.
  • Student Perceptions (FYS-02)
    Students answer questions about their sense of belonging, interest in high impact practices and likelihood of staying at JMU.
  • Where else students applied/were accepted (FYS-03)
    Students indicate other universities they applied/were accepted to, and how many colleges/universities they applied/were accepted to.
  • About our First Year Students (FYS-04)
    Students answer questions about high school involvement and provide additional information.

Note: Visualizations are updated in January.

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