Welcome to the Student Financial Wellness Survey

A powerful FREE resource designed to illuminate the critical link between student success, finances, and mental health. As dedicated advocates for higher education, we understand the pivotal role that financial well-being plays in shaping the educational journey of your students. 

Welcome to the Student Financial Wellness Survey

A powerful FREE resource designed to illuminate the critical link between student success, finances, and mental health. As dedicated advocates for higher education, we understand the pivotal role that financial well-being plays in shaping the educational journey of your students. 

SFWS Participating Schools

Survey Topics Covered

The SFWS offers invaluable insights into how students’ financial wellness influences their success at your institution. Topics covered include: basic needs financial behaviors and security, paying for college, perceptions of institutional support, and mental health.

What Your Institution Receives

Upon completion of the survey, your institution gains access to invaluable personalized insights and recommendations. This includes key findings, full survey frequencies, and an infographic with digestible information for your campus community. This essential information can help educate staff and faculty while driving essential campus conversations.

Benefits of Participation

Results from the SFWS are being used by leading institutions to drive institutional change, strengthen student enrollment efforts, and improve student satisfaction.

The SFWS allows schools to benchmark key student financial wellness indicators with peer institutions, helping the school to identify programmatic gaps and highlight institutional strengths.

Additionally, SFWS participants provide consent to match educational records to survey responses allowing for an unprecedented look into the role that student finances, mental health, and perceptions of institution support play in student success on campus.

Participating Schools since 2018

Student Respondents since 2018

States Participating since 2018

Participating Schools since 2018

Student Respondents since 2018

States Participating since 2018

icon of a student in front of a computer

Upcoming Dates

Participate in Our Free Student Financial Wellness Survey

Submit your contact information to take the first step toward potential participation.

This form does not automatically enroll you. Instead, it allows us to reach out and guide you through the process. Our team will be in touch soon to discuss the survey details.

We appreciate your interest and look forward to your potential involvement!

Process to Participate:

  1. SFWS Process to Participate
    This short document outlines the steps institutions will take to participate in the survey: IRB review or waiver, providing requested data, and student communication and promotion.
  2. SFWS Promotional Information Sheet
    This resource highlights important information about Trellis Strategies’ survey, such as the deliverables institutions will receive and Trellis Strategies’ data security, as well as ways institutions have used the data to promote student success.
  3. SFWS Testimonials Brochure
    Read testimonials from participating schools about their experience with the survey process and how the information has benefited the institution and its students.
  4. SFWS Frequently Asked Questions
    This document addresses common questions and provides informative answers about the survey.

It is important to check with your institution’s Institutional Review Board (IRB) to determine if a full review is necessary. Oftentimes an IRB will waive or expedite review due to the low-risk nature of the project, but some IRBs may want to review the study before approving on campus. Your Trellis contact will work with you to provide all materials necessary for IRB review and to obtain all necessary IRB documentation of waived review and/or approval.

Note for IRB approval: To encourage response rates and protect student anonymity, Trellis will not provide participating institutions student-level responses from the SFWS. Trellis will obtain student consent to potentially use their educational records in analysis of survey responses.

Please complete and submit the Student Financial Wellness Survey Letter of Intent.

If you have questions or concerns, please reach out to your Trellis Strategies contact.

Data Needed to Administer the Survey

Trellis will need student contact information to send unique links to the survey and certain student data fields to reduce survey burden and track response representativeness. Institutions will provide a roster of students via secured file transfer to Trellis after the fall semester census date, but no later than September 23, 2024.

The file should contain information for enrolled undergraduates aged 18 or over. Institutions with undergraduate enrollment above 10,000 students may provide a random sampling of 5,000 undergraduate students from their population.

Please provide the contact and demographic information outlined in the table below. A data dictionary detailing the format of the data request will be provided by your Trellis contact after your institution provides the letter of institutional support. Your Trellis contact will also provide instructions to set up the secure FTP (File Transfer Protocol) system. Data files should be provided in CSV format. 


SFWS Data Request: Institutional Sample and Demographic Fields

Field NamesDescriptions
Email 1Institutionally assigned email address
Email 2Secondary email address for the student
First NameStudent first name
Last NameStudent last name
Unique SFWS Student Identifier (Preferably not the official institutional student ID)It is our preference that this not be the official student ID. A unique student identifier that can be used with a crosswalk to potentially match survey responses to future data elements provided by the institution for additional analysis. If there are issues creating a unique identifier that is not the official institutional student ID, please discuss with your Trellis contact.
AgeAge of student (Not date of birth)
Race/ EthnicityRace/Ethnicity of student
GenderGender of student
Credit HoursThe number of credit hours the student had enrolled in for the semester
Total Credits EarnedTotal credit hours earned at institution as of the end of the prior semester

Effective Promotion will Ensure Robust Student Participation

Trellis will work with your institution to encourage student participation in the survey. This includes:

Whitelisting the Trellis domain to avoid survey invitations from appearing as SPAM. This simple IT procedure will ensure undisrupted communication during the period that the survey is in the field and increase response rates.

Trellis will provide a recommended schedule and sample email language for your institution to communicate to students about the survey. This communication can improve survey response rates by legitimizing the third-party survey invitation students receive. We request that your institution send a “heads up” email to students in the week prior to the survey to inform them that it is coming, and at least one reminder email during the survey implementation.

Coordinate with Trellis any additional student incentives to participate. Promoting the survey and providing incentives are good ways to get higher response rates from your students. Trellis will provide survey-wide incentives across all participating institutions. However, providing your own incentives and educating students about the importance of completing the survey is highly encouraged and on average can increase your response rate by 2-3 percentage points. Your Trellis contact will consult with you about best practices for promoting and providing incentives.

SFWS Student Promotion Flyer

  1. Data sharing and FERPA considerations
    Your Trellis contact is available to discuss Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) regulations and how institutions that have participated in prior SFWS implementations interpreted the permissibility to provide the SFWS data requests. For additional context on data sharing, you can also visit the resources below.
  2. Types of data and records
    • Survey response data: Survey response data refers to all student-level information collected through Trellis’ SFWS tool as a component of participation in the study.
    • Education records: Student-level records may be used to provide context and analysis for response data making the resulting reports more decision-focused for the institution. 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. Proof of digital consent will be stored in a secure, password-protected folder on Trellis’ secured servers.
  3. Storage and destruction
    Survey response data and education records 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 the Research team with role-based access.All digital copies of personally-identifiable survey response data or personally-identifiable education records from the SFWS data transfers from institutions will be deleted no later than 18 months from the survey close date. All digital copies of de-identified survey response data and education records held by the SFWS will be deleted no later than ten years from the survey implementation date.
  4. Data security
    Trellis Strategies has nearly 40 years of experience as responsible stewards of student data. Trellis adheres to a consolidated matrix of security controls that incorporates NIST Moderate Controls, GLBA, and a number of other security frameworks. Data stores are maintained on encrypted network SAN storage in compliance with NIST moderate controls. Our servers are maintained to those same controls, using CIS benchmarks. Identity and Access Management also adheres to NIST moderate controls. Access is role-based and denied by default. All data is backed up for recovery purposes and stored on encrypted media. Data will be destroyed according to the Student Financial Wellness Survey policies described previously. Trellis has a strict asset disposal procedure. All storage media, such as hard drives or tapes, are destroyed and rendered unrecoverable prior to disposal.

Hover over our map to see participating schools by state.

  • Alabama State University 
  • Drake State Community and Technical College 
  • Miles College 
  • Stillman College 
  • Tuskegee University 
  • University of South Alabama 
  • University of West Alabama 
  • Diné College 
  • Allan Hancock College 
  • California State University – Sacramento 
  • Imperial Valley College 
  • Mission College 
  • University of California at Davis 
  • Adams State University 
  • University of New Haven 
  • Florida Atlantic University
  • Florida International University
  • New College of Florida
  • Seminole State College of Florida
  • Valencia College
  • Atlanta Metropolitan State College 
  • Atlanta Technical College 
  • Northeast Iowa Community College 
  • Harper College 
  • John Wood Community College 
  • University of Illinois at Chicago 
  • University of Illinois at Springfield 
  • University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign 
  • Waubonsee Community College 
  • Wilbur Wright College 
  • Purdue University 
  • Indiana University – Bloomington 
  • Indiana University – Columbus 
  • Indiana University – East 
  • Indiana University – Fort Wayne 
  • Indiana University – Indianapolis  
  • Indiana University – Kokomo 
  • Indiana University – Northwest 
  • Indiana University – South Bend 
  • Indiana University – Southeast 
  • Ashland Community and Technical College 
  • Big Sandy Community and Technical College 
  • Bluegrass Community and Technical College 
  • Elizabethtown Community and Technical College 
  • Gateway Community and Technical College 
  • Hazard Community and Technical College 
  • Henderson Community College 
  • Hopkinsville Community College 
  • Jefferson Community and Technical College 
  • Madisonville Community College 
  • Maysville Community and Technical College  
  • Midway University 
  • Owensboro Community and Technical College 
  • Somerset Community College 
  • Southcentral Kentucky Community and Technical College 
  • Southeast Kentucky Community and Technical College 
  • University of Louisville 
  • West Kentucky Community and Technical College 
  • Western Kentucky University 
  • Delgado Community College 
  • Grambling State University 
  • Southern University and A&M College 
  • University of Massachusetts – Lowell 
  • McDaniel College 
  • Salisbury University 
  • Washington Adventist University 
  • Southern Maine Community College 
  • Bay de Noc Community College 
  • Delta College 
  • Glen Oaks Community College 
  • Gogebic Community College 
  • Henry Ford College 
  • Jackson College 
  • Kalamazoo Valley Community College 
  • Kirtland Community College 
  • Lake Michigan College 
  • Lansing Community College 
  • Macomb Community College 
  • Mid Michigan College 
  • Monroe County Community College 
  • Montcalm Community College 
  • Mott Community College 
  • Muskegon Community College 
  • North Central Michigan College 
  • Northwestern Michigan College 
  • Oakland Community College 
  • Saginaw Chippewa Tribal College 
  • Schoolcraft College 
  • St. Clair County Community College 
  • West Shore Community College 
  • Martin Luther College 
  • Alcorn State University 
  • Mississippi State University 
  • Mississippi University for Women 
  • Mississippi Valley State University 
  • University of Southern Mississippi 
  • Alamance Community College 
  • Asheville-Buncombe Technical Community College 
  • Cape Fear Community College 
  • Carteret Community College 
  • Catawba Valley Community College 
  • Central Carolina Community College 
  • Central Piedmont Community College 
  • College of the Albemarle 
  • Davidson-Davie Community College 
  • Fayetteville Technical Community College 
  • Gaston College 
  • Halifax Community College 
  • Haywood Community College 
  • Isothermal Community College 
  • Martin Community College 
  • McDowell Technical Community College 
  • North Carolina Wesleyan College 
  • Pitt Community College
  • Randolph Community College 
  • Richmond Community College 
  • Roanoke-Chowan Community College 
  • Rowan-Cabarrus Community College 
  • Sandhills Community College 
  • Southeastern Community College 
  • St. Augustine’s University 
  • Stanly Community College 
  • Surry Community College 
  • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill 
  • Vance-Granville Community College 
  • Wayne Community College 
  • Wilkes Community College 
  • College of Saint Mary 
  • Mid-Plains Community College 
  • Dona Ana Community College 
  • New Mexico State University – Alamogordo 
  • New Mexico State University – Las Cruces 
  • D’Youville College 
  • State University of New York Oneonta 
  • The New School 
  • Vaughn College of Aeronautics and Technology 
  • Belmont College 
  • Central Ohio Technical College 
  • Cincinnati State Technical and Community College 
  • Clark State College 
  • Columbus State Community College 
  • Cuyahoga Community College 
  • Eastern Gateway Community College 
  • Edison State Community College 
  • Hocking College 
  • Lakeland Community College 
  • Lorain County Community College  
  • Marion Technical College 
  • North Central State College 
  • Northwest State Community College 
  • Owens Community College 
  • Rhodes State College 
  • Sinclair Community College 
  • Southern State Community College 
  • Stark State College 
  • Terra State Community College 
  • Washington State Community College 
  • Zane State College 
  • Langston University 
  • Southeastern Oklahoma State University 
  • University of Oklahoma 
  • University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma 
  • University of Tulsa 
  • Southwestern Oregon Community College 
  • Harcum College 
  • Lafayette College 
  • Lincoln University 
  • Northampton Community College 
  • Peirce College 
  • Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine 
  • Morris College 
  • Newberry College 
  • Trident Technical College 
  • Voorhees College 
  • Belmont University 
  • Bryan College 
  • Chattanooga State Community College 
  • Lane College 
  • Altierus Career College 
  • Alvin Community College 
  • Amarillo College 
  • Angelina College 
  • Angelo State University 
  • Austin Community College 
  • Brazosport College 
  • Central Texas College 
  • Clarendon College 
  • Coastal Bend College 
  • College of the Mainland 
  • Concordia University Texas 
  • Dallas College 
  • Del Mar College 
  • El Paso Community College 
  • Frank Phillips College 
  • Galveston College 
  • Grayson College 
  • Hill College 
  • Houston Christian University 
  • Houston Community College 
  • Howard College 
  • Huston Tillotson University 
  • Jarvis Christian University 
  • Kilgore College 
  • Lee College 
  • Lone Star College 
  • Lubbock Christian University 
  • McLennan Community College 
  • McMurry University 
  • Midland College 
  • Navarro College 
  • North Central Texas College 
  • Northeast Lakeview College 
  • Northeast Texas Community College 
  • Northwest Vista College 
  • Odessa College 
  • Our Lady of the Lake University 
  • Palo Alto College 
  • Panola College 
  • Paris Junior College 
  • Prairie View A&M University 
  • Ranger College  
  • Sam Houston State University 
  • San Antonio College 
  • San Jacinto College 
  • South Plains College 
  • South Texas College of Law Houston 
  • Southwest Texas Junior College 
  • St. Mary’s University 
  • St. Philip’s College 
  • Stephen F. Austin State University 
  • Sul Ross State University 
  • Tarleton State University 
  • Tarrant County College District 
  • Temple College 
  • Texarkana College 
  • Texas A&M International University 
  • Texas A&M University – College Station 
  • Texas A&M University – Commerce 
  • Texas A&M University – Kingsville 
  • Texas A&M University – San Antonio  
  • Texas Southern University 
  • Texas Southmost College 
  • Texas State University 
  • Texas Tech University 
  • Texas Woman’s University 
  • Tyler Junior College 
  • University of Dallas 
  • University of Texas at Austin 
  • University of Texas at El Paso 
  • Victoria College 
  • West Texas A&M University 
  • Western Texas College 
  • Wharton County Junior College 
  • University of Utah 
  • Bluefield College 
  • University of Virginia 
  • Central Washington University 
  • Green River College 
  • Seattle Pacific University 
  • Yakima Valley College 
  • Herzing University 
  • Madison Area Technical College 
  • University of Wyoming 
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