1 Trends in Student Perspectives of their College Search 2013 #IACAC Conference
2 How does Zinch help you? Save 9me and money by connec9ng directly with best- fit students around the world Personalize the recrui9ng process through social media by students first in your outreach Stay informed about current trends in the industry through best in- class research and professional development
3 Zinch: By the Numbers Reaches over 40% of college- bound seniors Connect with secret shoppers and stealth applicants Over 9 million connec9ons between students and their right- fit colleges and universi9es over the past 3 years Chegg reaches 35% of current college students Zinch registra9on popula9on in- line with US popula9on
4 Why this Study Background: Gain greater insights into high school students and new college students selec3on process in selec3ng a college or university Methodology: Survey invita3ons were ed to Zinch students Survey Dates: February 2013 Update to survey conducted February 2012 High School Students: 4,013 respondents - 70% high school seniors - 30% college freshmen Similar survey was fielded in Q with 3,000+ respondents. YOY tracking is highlighted where significant
6 Respondents Respondents represent minori9es and are representa9vely spread throughout US Ethnicity GPA White/Non- Hispanic Hispanic or La9no Black or African American 18% 15% 63% 4.1 or above % 45% 25% Asian 14% % More than one race 7% % American Indian or Alaskan Na9ve Hawaiian or Other Pacific 1% 1% Top States of Residence 2.0 or below I don't know 1% 2% MI: 5% NY: 6% CA: 16% IL: 4% IN: 3% PA: 4% GA: 3% TX: 9% FL: 5%
7 Respondent Status 70% are high school seniors; majority have been accepted to at least one college Respondent Status College student (2nd year or higher) 1% Other (please specify) 2% Community College/Junior College/ Technical School Student 1% I have been accepted to at least one college, but I haven t decided which I will agend. I am already enrolled in college. 32% 26% College freshman 26% I have been accepted to at least one college and have decided where I will agend 22% High School Senior 70% I have applied to at least one college, but haven t heard back about admission yet. 14% I have not applied to any colleges yet. 4% Q1. I am a: Q2. Which of the following statements best describes where you are in your college search process?
8 Student research frequency The number is high, but below widely adopted industry percep9on Number of schools researched before applying I am s9ll researching colleges 2% More than 10 28% 6 to 10 19% % 4 to 6 31% Students applied to an average of 5.4 schools Though many are s9ll wai9ng for responses, students have been accepted into an average 3.1 schools so far Q3. How many colleges did you research (visit, view websites, read about in guidebooks, read about in publica9ons) before deciding to apply? Q21. To how many colleges do you plan to apply/did you apply? Q23. To how many colleges were you accepted? (leave blank if you haven t applied yet)
9 The College Search February 2013
11 The College Search College websites, search engines most used; All resources used most for ini9al research The college s.edu site Online search sites College board website Informa9on on other website Gather and share info via social media Direct mail from schools I didn t request info from Materials from a College fair s from schools I didn t request info from Direct mail from schools I did request info from Campus Tour Speak to a college counselor Speak to faculty at the college Speak to admissions officers at the college Online and non- online sources used throughout the applica9on process 90% 80% 70% 60% 50% 40% 30% 20% 10% 0% Ini9al research on colleges (before deciding to apply) Amer deciding to apply to a college Amer applying to a college Amer being accepted to a college Q10. Which non- online resource(s) did you or would you use during each phase of the college applica9on process? Q11. Which online resource(s) did you or would you use during each phase of the college applica9on process? (Select all that apply)
12 Students Consideration Set Students considera9on set is decided second half of junior year, first half of senior year When students added colleges to their considera9on set Rela9vely flat compared to % 61% 62% 54% 39% 32% 18% 22% 21% 14% 16% 20% Freshman year of high school Sophomore year of high school First half of junior Second half /summer year of high school of junior year of high school First half of senior year of high school Second half of senior year of high school Q4. At what points in your college research process did you add colleges to your list of schools to which you would apply? (Select all responses that apply)
13 Top Online Resources CollegeBoard.com and Zinch are top online sources where students hear about schools Online sources where hear about colleges researched CollegeBoard.com Zinch* Online searches (e.g., Google/Yahoo!/Bing) Cappex Facebook CollegeWeekLive US News and World Report* Princeton Review* YouTube Google+ (Google's Social network) Twiger Tumblr Instagram Pinterest College Prowler* Other 34% 22% 22% 16% 15% 7% 6% 5% 2% 2% 1% 1% 4% 61% 58% 52% *Nearly 70% used Zinch or one of its partners Q6. Through which online resources (websites and social media) did you hear about the colleges you researched?
14 The Zinch Cloud Real-time access to students searching for you across the web Advantage with cross-app students Targeted outreach across multiple platforms Highly qualified inquiries
15 Unsolicited Communications Direct mail and declining in relevance; Only effec9ve 18% of 9me Recall of direct mail Influence the communica9ons had on applica9on decision Influence of un- solicited communica9on decreased by 45% 84% % 2013 Recall of direct mail decreased by 12% from % 18% Q15. Did you receive messages ( , phone calls, or mail in your mailbox) from schools you had not heard of before star9ng your college search? (select all that apply) Q16. To what extent did any of these communica9ons influence your decision to apply to any of these schools?
16 Unsolicited Mail S9ll, 55% of students throw out the bulk of unsolicited direct mail 57% of students with GPAs 3.6+ read less than half of their unsolicited mail Vs. 44% of those with GPAs under % - - I read it all un3l I made my decision About 75% - - I read most of it un3l I made my decision About 50% - - I read half of it un3l I made my decision About 25% - - I threw out most of it 0% - - I threw out all of it I didn t receive any mail 3.6+ GPA <3.6 GPA All Respondents 13% 21% 17% 27% 28% 30% 23% 23% 24% 34% 28% 20% 2% 1% 3% 1% 3% 1% More than half of respondents threw away half or more of the unsolicited mail they received (consistent with 2012) Q12. Colleges omen send mail (actual paper brochures, pamphlets, legers) to high school students with the hope of that student interested in considering that college. The next few ques9ons deal with this unsolicited mail. Thinking of the mail in your mailbox you received from colleges that you didn t specifically request, how much of that mail did you read?
17 Getting Stealth Applicants on Your Radar Tradi9onal Search Process Send search piece Student applies Enroll Interested student sends back Postcard/goes on coded microsite to request info Admiged!
18 Getting Stealth Applicants on Your Radar Today s College Search Send search piece Student applies Enroll Student researches you on sites like Zinch, College Prowler, etc Admiged!
19 Majors and Reputation Majors and reputa9on mager most in considering a school; tui9on and school fit follow Importance of factors to include a school in considera9on set Average line Offers the major(s) I m interested in studying Reputa9on of quality of educa9on Availability of merit- based financial aid I believe I could do well at that school Cost of tui9on and housing/meals Availability of need- based financial aid The feel I had when I visited the campus Q8. When a college on your list of schools you would consider applying to or agending, how much weight do you put on each of these addi9onal factors?
20 School Consideration Set Other less important factors in placing school into considera9on set Importance of factors to include a school in considera9on set Other factors Average line I thought I could get in Reputa9on of on- the- job training opportuni9es at Geographical loca9on of school (e.g., town I like, near Distance from my hometown Size of college popula9on The school will accept my transfer credits College focus (e.g., religious based, art school, etc.) Reputa9on for college social life Recommenda9on of teacher or school counselors Diversity of student body/faculty Availability of intramural and/or club sports programs I know people in that area (family, friends) I know people who go to that school Friend agended that college Family member agended that college Pres9ge of intercollegiate athle9c teams Availability of athle9c scholarships Q8. When a college on your list of schools you would consider applying to or agending, how much weight do you put on each of these addi9onal factors?
21 I ve Applied February 2013
22 I ve Applied or Decided to Apply Requested direct mail from schools is best means of contact amer students apply The college s.edu site Online search sites College board website Informa9on on other website Gather and share info via social media Direct mail from schools I didn t request info from Materials from a College fair s from schools I didn t request info from Direct mail from schools I did request info from Campus Tour Speak to a college counselor Speak to faculty at the college Speak to admissions officers at the college 70% 60% 50% 40% 30% 20% 10% 0% Sources used throughout the applica9on process Ini9al research on colleges (before deciding to apply) Amer deciding to apply to a college Highest response during applica9on phase Amer applying to a college Amer being accepted to a college Q10. Which non- online resource(s) did you or would you use during each phase of the college applica9on process? Q11. Which online resource(s) did you or would you use during each phase of the college applica9on process? (Select all that apply)
23 Students Attending a Wide Range of Schools School agending/planning to agend Q24. If you have applied to and been accepted by a college, what school did you end up agending / are you planning to agend? (Please leave blank if you haven't applied or heard back yet)
24 The Decision February 2013
26 The Decision Personal contact maintains level of importance throughout the process The college s.edu site Online search sites College board website Informa9on on other website Gather and share info via social media Direct mail from schools I didn t request info from Materials from a College fair s from schools I didn t request info from Direct mail from schools I did request info from Campus Tour Speak to a college counselor Speak to faculty at the college Speak to admissions officers at the college 45% 40% 35% 30% 25% 20% 15% 10% 5% 0% Sources used throughout the applica9on process Speaking to college counselor and faculty at college saw large increase in early stages YOY Ini9al research on colleges (before deciding to apply) Amer deciding to apply to a college Amer applying to a college Amer being accepted to a college Q10. Which non- online resource(s) did you or would you use during each phase of the college applica9on process? Q11. Which online resource(s) did you or would you use during each phase of the college applica9on process? (Select all that apply)
27 Direct Mail and Direct mail maintains impact at decision, personal contacts rise in significance Preferred methods of contact by schools throughout selec9on process Direct mail/ legers Phone Text message Social Media Skype/ Virtual Open Houses First contact from the school 64% 64% 12% 3% 6% 4% Follow up from the school 73% 50% 26% 5% 5% 4% Amer applying 75% 55% 34% 8% 10% 7% Regarding applica9on amer applying 75% 50% 37% 9% 7% 4% Regarding campus visit 78% 44% 32% 8% 7% 5% Amer campus visit 78% 43% 27% 7% 8% 4% Regarding admigance or rejec9on 65% 70% 27% 7% 6% 3% Amer being admiged 76% 63% 40% 12% 15% 7% Q20. What are your preferred methods of being contacted by a school in these stages of the applica9on process? (select all that apply)
28 School Attendance Two- thirds are agending first- choice school; If not, finances, acceptance are top barriers Percent agending their first choice of colleges If no, why didn t you agend your first choice school I couldn t afford it 23% No 37% I didn t get in Not sure 18% 14% Yes 63% I changed my mind amer accepted 13% The school I ended up choosing was more helpful throughout the process Other (please specify) 5% 28% haven t heard back yet, haven t decided yet Q25. Was this your first choice of the colleges to which you had applied? Q26. If no, why did you not agend your first choice school?
29 Top Factors in School Attendance Academic program and finances are top factors in deciding which school to agend Impact of factors in helping decide which school to agend Average line This school had the academic program I was looking for This school was within my price range (amer financial aid package is taken into account) This school had the student life I was looking for This school had the clubs/ac9vi9es (including athle9cs program) I was looking for This school is close to home This school is away from home This is where my parents wanted me to go I know a lot of students at this school This is where my parents went Q27. How impaczul are the following in helping you decide which school to agend?
30 Key insights & recommendations Ins9tu9ons should con9nue to consider shiming their recruitment investments. Decline in recall and influence of tradi3onal outreach is on the decline. Cost and affordability must be an integral part of communica9ons, par9cularly at the yield phase. Nearly 25% of students limi3ng choice due to cost. Colleges and Universi9es must maintain their presence online, outside of their.edu. Ex. The Zinch Cloud reached close to 70% of students surveyed while doing their research online.
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