ECU graduates fare better in life than national average

East Carolina University graduates are well prepared for life after graduation, actively engaged at work and feel their education was worth the cost, a recent Gallup survey found.

ECU was included in a far-reaching alumni survey of the University of North Carolina System that assessed how graduates from North Carolina’s public universities fared after graduation. More than 5,000 ECU alumni participated in the survey (n=5,172). The Gallup survey assessed alumni’s perceptions of their university experiences and how those experiences related to their wellbeing and job quality later in life. Gallup presented the results to the UNC Board of Governors Tuesday during its regular meeting.

Results from the survey were compared with three groups from Gallup’s national alumni surveys of those who obtained their degrees between 1940 and 2016. UNC System alumni were compared to Gallup’s samples of U.S. college graduates nationally, graduates of public institutions, and graduates of private institutions.

According to the survey, UNC System alumni were more likely to pursue advanced degrees, feel a sense of attachment to their alma mater and report higher levels of wellbeing than college alumni nationally. ECU’s results are on par with the UNC System’s and outpaced national comparisons in many categories.

Among the key findings of the survey pertaining to ECU:

  • Overall, ECU alumni surveyed showed higher levels of engagement in the workplace than undergraduate alumni nationally.
  • More ECU alumni (41%) said they were well prepared for life after graduation than college alumni nationally (29%).
  • A majority of ECU alumni (60%) strongly agreed that their undergraduate education was worth the cost; this is 10 percentage points above national comparison groups.
  • ECU alumni reported higher wellbeing than national groups; this holds true across all five areas for measuring wellbeing (purpose, social, financial, community and physical).

“We were hoping to confirm through data what we have believed for some time—that our alumni have expanded opportunities and a better quality of life as a result of their UNC System education,” said UNC System Interim President Bill Roper in a press release. “The results show that our alumni are more engaged, better prepared and lead more purposeful lives compared to the average college graduate.”

The complete results of the UNC System survey can be found at