Frequently Asked Questions

Can I view a copy of the Wellbeing Assessment questionnaire?

Yes! You can view the 2020 Wellbeing Assessment questionnaire.

The Assessment contains Core Modules and Additional Modules. The Core Modules are included in every survey, while the Additional Modules are optional add-ons for Wellbeing Assessment Plus schools.

We are always working to improve the Wellbeing Assessment based on the latest wellbeing research and the needs of our partner schools.  Therefore, aspects of the measure vary from year-to-year.  For instance, in 2020, the Positive Coping, Friendships, and Civic Orientation dimensions have been moved from Core Modules to Additional Modules.

Do I need approval from my university’s IRB to participate in the survey?

Usually, the answer is no. Our IRB has interpreted federal guidelines about “non-engaged institutions” to mean that you should not need to secure your own IRB approval.

The reason is that the Wellbeing Assessment team at Wake Forest University conducts all the research and human subjects activities: We prepare recruitment materials and procedures, we developed the measure, and we conduct the generalizable research based on the data we collect. Your institution may use the de-identified data we send you for research or internal purposes, but you are not recruiting participants or working with their identified data.

The human subjects activities in this study are approved by the Wake Forest University IRB. It is good practice to let your institution’s IRB know that you are intending to participate. If you are talking with your IRB, please provide them with this memo from WFU’s IRB explaining non-engaged partner status.

Is the Wellbeing Assessment survey study IRB approved?

Yes. The Wake Forest University IRB approves the Wellbeing Assessment survey study each year.  Before each year’s administration, we reapply for IRB approval.  You can view official memo of approval for the 2020 survey.

Can I see a copy of the IRB-approved [recruitment email, consent form, etc.]?

Yes. This folder contains a copy of all approved materials, including the recruitment email template, consent form, debriefing message, measure, and student feedback.

When can the survey be administered at my school?

The Wellbeing Assessment survey is administered each year in the spring semester, typically between January and April.  Each school selects a survey open date and the survey remains open at that school for 2 weeks from that date.  Enrollment in the survey administration typically opens in the Fall Semester.

Please note that survey open dates are contingent upon submission of registration materials within the corresponding registration window. Registration windows are approximately 3-6 weeks prior to your chosen survey open date. This gives the Wellbeing Assessment team time to add you to our IRB application as a non-engaged partner and to program your survey.

How long is the survey?

Depending on customizations, the survey is approximately 140-180 items. On average, the survey takes students about 20-25 minutes to complete.

How is the survey distributed to students?

The Wellbeing Assessment team creates and distributes the survey using the Qualtrics online survey platform. We offer two options for distribution:

  1. Self-Distribution: We provide an anonymous link so that the school can self-distribute the survey (Available for Wellbeing Assessment Core and Plus schools).
  2. Full-Service Distribution: The Wellbeing Assessment team distributes unique links to students using email addresses provided to us by the school (Available for Wellbeing Assessment Plus schools only).

The Full-Service Distribution using unique links allows for reminders to be sent to only non-responders, and participants to leave and come back to the survey, both of which improve response rates. This method can also help facilitate linking of student responses across administrations

Do you have any guidelines or requirements regarding sample size?

At schools with more than 4,000 students, we suggest a sample of at least 4,000 traditionally aged (18-24), full-time enrolled undergraduate students. At schools with fewer than 4,000, our approach is to invite the entire population of traditionally aged, full-time enrolled undergraduate students. This might not be possible for your school, and we are happy to accommodate smaller samples.

Do you provide any promotional materials?

Yes!  It is a great idea to promote the survey on your campus by sharing information about it through emails, newsletters, posted flyers, etc.

For your convenience, we have created a set of informational flyers that you can edit and use to alert students that the survey is happening.  Please note that you may only customize the flyers as outlined in the attached instructions.  Also note that you will need to download to Microsoft Word to view and edit properly – opening in Google Docs will cause issues with formatting.

Who can I contact if I still have questions?

The Wellbeing Assessment team is happy to answer any questions you have.  Please contact Research Associate, Laura Hix at