Marketing & Recruitment, Research

What Are Your Prospective Students’ Mobile Habits? Survey Says…

Like most colleges and universities, you've probably watched a steady increase in the number of visitors coming to your website on mobile devices. Ever wonder what that trend looks like among prospective students?

It shouldn't come as a surprise that young people are very attached to their phones. The 2015 E-Expectations Report found that about 40% of college-bound juniors and seniors use mobile devices for all their online browsing. Nearly 70% of college-bound seniors viewed a college site on a mobile device within a week of taking the survey!

Mobile phones used throughout the admissions funnel

So what are they doing on their phones?

  • In addition to visiting your website, prospective students report using their mobile phones for a range of transactions:
    • Eighty percent of seniors have registered for an open house, a jump of more than 50% over last year
    • Nearly three-quarters of seniors have registered for a campus visit, double the previous year
    • Just over 60% of seniors have submitted a request for information, a 50% increase over last year
  • Nearly two-thirds of seniors check their email at least once a day on their phones, including reading emails from colleges

Most prospective students have completed online forms from mobile devices

figure-7

Catering to mobile users in the college admissions process

What does this mean for schools looking to woo prospective students?

  • Now's the time to make sure your website is optimized for mobile. Too many prospective students are viewing pages on mobile to make this optional any longer.
  • Consider the entire marketing funnel for digital communications:
    • We know students will check your email from their phones, so is your email in a responsive template?
    • If the email includes links to your website, are those pages mobile-friendly?
    • How about your calls to action? Are students asked to sign up for a campus visit? RSVP for an open house? Remember to check those forms on mobile!

This process can be made less daunting for schools that use a content management system (CMS) like OU Campus. A website using responsive design that is managed within a CMS makes serving prospective students with mobile-friendly web pages a hassle-free proposition.

The 2015 E-Expectations Report, titled What 10 Years of Research Has Told Us About College E-Recruitment, is sponsored by Ruffalo Noel Levitz, OmniUpdate, CollegeWeekLive, and the National Research Center for College & University Admissions.

Figure above is copyrighted by Ruffalo Noel Levitz and used with permission from the 2015 E-Expectations Report.

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