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Welcome to The CITE -- a blog on Course materials, Innovation, and Technology in Education, created by Mark Nelson and now part of the Publications Department of the National Association of College Stores. CITE is a pun with multiple meanings - referring to cite as in citation, something people reference; site as in location, website, or place people go to; and sight as in foresight or looking ahead to what is coming. Comments, discussion, feedback and ideas are welcome.



Friday, May 20, 2016

Strong Websites Help Attract Students

A recent study found that online information helps students decide on the institution they want to attend. Digital Search for Education surveyed more than 1,500 full- and part-time students in the United States to learn how they interact with colleges before enrolling.

According to the report, 58% of the students said online reviews were highly important to the school-selection process, while 20% said online reviews had the most influence on their choice. The school’s website was the most important factor in the selection process, with 56% of students saying that was their primary source for information about programs of interest.

More than half of the students said they used search engines to research the schools they were interested in attending and 43% reported being most influenced to click on search results that had information that was relevant to them. However, 32% also said they would leave a school’s site if it had poor navigation tools.

The study reported that 32% of students follow the schools in which they are interested on social media, with 62% using Facebook. At the same time, 41% said they contact the school through email directly and 75% added they preferred schools to contact them by email, phone, or text message.

Despite the emphasis on digital communication in the selection process, 31% of the students also cited an on-campus visit as the primary reason for enrolling in a particular institution.

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