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

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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


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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