This is from notes I took earlier, but didn’t have time to post. This session was beyond standing room only - people were standing out in the hall! Rachel has already blogged about this, but I thought it was worth putting out there again. You can also download the full white paper. Great data!
- Stephanie Geyer, Associate VP of E-Communications and Web Strategy, Noel Levitz
- Darren Wacker, Higher Education Consultant, James Tower
- Lance Merker, CEO, OmniUpdate
1000 college bound high school seniors, randomly selected
95% confidence interval
+/- 3% margin of error
1) How they find your site
What you go to look for a college website, what page are you most like to land on?
- Home page 72%
- Specific page of interest 19%
- Random page 8%
Google the number 1 resource for searching - 41%
Only 13% are referred from a printed piece
Very few doing research on myspace or facebook
2) How they navigate through it
Navigating links should take me to answers - 85%
Only 15% will use the search function (maybe they’ve learned the search function on college websites is a little ick)
Seth Meranda says the results are flopped for current students - they are much more likely to search
5 Main questions students always ask
- do you have my major?
- can i afford it?
- is it in the right location?
- can i get in/how do i get in?
- will i fit?
3) How much will they read
Student do read online now
Look for admissions deadlines and details, financial info and location
They’ll print out details and data about the enrollment process
The balance between “read” and “do”: 42% said they need more than click and read…but 52% said they were just there to read and consume information.
What do they want to do? Apply (80%), request a campus visit (73%), get RSS feeds (59%), calculate the cost to attend (58%)
4) Preferred site design
Should site be edgy or traditional? 50% like bold edgy designs (62% of these said the web was more of a priority), 43% like traditional approach
Content is more important that how it looks 80%
Look and feel is more important 18%
5) Social Networking preferences
An even split between Facebook and MySpace for preference - only 49% on both. Facebook 50% and Myspace 52% Darren would make the arguement that people are more interested in engagement on Facebook - MySpace is for entertainment, whereas Facebook is about their whole lives
22% are not on either
Will they “friend” you? 70% want to engage on there, 28% won’t, 3% don’t have an opinion
On private social networks: 75% would engage with you - they want it. 22% said no, 2% have no opinion.
Do they want us to initate conversation? only 51% want that. 46% said no. they’ll find you if they want to talk to you. There may be more leeway if there is a pre existing relationship.
What content do they want on a social network?
- Discussions about courses and academics - 3.74 out of 5
- Student activities - 3.65
- Insight into school culture - 3.37
- Communication with students/faculty 3.01
- Profiles of current students and faculty 2.88
Not looking for issues about financial aid on these networks - they want it off of your edu website.
6) How do you talk to them?
70% prefer to apply online
Want to communicate w/students and faculty online
Only 32% want to pay their deposit online
Only 15% want to find out their acceptance.
7) Importance of website content
I had to leave before they got to this part….if you took notes on this, or the rest of the presentation, please leave a comment!