Office of Student Life: Creating the Extraordinary Student Experience


Information for Participation

Then next SCFW launches during the 2018-2019 academic year!

Please contact us at if you are interested in participating

Participating in the SCFW is free! 

What you will receive for participating:

Each participating institution will receive:

  • An overall report of the national findings from the SCFW
  • An institutional report of the findings from the SCFW
  • A student-level data file if your institution gains approval from your Institutional Review Board (optional)

For more information on how to participate, please read our Adminstration Plan.

What we need from you to participate:

  1. Institutional approval for participation (letter of support or approval letter from your Institutional Review Board
  2. Completion of SCFW Participation Form
  3. Random sample of students
  4. Educational records of students (optional)
  5. Your consideration of providing incentives to students for participation

Institutional Review Board (IRB): Institutions will not be required to complete an IRB to participate in the study, but should go through IRB if they wish to do research on their institution’s data.

1. Institutional Approval for Participation

In order to participate in the SCFW, your institution must submit either a letter of support for participating in the study or a letter of research approval from your Institutional Review Board (IRB). Here is additional information to help you decide which option is best for your institution:

  • Letter of Institutional Support: If your institution would like to receive a copy of an institution-specific report of the results, but does not want to receive your institution-specific student-level data file, please submit a letter of institutional support from the appropriate official at the university (e.g. Dean of Students, Vice President, President). To see an example of an institutional letter of support, please click here. Before choosing this option, check your institution’s policies to determine whether you are required to gain approval from your IRB regardless of receiving data.
  • Institutional Review Board Approval: If your institution would like to receive a copy of your institution’s student-level data file, you must secure approval from your institution’s Institutional Review Board (otherwise known as Internal Review Board, Human Subjects Committee, Research Review Board) and provide the SCFW team with a copy of the approval letter to participate in the study. It is extremely important that you receive approval to conduct research from your IRB, and do not state that Ohio State will be the IRB of record. If you have questions about this process, please contact us at 

Many institutions will determine that the SCFW presents minimal risk to students and will grant either an exemption or expedited review. Please inquire with your IRB whether this is possible. If you are exempt from review, you will need to provide the SCFW team with documentation to this effect and a letter of institutional support to complete to participate.

Please remember that either the copy of your IRB approval or a letter of institutional support is due by September 1 to participate in the study.

2. Completion of SCFW Participation Form

Complete the SCFW Participation Form

3. Random Sample of Students

Participating institutions will be required to provide a random sample of students with their email addresses as well as demographics pulled and matched to each student at the beginning of the study. The size of the random sample varies by the size of the participating institution:

Institution’s Undergraduate Student Population Size Sample Size

Under 5,000






More than 20,000


4. Education Records for Students (optional)

The institution can provide the SCFW with demographic information for each student included in the random sample at the onset of the study, this information will include:

  • Gender
  • Race/ethnicity
  • Class rank
  • Citizenship status
  • Type of degree student is pursuing (i.e., associate’s, bachelor’s, not enrolled in degree program)
  • College (if applicable; i.e. Engineering, Social Sciences, Business)
  • Major(s)
  • Cumulative GPA

Student data will not be stored or utilized unless students give consent for their educational records to be used. These data are optional; institutions can customize what data they want to include for their students.

5. Consider Providing Incentives for Participation

To ensure high response rates, institutions are encouraged to offer incentives to students for participation in the survey. Suggested incentives include:

  • Entering all participating students in a raffle and the winner(s) receives an iPad or gift card.
  • Providing free tickets to a campus event for each participating student
  • Providing a coupon for a free or reduced priced item at the campus book store or cafeteria