We recommend the following methodology for achieving a high response rate:
Pre-Alert Message: Send your students/alumni a pre-alert message to encourage your students to be on the lookout for the survey and to let them know the survey has been commissioned on your behalf. We recommend sending this alert 1 to 2 days before your survey invitations are sent.
Fielding Schedule: It is best to schedule your survey fielding for 2-3 weeks, followed by one-week extension for non-responders.
Follow-up with non-responders: Send your students/alumni an end-of-survey extension alert message. The intent is to encourage your non-responders to complete the survey and to let them know you have extended the deadline specifically for them. We recommend sending this alert the next business day after your initial survey end date.
This is a related answer on sending a pre-alert message and end-of-survey extension message:https://knowledge.mbalifecycle.com/helpcenter/what-is-the-purpose-of-the-alert-templates-page-1
Evidence-Based Innovation Blog: Articles on Boosting Survey Response Rates
Please comment and share your experiences as well. We would love to hear what has and has not worked for your program.