Higher Education Consultants

College Student Inventory™

For incoming first-year students at four-year and two-year colleges and universities
College Student Inventory

Prioritize your student success strategies by assessing the motivational factors influencing your entering students and by responding to their requests for assistance

The College Student Inventory identifies the leading non-cognitive indicators of students’ success. You receive detailed information about their academic motivations, levels of risk in a range of areas, and receptivity to your assistance. This survey provides data to make interventions more meaningful and relevant, before a student begins disengaging.

Used by more than 1,400 institutions and completed by more than 2.6 million students nationwide, the College Student Inventory is the leading tool for early identification and early intervention with your newest students. See samples of the CSI and its reports.

Contact us about the College Student Inventory for entering college studentsHave a question about the College Student Inventory, or about student retention strategies? Talk with us.

Send us an email or call 800.876.1117 and ask to speak to our student retention strategists. Learn how to use the CSI to:

  • Identify which students are at risk and receptive to assistance.
  • Intervene with students earlier, when the chance for success is greater.
  • Make retention strategies more effective and efficient by basing them on reliable student data.


Manage your surveying and data online through the customized Retention Data Center dashboard

The Retention Data Center allows for customized filtering and data analysis with the Retention Management System Plus

The College Student Inventory gives you access the online Retention Data Center, a fully customized portal where you can manage and filter your data, run reports, and share information with key retention colleagues. Learn more.

Administer surveys via mobile devices

Administer the CSI to incoming college students on their mobile devicesStudents can take the college student inventory on mobile phones and tablets. Plus you can administer all assessments through an online dashboard.



See how a college student and advisor interact using the CSI


Download the accompanying CSI report

Your student retention initiatives not only become more focused and personalized through the CSI, but you also unify the actions of your student and academic affairs personnel, creating a stronger culture of student success on campus.

Available in multiple formats: paper or online, English or Spanish

Choose from three forms of the College Student Inventory. Note that even if you choose paper administration of the CSI, you will receive your reports online.

  • Form A (paper or online, 194 items)
    Offers the most comprehensive analysis with 19 motivational assessment scales.
  • Form B (paper or online, 100 items)
    The most widely used version of the CSI, Form B analyzes student attitudes across 17 different scales.
  • Form C (online only, 74 items)
    Designed specifically for students who seek to balance work, family, and academics, such as adult learners.
  • Canadian version (online only, 100 items)
    This version of Form B reflects Canadian terminology and spelling.
  • Spanish versions: Forms A, B, and C are available in online Spanish versions.

See samples of the College Student Inventory.

Implementation support

For information on administering the College Student Inventory, see our implementation guidelines and frequently-asked questions.

Part of the Retention Management System Plus™ (RMS)

The College Student Inventory is part of the Retention Management System Plus. In addition to the College Student Inventory, these additional tools can further strengthen your student success efforts:

Mid-Year Student Assessment™—Equips you to strengthen student persistence by identifying changes in students' needs at the mid-point of their first year. This is a follow-up post-test for the College Student Inventory.

Second-Year Student Assessment™—Extends and strengthens your interventions into the sophomore year by surveying the needs and motivational levels of second-year college students.

Student Retention Predictor™—Identifies the statistical likelihood that each incoming student will persist, based on institution-specific predictive modeling and in-depth analytics.


Call 1-800-876-1117 or email the retention team.

See the CSI

Click to see samples of the College Student Inventory.Examine samples of the College Student Inventory and its resulting reports. See samples »

Retention webinars and events

View all upcoming events »

What campus colleagues say

"Before we were using the College Student Inventory, there was a lot of speculation about what individual students needed. Now we have a clear understanding and a roadmap to maximize student success."
—Martha Shawver, Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs and Research, Wichita State University (Kansas) 

Read more comments and case studies.

Research reports

These reports analyze responses from sizable samples of College Student Inventory respondents.

©1998-2015 Ruffalo Noel Levitz, LLC. All Rights Reserved.