The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University

The Vanderbilt Hustler

The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University.
Since 1888
The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University

The Vanderbilt Hustler

The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University.
The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University

The Vanderbilt Hustler

The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University.

Methodology: How The Vanderbilt Hustler surveyed the Class of 2023

The methodology and limitations of The Hustler’s first senior survey
Class of 2023 students at their commencement ceremony, as photographed on May 12, 2023. (Photo courtesy of Vanderbilt University)

The Data team distributed the 49-question survey from March 13, 2023, to April 28, 2023, sending the link to The Vanderbilt Hustler Digest newsletter and to the email addresses of the senior class. 

Respondents were kept anonymous but required to sign in with their Vanderbilt email address and sign an honorarium confirming to be a member of the Class of 2023. All data from the survey is stored in a non-Vanderbilt Google account.

Questions dealing with sensitive topics were left optional. Optional questions were: “Approximately what was your annual household income?” “How much will you owe in student loans post-graduation?” “Have you had sex?” “Have you had sex in a non-residential Vanderbilt building?” “How often do you consume alcohol?” “How often do you use marijuana?” “Which of the following drugs have you tried?” and “If you have ever owned a fake ID, which state did it say it was from?”

The survey received 235 responses out of a class of 1,787 — making up a 95% confidence interval and a 6% margin of error. One response was removed as spam (for instance, selecting they had been admitted through all admissions cycles).

Some percentages in the narrative and data visualizations may not add up to 100 due to rounding to the nearest percent. 

During analysis, survey responses were weighted according to two metrics of official university data: gender and international student status. Weights greater than three were truncated.

In the survey, approximately 63% of respondents identified as women, 34% as men and 3% as nonbinary, compared to university data which states that 51% of the Class of 2023 were women and 49% were men. Survey responses were weighted assuming approximately 49% of the class were women, 47% were men and 3% were nonbinary.

In the survey, 96% of respondents stated they were domestic students, while 4% stated they were international students, compared to university data which states that 89% of the Class of 2023 were domestic students and 11% were international students. The data was weighted accordingly.

Are there any questions you were hoping to see on this survey but didn’t? Email [email protected]!

Project Director | Katherine Oung

Data Analysis | Katherine Oung

Data Visualization | Aaditi Lele, Subha Mostafiz, Rhea Patney, Brina Ratangee, Jacob Stoebner, Parker Smith

Writing | Aaditi Lele, Rhea Patney, Brina Ratangee, Jacob Stoebner

Special thanks to the LAPOP Lab for advice on survey methodology!

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About the Contributor
Katherine Oung
Katherine Oung, Data Editor
Katherine Oung ('25) is majoring in political science and computer science and minoring in data science in the College of Arts and Science. They are from West Palm Beach, Fla., and were previously Deputy News Editor and Managing Editor. Katherine enjoys working on freelance journalism projects and making incredibly specific Spotify playlists. They can be reached at [email protected].

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