First Destination Surveys

2020 HEDS First Destination Surveys

The HEDS First Destination Survey asks recent or upcoming graduates about their post-graduation activities. Institutions can use the survey’s results to assess employment- and career-related outcomes for their graduates and for reports to the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE).

There are multiple administration options to help make the survey fit your needs and to help you achieve a high knowledge rate. There are two survey administration periods: April 1, 2020–July 31, 2020, and September 1, 2020–December 31, 2020. The survey takes less than five minutes to complete and can be administered via mobile devices.

We offer both an undergraduate and an advanced degree version of the survey.  Institutions that administer both will receive a discount.

Click on the following questions to learn more.

Three options are available:

  • Spring administration – This is the best time to get a high response rate by surveying your upcoming graduates before they leave.
  • Fall administration – This allows for more accurate post-graduate information, but graduates can be harder to reach.
  • Combination of spring and fall administrations – This provides the highest knowledge rate by taking advantage of the high response rate in the spring and the follow-up survey in the fall when more of your graduates can provide details about their post-graduation activity.

For the undergraduate version, you will receive a report with comparative data after each administration of the survey. You will also receive both SPSS and Microsoft Excel files with your participants’ responses after each administration. After the fall administration, you will receive overall SPSS and Excel data files with your combined spring and fall responses.

Because the advanced degree version of this survey is still new, we will only provide comparison reports if a sufficient number of institutions participate. You will receive a report that summarizes all of your advanced degree graduates’ responses after each administration of the survey. You will also receive a data file with your participants’ responses after each administration and an overall data file with your combined spring and fall responses. The data files will be sent in both SPSS and Microsoft Excel formats.

YES!  Here’s how:

  • We insert your institution’s name at the top of each page of the survey and in the text of applicable questions.
  • You can customize the survey invitations and reminders.
  • You can add supplemental questions at the end of the survey.
  • You can collect and send us supplemental data to be included in the report for fall administrations.

The standard fee for a single administration to one degree population (either undergraduate or advanced degree) is $2,000. HEDS member institutions receive the discounted base rate of $500.

The standard fee for a single administration to an additional degree population is $1,500. HEDS member institutions receive the discounted fee of $375.

To see what is included in the base cost and the fees for custom options, you may download the full information sheet here.

To learn more about becoming a HEDS member, please visit our Join HEDS page.

Sean McLaughlin, Otterbein University

“The HEDS First Destination Survey is an easy way for us to collect outcomes measures for our recent graduates for use within our university, as well as reporting to NACE.”


Susan Canon, St. Olaf College

“We use the HEDS First Destination Survey in both the spring and fall to help get a full picture of what our graduates are doing after graduation. We adjust and add to our graduates’ information starting at graduation and continuing throughout the summer and fall. Our goal is to know the primary activities of at least 90% of our graduates by the end of December.”

Learn more about your recent graduates’ plans after college with the HEDS First Destination Surveys.

Please contact Nicole Seidler if you have questions.