Deeper student engagement leads to more active and engaged alumni, landmark study of recent higher education graduates finds

“As the study results show, this investment in a personalized, data-driven approach to student engagement is integral to building strong alumni engagement and leads to meaningful and lifelong connections. with alumni, ”said Jim Milton, CEO of Anthology.

Anthology, a leading provider of proven higher education solutions that support the entire learner lifecycle, today announced the results of its recent Alumni Survey: Interest, Engagement and opportunity. Overall results showed that engaged and connected students become active alumni with almost 8 in 10 respondents who indicated involvement as a student also stating that they participated in an alumni activity in the past 12 months. .

Created to understand and clarify the drivers of alumni engagement after graduation, the study examined engagement trends among recent college graduates to inform alumni engagement and strategies annual donations. Over 2,000 graduates from public (76%) and private (24%) institutions were surveyed, all of whom obtained their first degree in 2012 or later.

“Today’s learner landscape is more diverse and varied than ever before, so we must make a concerted effort to get to know each student in order to meet their individual experience needs based on their interests and studies. . This will go a long way in strengthening student and alumni relationships with institutions during their time at university and beyond, ”said Jim Milton, CEO of Anthology. “As the study results show, this investment in a personalized, data-driven approach to student engagement is integral to building strong alumni engagement and leads to meaningful and lifelong connections. with the elders. “

Student engagement leads to alumni engagement and increased donations

In addition to the main results of engaged students resulting in more active alumni, the results showed that less than half of the respondents who participated in an alumni activity in the past year were not involved. while they were students – a difference of 35 percent from the 8 in 10 who participated as students. The results illustrate the long-term value of investment strategies for student engagement and can help alumni offices focus on recent populations of alumni who have participated as students, as they are more likely to remain so after graduation.

The report also showed a tangible impact on student engagement, as alumni who were engaged as students were nearly four times more likely to have given a gift this year than those who were not. . These results support the investment of more time and resources to engage alumni who were engaged as students – whether by targeting these people differently or by soliciting them at a higher frequency – thus saving time and of the budget in relation to the solicitation of all recent alumni.

COVID-19 accelerated alumni connections to campuses

While the pandemic has presented many challenges, it has also created new ways to connect with alumni, such as increased digital engagement, virtual events, and more. In fact, 40% of those surveyed felt that their engagement with their alma mater had increased. This indicates a desire among alumni to stay engaged – whether through virtual gatherings (or in person), discussions with campus representatives, webinar events, donations, etc. Alumni have also continued to show a keen interest in supporting current students throughout the pandemic, with 80 percent indicating that they want to help students in a variety of ways, including mentoring, talking with them about information related to the pandemic. career or send words of encouragement.

Interest in career programming and networking

According to the survey results, half of new graduates are more interested in participating in career-related programs and / or networking opportunities. The youngest of recent graduates surveyed (classes 2019-2021) expressed the greatest interest in career-related programs (over 50%), while the older set of recent graduates indicated a strong preference for career-related programs. networking events. These nuances confirm the benefit of alumni engagement strategies that meet the preferences of sub-segments and emphasize the provision of career-related information to alumni, whether in partnership with career services. or by developing information specifically for alumni.

Opportunities to tailor awareness to the types of student engagement

Looking at the types of organizations students were involved in, the results showed distinct areas of involvement. Over 40% of respondents were part of academic organizations, such as honor societies, 1 in 3 was a member of intramural sports or clubs, and more than a quarter were involved in e-sports with almost the same percentage participating in cultural organizations. Alumni offices looking to grow affinity programs can use this data to further refine engagement approaches and forge stronger connections with student affairs and individual student organizations.

About the survey

The Anthology Alumni Survey: Interest, Involvement and Opportunity targeted recent graduates of four-year higher education institutions, all of whom obtained their first degrees in 2012 or later. The data was collected through a national survey in June 2021 using a national survey platform. 2,064 responses were considered valid and used in the analysis. For each data point, null values ​​were excluded. For more information and to access the report, please click here.


About anthology

Anthology exists to help higher education advance and thrive using modern cloud technology and services that keep the learner at the forefront. Powered by a fully connected data experience, Anthology solutions create operational efficiencies, deliver insight to staff and administrators, and empower institutional leaders to support and guide students on the path to success.

The full suite covers admissions and enrollment management; student success and retention; institutional and learning effectiveness; alumni and advancement; and enterprise applications and infrastructure, providing solutions to the challenges facing campuses today. Working with over 2,000 colleges and institutions in over 30 countries, Anthology is constantly discovering new ways to revolutionize higher education. Learn more about our mission at

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