Recruiting Transfer Students: Does Your School’s Website Hit the Mark?

By continuing to use this site, you agree to the storing of first- and third-party cookies on your device to enhance site navigation; analyze site, product, and service usage; and assist in our marketing and promotional efforts. Cookie Policy

Skip to main content

Research, Marketing & Recruitment

Recruiting Transfer Students: Does Your School’s Website Hit the Mark?

Unlike first-time college students, transfer students have experience navigating the world of academia. They’ve shifted their priorities away from concerns around “college fit” and “college experience.” And because they’ve already begun their academic journey, they can see an end to their undergraduate career in sight.

These factors alone should tell you how to structure your website to meet the needs of these savvy students. They know what they want and they know where to look. But if they don’t find it, they’ll look elsewhere.

How to ensure your website meets transfer students' needs


To keep prospective students focused on your school—and to prevent them from shopping around on other institutional websites—it’s imperative that your college or university’s website is as comprehensive as possible.

You want to make sure everything a transfer student needs and wants to know about your school can be found—and found easily—on your website.

We explored the data compiled in this year’s E-Expectations® of Transfer Students: A 2020 Trend Report and created a specific guide for campus marketers that focuses on website experiences.

Download E-Expectations of Transfer Students 2020: Focus on Website Experiences


This list of website “hits” and “misses” is based on the expectations and frustrations cited by transfer students surveyed for the report.

Transfer Student Frustrations with School Websites

Transfer students get frustrated when they have to navigate confusing pages, broken links, and outdated content on your website.

 

Website miss based on college transfer student survey  Not Enough Detail About Academic Programs

Providing an overview of majors and curriculum is not enough. Transfer students want an easy-to-find, comprehensive list of academic programs—and they want details about each program. A guided pathways approach is a good way to meet transfer student needs by providing them with this information. You’ll also want to include a list of potential careers for each major as well as detailed course descriptions with prerequisites so that students can make informed decisions about the classes they take and programs they choose.

Website miss based on college transfer student survey  Hard-to-Find Information

Your website might have basic information, but when a student gets ready to dig deeper, they’ll want to talk with a real person. Can they find contact names, emails, and phone numbers with ease? If not, it’s time to do a clean sweep of your website and make sure this kind of vital information is easy to find. Transfer students are paying close attention to whether your site is up to date. If you want to recruit transfer students, be consistent in adding and updating information about campus events, student experiences, clubs, and activities.

Transfer students may remove your school from their list if they are frustrated with your website..

Website miss based on college transfer student survey  Lack of Career-Specific Information

It’s one thing to enjoy a particular major; it’s another to know whether you can make a living with a certain degree. Transfer students, especially in the current economic climate, count job security as a prominent factor in their academic decision. They want information about salaries and job placement after graduation. They’ll be interested in learning what your career center offers and whether there are specific programs such as mentoring and resume writing that can help them in their search.


Transfer Student Needs: Website Must-Haves

Website hit based on college transfer student survey  Clear and Accessible Academic Program Information

Transfer students not only want to see a list of academic programs your institution offers, but they’re also interested in content and tools customized specifically for their needs. This includes information on how to transfer credits along with stories about how transfer students have been successful at your school.

Website hit based on college transfer student survey  User-Friendly Website

Students get frustrated when they have to navigate confusing pages, broken links, and outdated content on your website. It’s not enough to simply upload content to your site; it needs to be visually appealing and mobile-responsive. It needs to be chock full of helpful tools, and provide simple design and seamless navigation that makes it simple to find information. If your school’s site lacks the power to support these digital elements, it might be time to consider a new content management system (CMS) that can.

Website hit based on college transfer student survey  Statistics About Recent Graduates

Transfer students want to see how recent graduates have fared in the job market. They devour stories about alumni experiences, diving into how they landed jobs, and what it’s like to look for work after graduation. The more you can show successful student outcomes, the likelier that transfer students will seriously consider enrolling at your institution.

 

Leverage your CMS to encourage transfer student registrations

Your website is a super tool when it comes to recruiting transfer students, so don’t wait to optimize your college or university’s digital presence. Provide handy tools; present information in a clear, concise manner; and make it easy for students to find and understand the academic path they need to take for the outcome they envision. By elevating their engagement on your website, you’ll meet their expectations and increase the potential of their enrollment at your institution.

To learn more about transfer student web expectations and experiences, download E-Expectations of Transfer Students 2020: Focus on Website Experiences.

Download research paper now

Share this article:


Recommended Blog Posts

Get blog posts and more straight to your inbox!

Get blog posts and more straight to your inbox!

Join our mailing list to receive periodic emails with info about new blog posts, upcoming webcasts, and more.