“It’s clear from these findings that many prospective college students have turned to their smartphones and tablets during the research process,” said Stephanie Geyer, associate vice president at Noel-Levitz.
Denver, Colorado (PRWEB) July 16, 2013
A new national study finds three out of every four college-bound high school students have access to a mobile device, and that 68 percent have viewed college Web sites via mobile. Forty-three percent of respondents said that they go online almost exclusively using their mobile devices.
Students also showed a strong interest in colleges optimizing their mobile browsing experience. Half preferred to have college Web sites adapt to mobile displays, while 73 percent expressed interest in institutions offering campus-specific mobile applications.
This study, the 2013 E-Expectations Report: The Impact of Mobile Browsing on the College Search Process, surveyed 2,000 high school juniors and seniors. It is part of the ongoing E-Expectations research project conducted by Noel-Levitz, OmniUpdate, CollegeWeekLive, and NRCCUA (the National Research Center for College & University Admissions). The report was released on July 16 during the National Conference on Student Recruitment, Marketing, and Retention.
Those students browsing campus Web sites on mobile devices also showed interest in submitting forms from those devices. Nearly half said they had submitted requests for more information, while two-thirds said they would be interested in submitting forms to schedule visits, register for an open house, or calculate cost. Fifty percent even said they would be willing to submit an application on a mobile device.
“It’s clear from these findings that many prospective college students have turned to their smartphones and tablets during the research process,” said Stephanie Geyer, associate vice president at Noel-Levitz who oversees the annual E-Expectations research for the firm. “These numbers are certainly going to grow, which means that campuses need to optimize for the mobile experience, not just on their Web sites, but e-mail, social media, and other electronic communications.”
Respondents showed that e-mail remains one of the top communication methods for admissions departments. Nearly all students (98 percent) said they would open an e-mail from a college on their list, and 68 percent said they would open an e-mail from colleges they did not know. Eighty percent of students said they use e-mail at least once per week, and 47 percent said they checked e-mail on a daily basis on their mobile devices.
Furthermore, 65 percent of students said they were willing to receive text messages from campuses, although only 16 percent said they had received such messages.
Social media use, meanwhile, fell compared to results from the 2012 E-Expectations Report. Facebook use declined from 79 percent to 67 percent. Twitter was the second most frequently used social media resources, but only 28 percent of students said they used it.
“It is interesting to see these results, because in recent years, many thought social media and texting would surge past e-mail as the preferred communication method with teenaged prospective college students,” added Geyer. “Yet each year, the E-Expectations participants tell us that e-mail is one of their most used and trusted resources during the search process.”
At the same time, despite many students looking at college Web sites on mobile devices, 82 percent said they preferred to look at college Web sites on desktop or laptop computers. Geyer believes this once again points to the importance of mobile optimization.
“At first glance, this finding may seem to downplay the importance of mobile optimization, but in reality, I think it makes its importance more apparent,” Geyer said. “Students may be using desktops and laptops because they cannot do what they want to do during the college search process on their phones and tablets. As campuses optimize for mobile—not just in terms of design, but content and functionality as well—I think you will see the majority of students in the coming years conducting their searches and even applying for college via mobile devices.”
About the survey sponsors
Noel-Levitz is a recognized leader in higher education consulting and research. For 40 years, they have partnered with more than 2,800 campuses to optimize enrollment management and student success through experienced consultation, advanced analytic tools, and campus assessments.
OmniUpdate is the leading Web content management system (CMS) provider for higher education. Their enterprise Web CMS, OU Campus™, empowers institutions to effectively manage and enhance their Web presence and take advantage of the latest Web and mobile technologies.
CollegeWeekLive is the leading channel for live conversations with prospective students. Colleges reach high schools they do not travel to, engage students in an online environment they prefer, and improve results at every stage of the enrollment process.
NRCCUA (National Research Center for College & University Admissions) conducts the nation’s largest educational planning survey among high school students. This valuable program facilitates a key link between the individual educational.