1 The E-expectations of College-Bound High School Juniors and Seniors Stephanie Geyer Associate Vice President for Web Strategy and Interactive Marketing Services
2 Warning: Data Overload Imminent!
3 E-Expectations Research Finding answers since 2005 Visit any partner site to find the latest studies, including the 2012 E-expectations of Juniors and Seniors white paper and trend reports for our recent Mobile and Communication Preferences studies.
4 An opportunity to compare their preferences with our practices Look for this logo to signal data points from the E-Recruitment Practices study of 256 U.S. colleges and universities facilitated by Noel- Levitz via Web survey in April 2012
5 Agenda and Study Goals Overview Web Sites Social Media E-communications Goals Methodology Demographics Other sources How do they find and use our sites? Using mobile? What tools? Content-focused engagement What are they using? Do they connect these resources with their college search? Is still a viable tool to reach them? Is it OK to send them text messages?
6 Methodology Telephone survey of 2,000 high school students Facilitated in March and April 2012 List source: National Research Center for College and University Admissions (NRCCUA) 95% confidence interval +/- 3% margin of error
7 Enrollment Status Juniors: Most juniors (90%) at the prospect and inquiry stages, as we would expect. Seniors: 40% still outside of the accepted stage and 15% not even in an inquiry pool
8 Looking at your site: when? how? Web Sites How do they find and use our sites? Using mobile? What tools? Content-focused engagement
9 Juniors: 1. Gather info about school, Goals for Site Use programs and culture (58%) 2. Take next steps in enrollment (34%) 3. Find ways to connect with staff (8%)
10 Seniors: 1. Gather info about school, Goals for Site Use programs and culture (47%) 2. Take next steps in enrollment (45%) 3. Find ways to connect with staff (7%)
11 Form over Function
12 Facts vs. Feelings
13 Photos or Words?
14 How will they respond to a bad Web site experience? Schools that are recommended fare worst Three scenarios: Highly interested Somewhat interested Recommended by someone
15 If they struggle with your site, their opinion of your school will be diminished 100% 90% 80% 70% 53% 35% 30% 60% No Change 50% 40% 45% 47% Diminish Opinion Severe Harm 30% 20% 10% 0% 41% 20% 23% 6% High interest Some interest Recommended
16 55% struggled with navigation, especially juniors looking for academic and cost content What challenges did they experience on the last college site they visited?
17 Student Content Priorities? 55% Academics (program listings and details) 2012 Noel-Levitz, Inc E-Expectations Report: The Online Expectations of College-Bound Juniors and Seniors
18 Students preferred methods for learning about academic programs 80% 70% 60% 50% 40% 30% 71% 69% 60% 56% How do you feel about your academic program pages? 52% 49% 43% 38% 31% 27% 20% 10% 0% Brochures Web page Campus presentations Faculty Web search Independent sites Videos Social media Blog posts Live chat/ Webcast 2012 Noel-Levitz, Inc.
19 How can your Web site users find your academic programs today? 45% 40% 35% 41% 33% 30% 25% 26% 20% 15% 10% 5% 0% Browse through an alphabetical list Use a site search engine Look through college or departmental Web pages for all programs within that area 2012 Noel-Levitz, Inc.
20 80% 70% 60% 50% 40% 30% 20% 10% More than half are using search engines to find your academic content. Are you helping them? 71% 69% 60% 56% 52% 49% Using SEO strategies? 43% 38% 42% of 4-yr privates 34% of 4-yr publics 31% 27% 21% of 2-yr schools 0% Brochures Web page Campus presentations Faculty Web search Independent sites Videos Social media Blog posts Live chat/ Webcast 2012 Noel-Levitz, Inc.
21 Students preferred methods for learning about cost and financial aid 60% 50% 40% 30% 49% 32% 28% How do you feel about your digital resources regarding cost, value and affordability? 20% 21% 18% 17% 17% 16% 10% 11% 10% 8% 0% Web page Brochures Staff Staff presentations Independent sites Web search Videos Cost calculator Live chat/ Webcast Social media Student blogs 2012 Noel-Levitz, Inc.
22 Calculator Use Lower for Juniors 31% of seniors had used one, compared to 15% of juniors Why haven t they used a calculator yet? 74% haven t found one, up from 50% in 2011 New data from the 2013 Net Price Calculator Study not yet released Two-thirds of students complete calculators on their own More than half (56%) reported that they guessed when entering details about their families finances.
23 They are using mobile devices to view your sites. 52% of college-bound students have looked at a college Web site on a mobile phone or tablet What is the top content priority for mobile users? Academics Less than 40% of colleges offer Web sites that are optimized for mobile browsing 2012 Noel-Levitz, Inc E-Recruiting Practices and Trends at Four-Year and Two-Year Institutions
24 What calls-to-action should you include on your program pages? When they find the content they need on your site, they re going to look for a way to connect and engage! 1. Inquiry form 2. Visit options 3. Faculty links 4. Admissions links 5. Catalog detail Looking for a great inquiry form experience and response? Check out Mississippi College.
25 Exposure to QR codes at odds with use Using QR codes? 67% of 4-yr privates 61% of 4-yr publics 44% of 2-yr schools 17% of juniors and 13% of seniors have used a QR code related to a college or university 84% said it was a worthwhile experience
26 43% of all students have viewed a virtual tour or interactive campus map 32% to see how big/small the campus is 26% to learn more about the area around campus 24% to get a sense of the buildings and architectural style 11% to see the insides of the residence halls 4% to see what the people look like
27 Did it change the way you feel about the school? Virtual tour: 40% of 4-yr privates 52% of 4-yr publics 38% of 2-yr schools 51% no change 33% yes, for the better 12% some better, some worse 3% yes, for the worse Interactive map: 35% of 4-yr privates 44% of 4-yr publics 10% of 2-yr schools
28 Students say they would participate in live chat sessions 69% of all students would participate in a live chat event with faculty about a specific program Student: I ve heard your engineering program is one of the best. Can you explain why? Faculty Member: There are a few important factors to consider 72% would do so to learn more about cost, aid, and scholarships
29 Webcam use higher among some students of color 75% of students would talk to an admission rep or current student via webcam 81% of juniors 69% of seniors Underrepresented students are more likely to use webcams for personal use 45% overall Asian (62%) African-American (52%) Hispanic (46%) Caucasian (39%)
30 If only we would ASK them to participate in live chat While 75% of students would chat with college reps via webcam... only 4% have actually had these online conversations Online Channels Offered 4-year private 4-year public Live chats 34% 39% 7% 2-year school Instant messaging 16% 21% 10% Web camera 11% 10% 0% Webcast events 10% 16% 7% Skype 35% 19% 7% FaceTime 4% 5% 3%
31 Have you pinned anything yet? Social Media What are they using? Do they connect these resources with their college search?
32 Which social media resources do students use at least once per week? Facebook 79% Pinterest 6% YouTube 62% Storify 1% Twitter 27% SCVNGR 1% Google+ 19% Foursquare 1% Tumblr 9% None 7% StumbleUpon 7% 2012 Noel-Levitz, Inc E-Expectations Report: The Online Expectations of College-Bound Juniors and Seniors
33 79% of students surveyed are using Facebook
34 46% of Facebook users have clicked Like on a college and university page
35 34% of Facebook users who like college and university pages are expecting to find posts about your academic programs
36 Up to 98% of all schools surveyed have at least one Facebook resource
37 Twitter use increased to 27% up from 9% 25% follow a school feed (up from 19%)
38 Twitter use increased to 27% up from 9% 44% Of schools surveyed use Twitter
39 19% of students surveyed are using G+ 10% of those users have researched schools on Google+ 10% of schools surveyed have resources on Google+
41 6% use Pinterest; 5% pin school posts Up to 11% of schools surveyed are using Pinterest
42 More than a third (35%) will check in while visiting your campus 35% will check in 12% might 53% would not (This question asked of any student indicating use of Facebook, FourSquare, Gowalla, SCVNGR or other location-based resources.)
43 What methods do you use to build engagement? E-communications How do they find your school? Is e- mail still a viable tool to reach them? Is it OK to send them text messages?
44 People, print, and Web resources help them build their list of schools People Guidance Counselors (74%) Friends (68%) Teachers (66%) Family (66%) Coaches (38%) Resources Brochures/print mail from schools (72%) Google, Bing, or Yahoo search (67%) s I get from schools (62%) The College Board (51%) MyCollegeOptions (40%) CollegeWeekLive (30%) Cappex (12%) Zinch (8%) Peterson s (5%)
45 use remains steady 78% of juniors; 85% of seniors say they still use at least once per week 93% will give an address to schools Just 5% will give a family or parent account When? When they ask for it 55% Juniors 63% Seniors 48% Application 40% Juniors 33% Seniors 45% Post-acceptance 4% Never 1%
46 But, will they open those messages? 97% will open a message from a school of interest 68% will open a message from an unknown school
47 It might be time to start your texting program, if you haven t already 60% say it s OK to send them texts Especially African-American and Hispanic Lower income Students from the South Mobile users Why not? 85% say texting isn t an appropriate venue; just for family and friends
49 Are your digital assets integrated and service-focused? Remember that some potential students may join your pool early, some will come really late. Invest (time for testing) in your information architecture. Work on academic and cost sections! Don t forget to incorporate search engine optimization strategies. Ready for even more mobile users? flows are still worth your time, especially at the yield stage; supplement with text, too. Experiment with a variety of live conversation and engagement options.
51 Available for free at noellevitz.com Visit NoelLeviz.com and enter keyword: E-expectations to gain access to these reports and others. Keep an eye out for these new studies: Net Price Calculator Users E-expectations of International Students 2013 Junior and Senior Study: Mobile Expectations
2012 E-Expectations Report The Online Expectations of College-Bound Juniors and Seniors A look at their behavior and expectations regarding college Web sites, e-communications, social media, and more Noel-Levitz,
2014 E-Expectations Report The Online Preferences of College-Bound High School Seniors and Their Parents For many college-bound high school students, the decision about where to go to college is not theirs
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