OmniUpdate Announces New Research on Website Expectations of Prospective College Students

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OmniUpdate Announces New Research on Website Expectations of Prospective College Students

Co-Sponsored Report Summarizes the Critical Role Web Content Plays in Influencing Recruitment Decisions

Camarillo, California July 20, 2010 - OmniUpdate, Inc., the leading web content management system (CMS) provider for higher education, announced today the availability of a new research report, Focusing Your E-Recruitment Efforts to Meet the Expectations of College-Bound Students. This research project was conducted during 2010 in cooperation with OmniUpdate, Noel-Levitz, and the National Research Center for College & University Admissions (NRCCUA) and surveyed more than 1,000 college-bound seniors throughout North America.

Published by Noel-Levitz as part of their E-Expectations research series, the report reveals the increasingly crucial role of website content in the college evaluation and selection process. The study found that the most valued website content included information about academics (54 percent); costs, aid, scholarships, and loans (30 percent); and admissions (10 percent).

In addition, social media continues to play a significant role: 33 percent of respondents have searched for schools on websites like Facebook, YouTube, MySpace, and Twitter; 74 percent stated a college or university should have a presence on these sites, and 76 percent thought schools should create their own private social networks. Other highlights include:

  • 100 percent of those surveyed have visited at least one college or university website, 48 percent have visited three to nine websites, and 43 percent have visited 10 or more
  • 75 percent of respondents stated they learn about a school by finding its website
  • 92 percent said that if an institution’s website content did not meet their expectations, they would be disappointed or even consider dropping that school from their search; this is an increase from 88 percent in the 2009 survey
  • 65 percent of respondents stated their interest in an institution was affected by their website experience
  • 81 percent of respondents stated online applications had extreme or a lot of value; other desirable interactive features included a campus visit request form (77 percent), net cost calculator (68 percent), online course catalog (67 percent), RSS feeds (64 percent), website personalization features (59 percent), virtual tours (58 percent), and admitted-student portal sites (53 percent)
  • 67 percent of respondents stated videos made by both the college and students were valuable

The study affirms that the website plays a vital role in a higher education institution's recruitment efforts and that a negative content experience could reduce a student's interest in a school. Lance Merker, President and CEO of OmniUpdate, further elaborated, "The research clearly indicates that accurate and relevant website content is critical to the success of an institution’s marketing and admissions efforts. A web CMS, like our OU CampusTM product, can help simplify and streamline the process of updating and maintaining web content, thereby helping colleges and universities achieve their recruitment objectives."

About OmniUpdate
OmniUpdate provides higher education institutions with enterprise-class web content management system (CMS) solutions to easily and cost-effectively manage and enhance their web presence and take advantage of the latest web technologies. The company’s flagship web CMS, OU CampusTM, is a secure and scalable solution offering a complete feature set, extensible tools, and deployment flexibility supported by remarkable customer service and extensive community resources. More than 550 college and university websites are managed using OU Campus.

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