Mobile Apps – the New Tool in Enrollment Communication & Recruitment

*For purposes of clarity, note that this article is discussing Apps for mobile technologies, not admissions applications (although integrating your admissions application into your school’s app isn’t a bad idea)

 Recently we discussed the potential of Snapchat for recruitment, which got us thinking – are mobile apps the new ‘thing’ in college recruitment marketing? Twitter, Facebook and Instagram have all grown in popularity over the past few years, but there’s got to be more to come. Could personalized school mobile applications be the next social media trend?

The Sixth Sense survey polled 69 UK university and higher education marketing teams to determine which strategies schools are investing in, and (surprise, surprise) of those polled, 98 percent said social media. Similarly, EDUCAUSE presented a study on “Student Preferences for Mobile App Usage,” which couldn’t have summarized the mobile landscape for students any better.stephens

The EDUCAUSE survey asked just over 1,500 students questions on demographic information, general mobile application usage, and educational mobile application usage. Here’s what we learned:

Students see themselves as skilled smartphone users. When asked to characterize their level of smartphone usage, nearly 85 percent of students see themselves as either intermediate or advanced users.

So, the potential is there. Now what?

The development of an application where students can check class schedules, grades, and professors office hours could certainly be useful. The development of an application where prospective students can carry-out their admissions process on their mobile devices could create a competitive advantage for your institution and provide a seamless integrated application experience from the time students become interested in the school up to their graduation day.

According to a recent study, over two-thirds of prospective college students have used their mobile devices to check out college websites.The study asked 2,000 students about how they used their mobile devices, and the results suggest that colleges should develop a standard and mobile version of their website as a tool for e-recruitment.

Among the results, 73 percent of students stated they would be interested in mobile applications for a specific institution, and over 70 percent of students expressed interest in the options to explore scholarships, view an application and complete enrollment on these apps. Many students also stated that they would be interested in requesting information, calculating scholarships, scheduling a visit, applying online, and registering for an open house using their mobile devices.

Although mobile apps have yet to reach their full potential within the college admissions market, the use of handheld devices for communications continues to rise. Forward-thinking colleges are moving quickly towards this trend to capitalize on the opportunity. Offering a native mobile app for your institution will make it easier for students to explore your campus and its offerings as well as submit the forms necessary for application and enrollment. Mobile apps could even make the enrollment process easier for your admissions team by reducing college admissions spending and expediting enrollment.

We want to hear from you! Share with us how you’re using applications and how they’ve changed your communications mix.