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Is College Really Worth It?

career development / featured / in the news / blog

This past Tuesday, David Leonhardt of The New York Times addressed a common question confronting many American households, “Is College Worth It?” His conclusion, “Yes, college is worth it, and it’s not even close.” In his report, he cites new analysis from the Economic Policy Institute in Washington that reports that Americans with four-year college degrees made 98 percent more an hour on average in 2013 than people without a degree and that this disparity far outweighs the increasingly high costs of college.

But, as Ben Casselman of FiveThirtyEight.com puts it “just because people who graduate from college are better off, doesn’t necessarily mean that going to college is a good decision.... more

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Fors Marsh Group Named to GSA OASIS SB Contract Vehicle

featured / government / federal contracting / news

Arlington, Virginia – May 20, 2014 –Fors Marsh Group (FMG) has successfully secured prime positions on two pools under GSA’s One Acquisition Solution for Integrated Services (OASIS) Small Business (SB) program. These awards provide federal agencies access to professional services and fully integrated solutions across a variety of domains.

The scope of OASIS spans many areas of expertise and is divided into the following Core Disciplines: Program Management Services, Management Consulting Services, Scientific Services, Engineering Services, Logistics Services, and Financial Management Services. Across the Multiple Award, Indefinite Delivery, Indefinite Quantity (IDIQ) contract, awardees will have the opportunity to provide Government-wide professional services with a 10-year period of performance and a value of up to $60 billion.

FMG was awarded prime contracts in both... more

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Focus Group Best Practices: Icebreakers

qualitative / focus group / blog

No matter what content or structure you have planned for your focus group research project, the first thing a moderator needs to do in any group is to get the participants talking. When people walk into a focus group they generally don’t know anyone, and may not even know what the discussion will be about. Those first few minutes of the discussion can set the tone for the whole group, so it is critical to start off with an icebreaker that makes your respondents feel comfortable and willing to participate.

The icebreaker is the first question that the moderator asks in the group and is usually part of participant introductions. It is often the only question that participants will feel they have to answer, since... more

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FMG Heads to the 69th AAPOR Conference in Anaheim

conferences / public opinion / research design / news

Arlington, Virginia – May 14, 2014 –FMG employees will head to Anaheim for the 69th American Association for Public Opinion Research (AAPOR) Conference at the Anaheim Marriott. This year's theme is “Measurement and the Role of Public Opinion in a Democracy.”

The AAPOR conference features cutting-edge educational sessions, in-depth short courses, informal access to leaders in the field, and an informative exhibit hall with representatives from key service and product providers.

For those headed to AAPOR, keep your eye out for FMG’s poster sessions and paper presentations: Eye Tracking the User Experience of a Smartphone and Web Data Collection Tool Jennifer Romano Bergstrom, Fors Marsh Group Michael Link, The Nielsen Company Kelly Bristol, The Nielsen Company

The Impact of Deadlines on the Effectiveness of... more

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Answering a Big Question with a Small Sample: Estimating the Size of the Overseas Citizen Population

client work / market research / military research / research design / voting / blog

The Defense Department’s Federal Voting Assistance Program (FVAP) is charged with ensuring that active duty military and U.S. citizens residing overseas have the opportunity to vote is U.S. elections. While the U.S. government keeps track of the size and location of active duty military, similar information is not available for overseas civilians. In an attempt to address this lack of information about this important population, FVAP tasked FMG with developing estimates of the size of the overseas civilian population by country. In this blog, I will briefly discuss the approach FMG used to develop these estimates as well as the results. It is FMG’s hope that general approach described here can provide guidance to researchers who face similar problems with respect to developing predictive models... more

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Totes Ma Goats: With invasive species month ending, goats join the cause.

client work / current events / social marketing / blog

USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) declared April as Invasive Plant Pest and Disease Awareness Month and asked that people join a fight they can’t win alone. In one Michigan county, APHIS will have some unlikely helpers too – goats! Starting next month, goats will graze on invasive species as part of a parks department pilot program.

Though experts have deemed invasive species a serious risk, many laypeople don’t think invasive species are particularly dangerous or relevant (and thus don’t allocate many if any resources to learning about them or reducing them). A lack of public engagement and shared responsibility is problematic given a simple action or uninformed decision can wreak havoc on our environment. For example, a seemingly harmless souvenir... more

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