Millennials are ditching paper handouts and brochures in favor of doing their college search online. With students applying to a greater quantity of schools and more traveling out of state to continue their education, online sources are proving increasingly valuable.Websites should give a virtual look into life as a college student and provide dynamic content about academic programs, student life, faculty, etc. You can tell a lot by what an institution chooses to show (or not show) on their websites.
An updated and professional website shapes an atmosphere of prestige for potential applicants, while lackluster websites give the appearance of outdated facilities and resources. An institution’s website signals an emphasis on technology - an important element in higher education. Creating organized and user-friendly sites is necessary for building sites to keep your online visitors' attention and giving your content the attention it deserves.
In a survey sent out to recent college applicants, 75% have reported getting information about their higher education institution through campus websites while only 12.5% reported getting their information from paper handouts and brochures.
Campus websites are easier to update with Latest News & Events, which 87.5% of respondents consider when making their higher education decisions. 100% of respondents identified photo galleries as something they sought out on college websites - photos being another element easily added and more present on online sources than on a paper brochure. Interestingly, “campus website” was second only to “college visit” as most important source of information on a higher institution, establishing the institution’s website as the new campus tour.
Successful collegiate websites, according to student respondents, means “good organization and easy to navigate”, “professional but attractive”, and “relevant contact information and social media presence”. Unsuccessful websites are characterized as cluttered, glitchy, outdated, ugly and inconsistent in theme.
With OpenScholar, prospective students will see an organized and personalized indication of what it means to be a part of your higher education institution. With helpful documentation and video tutorials, as well as a drag and drop interface and seamless layout adjustments, achieving websites that are easy for you to maintain and easy for prospective students to navigate is simple. As a department or individual, you can easily show off your staff, courses, upcoming news and events, research and so much more to catch the eyes of potential applicants.