For Eduventures Principal Analyst Kim Reid, this year’s survey of admitted college-bound high school seniors known as My College Options™ was a huge success. Eduventures received more than 90,000 responses, three times more than in previous years.
The data, which Reid estimates accounts for “8% of all first-time freshmen attending colleges or universities,” offers real insight into “gaps in perception” that students use in determining where they will ultimately enroll.
An examination of these survey results can help schools better market to students during this so-called yield phase by developing targeted campaigns to more effectively “help individual students close their personal gaps in perception, alleviate their anxieties about their choice, and motivate them to deposit.“
Some of the points the data reveals include are:
- The largest gaps in perception are in the area of quality of core academics, and the physical environment
- Affordability proved to be the smallest gap nationally.
- When respondents were asked,“what the most important final factor was in their enrollment decision,” 70% of all students identified one of these six criteria.
- Availability of a desired program
- Reputation/academic quality
- Career outcomes/job opportunities for graduates
- Value of education for cost of attending
- Feeling of fit
- Affordability - In general, students making their decision based on affordability are only concerned with the differences in cost between their two final choices.
- Academic Quality - Students who are weighing a decision based on the programs offered see the most pronounced differences in the core academic components of their choices.
- Fit - Students who decide based on fit see differences in physical and social environments most clearly.
In addition to these detailed findings, Reid offers a number of marketing strategies to help bridge these gaps and get students to enroll. Including how to identify those students who are close to choosing your school, what their specific concerns are, how to deliver the right information to address potential perception gaps, and where “parental yield strategies” can be most effective.
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Additional Resource: The 7 Things Students Think About When Choosing a College - By Julian Wyllie