E-Expectations: How to Focus Your Online Recruiting Efforts

Yesterday, Noel-Levitz released it’s latest E-Expectations Report about what college-bound students are looking for in terms of online engagement during the admissions process. They surveyed more than 1,000 high school students about their online behavior and expectations. As usual, it contained a wealth of information about where colleges should consider focusing their efforts. Here are some of the findings:

Students are visiting college websites often, the majority at least once a week: 48% of students are visiting a few times each week, while 8% of students are visiting a college website every day. Only 6% are visiting a few times a year.

Most students (93%) are going online at home and only 23% report using a smart phone for browsing.

When searching for colleges65% said they ended up on a college’s home page, rather than a more specific departmental page.

Don’t get rid of those print mailings just yet: 89% of students reported learning about schools from what they received in the mail. This compares to 79% from email messages, 61% from college fairs and 35% from advertising.

One in four students will remove a school from their list if they can’t find what they need on their website.

The paradox of online cost calculators: While the vast majority of students agree that an online cost calculator is a valuable thing to have on a siteonly 34% had ever actually used one.

76% of students are on Facebook, compared with 59% on YouTube, 33% on MySpace and only 8% on Twitter. 76% think schools should create their own private social networks.

67% of students think it is OK for colleges to contact them over a social media site, but only 33% wanted to contact a school over text.

Only 10% are watching your videos on YouTube, whereas 42% are watching videos on your school’s site. 47% aren’t watching your videos at all. Not surprisingly, most students want to see video produced by students.

46% said they had reconsidered their college choices due to the economic crisis.

And there’s so much more in the report. You can download the full report here »

6 Responses to “E-Expectations: How to Focus Your Online Recruiting Efforts”

  1. Says:

    Tons of great data in this report.

    The online cost calculator data paradox is interesting. Come next year, every school is required to have one. I wonder if one of the big barriers to use so far is that many schools don’t have them on their site.

    There was some debate yesterday on Twitter about the YouTube stats. I wonder if some of the issue is the one-size-fits-all mentality that seems to dominate on school’s YouTube channels. Could colleges and universities would get better responses by creating playlists (i.e. selected list of videos) targeted for various audiences — a playlist for prospects, a playlist for alumni, a playlist for current students, a playlist for sports fans?

    The survey seems to suggest that students are drawing a line with how aggressively they are willing to be marketed to with the social media vs. text figures. A Facebook Page or Group doesn’t seem to be nearly as in-your-face as a text. Your average high school student is probably interacting with brands, institutions, games, and other 3rd parties on places like Facebook. Most are probably only getting texts from friends. And what sort of meaningful information are you going to provide in a standard text message?

    Thanks for sharing a summary and highlighting some of the interesting figures from the report.

  2. Says:

    Head of Marketing - I appreciate the summary! Good stuff…as always. Hope all is well with you :) — Kathy

  3. Says:

    i appreciate it !

  4. Says:

    Very detailed information : ) Very good and informative read. Thanks!

  5. Says:

    This is a very interesting and useful survey, especially when coupled with the research methods.

    However, as with anything - you should be using this information as just one tool in your overall decision making toolbox, mainly because we are all aware how often users say one thing and do another…

  6. Says:

    Thanks for sharing a summary and highlighting some of the interesting figures from the report.