About the survey
Between April 2–3, 2020, the Skorton Center for Health Initiatives at Cornell Health conducted a brief online survey of Cornell undergraduate, graduate, and professional students to assess attitudes, perceptions, and behaviors related to COVID-19 risk reduction. The purpose of the survey was to inform university officials about the experience of students related to the COVID-19 pandemic and guide the development of educational messages and materials.
About the sample
The survey was voluntary and responses were anonymous. Links to the survey were disseminated through multiple email lists, yielding a convenience sample of 9,379 respondents. The proportion of respondents by student status (i.e., undergraduate, graduate, or professional) is as follows:
Sample size by student status
Percent of total
Number of responses
|Undergraduate students||61%||n= 5,700|
|Graduate students||33%||n= 3,100|
|Professional students||6%||n= 579|
|ALL STUDENTS||100%||n= 9,379|
Undergraduate responses by class year
Year at Cornell
Percent of Undergraduate Responses
The good news: Cornell students are committed to stopping the spread of COVID-19.
Results suggest that in general, a high percentage of students recognize the importance of engaging in behaviors that can reduce the spread of COVID-19. The corresponding educational messages below seek to reinforce positive attitudes, correct misperceptions about norms, and increase the prevalence and consistency of protective behaviors (e.g., physical distancing, hand-washing) and risk factors (e.g., travel, willingness to hold or attend a party).
Data for sub-populations
Most data are available for several sub-populations (e.g., undergraduates, graduate students, and professional students). However, given that only a small percentage of Cornell students are currently residing in Ithaca during the COVID-19 pandemic, some data were only collected for this small community. For example:
92% of Cornell undergraduates in Ithaca did not have any friends or family visit from anywhere in the past 2 weeks. View all data for Cornell undergraduates (CU NetID required).
95% of Cornell graduate students in Ithaca have not traveled anywhere in the past 2 weeks. View all data for Cornell graduate students (CU NetID required).
Data for all students
Four data points are available for all Cornell students. Specifically:
- 96% of all Cornell students believe it is their responsibility to practice physical distancing to reduce the spread of COVID-19.
93% of all Cornell students routinely practice physical distancing to reduce the spread of COVID-19.
90% of all Cornell student are not at all likely to attend a party in the next two weeks based on what they know about COVID-19.
97% of all Cornell students believe it's very or extremely important to wash their hands to reduce the spread of COVID-19.
View all data for ALL Cornell students (CU NetID required).
Link to full data tables for the above information.