What are they thinking?
Why did they make that choice?
What influenced their decisions?
If you’re a college admissions officer, you’ve probably spent a lot of time wondering whether the design, content, calls to action, and navigation of your school’s website effectively engages your core audience of prospective students.
Wonder no more! For over a decade, the E-Expectations series, a collaborative study between OmniUpdate and Ruffalo Noel Levitz, has provided colleges and universities with insight from high school juniors and seniors about how they engage and interact with higher education institutions online. In the latest 2018 report, the findings are more impactful than ever, with recommended action steps based on the data.
Following are 5 ways you can tailor the 2018 E-Expectations Trend Report data to help you attract prospective students who are the best fit for your institution.
1. Include a cost calculator on your website.
Tuition information is the first thing students look for on college websites, and with the cost rising every year, it’s no surprise that juniors and seniors rank cost calculators as a crucial part of their search. Thirty-three percent of seniors and 35% of juniors surveyed have completed a cost calculator on their mobile device. Make your calculator count with interactive features like eligible aid built into the estimates and text messages that link to results.
2. Make admissions forms an easy ask.
Keep your forms short and sweet. Half of seniors and 41% of juniors said that if a form was too lengthy, they didn’t think twice about not finishing it. Keep in mind that students are also engaging on their phones, so smaller screens limit your asks even more.
3. Send reminders of important admission dates.
Is it too much to ask for deadline reminders for college applications? Seventy-six percent of seniors and 72%of juniors don’t think so. They like getting reminders to keep them on track.
4. Consider texting your go-to form of communication.
More than three-quarters of seniors and juniors were open to receiving texts from colleges and universities. The key is to make your texts personal and relevant by addressing the student by name and sending tailored reminders and confirmations.
5. Budget for paid ads.
Despite their annoyance, click ads work. In fact, 67% of seniors and 68% of juniors saw paid ads for colleges and universities, and 41% of seniors and 45% of juniors clicked on paid ads.
The more personalized, interactive, and streamlined your website is, the easier it is for students to find the information they want and need about your institution.
Interested in more data? Check out the 2018 E-Expectations Trend Report.