Starfish by Hobsons Releases New COVID-19 Student Success Survey

Colleges and universities have an opportunity to help students despite challenges increased by the pandemic

ARLINGTON, Virginia — More than 70% of college students are struggling to focus on their academics, according to Higher Ed Student Success Survey: Fall 2020, a new survey of more than 1,000 two- and four-year students conducted by Hobsons and Hanover Research. In addition, more than two-thirds of college students report that COVID-19 has negatively impacted their mental health. Although most students said they know where to get help for mental health, physical health, career services and financial support, they said they rarely reach out for help beyond academic assistance. The findings have important implications for higher education leaders, advisors, faculty, and everyone involved in driving student success.

Starfish’s new research has been featured in Inside Higher Ed, University Business, and other publications. Respondents included a mix of part-time and full-time first year and returning students from a range of backgrounds and ages attending school either fully online (53%), in a hybrid environment (44%) or in-person (3%).

“The survey data offer important insights about what college life looks like now for students, the challenges they face, and the concerns they have for their future,” says Andrew Wheeler, Senior Program Director at Hobsons. 

The report provides recommendations for interventions and strategies that institutions can use to get students the help they need based upon Hobsons’ decade-plus experience partnering with hundreds of colleges and universities on their student success initiatives.

The Starfish Enterprise Success Solution helps nearly 500 colleges and universities – more than all other organizations in the industry – scale their student success efforts so more students can achieve their academic and life goals. By helping higher education institutions leverage reliable data to pinpoint areas of concern and opportunity within courses and student populations, as well as institutional programs and services, Starfish connects these findings to action by identifying at-risk students, connecting students with valuable resources, and building career and academic plans to achieve student goals with the least momentum lost. To learn more about Starfish, visit

For more information about Starfish by Hobsons, contact

Topics Higher Ed Student Success and Advising

Student Success & Advising

Achieve 2x increases in your retention rate, exceed graduation rate goals, and set the standard for student success in higher education. Identify and support students who are struggling before it’s too late.

Learn more about Starfish