NPSAS Project Focus Groups

Frequently Asked Questions

What is this study about?

On behalf of the U.S. Department of Education’s National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), EurekaFacts, a research company based in Rockville, MD, is looking for college students to come to our office and complete a self-administered survey and participate in a focus group. These are select survey questions from the 2019-20 National Postsecondary Student Aid Study (NPSAS:20). Your feedback about the survey and contribution during the group discussion will help NCES improve the survey, so it is clear and can be easily understood and answered by thousands of college students across the country.    

Where will the research interview take place?

You will come to the EurekaFacts office at 51 Monroe Street, PE 10, Rockville, MD 20850. Our office is conveniently located across the pedestrian bridge connected to the Red Line Rockville Metro Station. There is also ample validated parking in our building.

What will happen during the focus group session?

During the survey, you will be asked to answer questions about your postsecondary education experiences in the 2018-19 academic year (July 1, 2018 – June 30, 2019). Some topics may include enrollment in the 2018-19 academic year, financial aid, and employment. The survey will ask follow-up questions to understand your experience completing the survey. These questions ask you to evaluate the difficulty of the question, your confidence in your answers, and your understanding of the questions. Additionally, the survey will ask questions about what can motivate college students like yourself to participate in the study.

During the focus group, EurekaFacts will facilitate a group discussion with about 10 people. We will ask open-ended questions about your overall survey experience and about specific questions. Additionally, we will ask questions about what can motivate college students like yourself to participate in the study. The focus group session will be audio and video recorded.

What kind of device will I take the survey on?

You will be taking the survey on a tablet computer provided by EurekaFacts.

How long will the whole session last?

We anticipate the entire session to last 90 minutes. The survey will take about 30 minutes to complete. The group discussion about the survey and ways to encourage student participation in survey research will take about 1 hour.

Will information be kept confidential?

You will be assigned a unique identifier (ID) and your name will not be linked to your answers. All of the information provided may be used only for statistical purposes and may not be disclosed, or used, in identifiable form for any other purpose except as required by law (20 U.S.C. §9573 and 6 U.S.C. §151). Audio and video of the session will be recorded only for analysis, and all personally identifying information will be destroyed after 1 year.

Is there an incentive for participating?

Yes. You will receive a $90 gift card from a major credit card company.

What are the possible risks of being in the study?

There are no known risks to participating in this voluntary study.

Who can I contact with questions or for further information?

If you have any questions about the study, you can call Cecilia Teal the Senior Research Analyst at 240.345.9760. If you have questions about your rights as a study participant, you can call the EurekaFacts’ Office of Research Protection at 240-403-4800 (a toll-free number).

Can participation end early?

Participation in this study is completely voluntary. You have the right to refuse to answer particular questions. You may elect to stop answering the survey questions at any time.