Technology, Legacy Admissions and Increasing Website Leads

Jul 4, 2017

Every time you turn around, there is a new technology to be applied to some area of life. From smart phone applications for medication reminders to unlocking your car from thousands of miles away, technology has a way of making lives easier. It can also make the higher education admissions process more efficient.

An added benefit of understanding the current technology trends is that it makes you, as an admissions office and as a higher education institution, more in step with prospective students. As Generation Z (those born in the mid-1990s and early 2000s) begins applying for colleges, it’s time to adjust your thinking in regards to technology. Here are a few quick facts about Generation Z.

  • They love YouTube, Netflix, Spotify, and Hulu
  • Instagram narrowly outranks Facebook as the top social media platform, especially with females
  • Males are persuaded by current fads or what their friends are doing
  • Females are influenced by how something makes them feel
  • iPhone users are almost equal to Android smartphone users

Keeping all of this in mind, how are higher education institutions changing and improving their admissions operations to make them more efficient? Let’s take a look.

Texting instead of emailing

Mobile email statistics change rapidly, but one thing is consistent. People are reading their emails on their smartphones and then a good percentage of them forget about what they just read. Emails come in droves and some email providers are now attempting to sort out spam and marketing emails before they even hit the inbox, making it difficult to get to the consumer, or in this case the prospective student. Emails also tend to be a one-way conversation with applicants, as they are overwhelmed with absorbing information.

In this article, Ian Mortimer of Nazareth College in New York talks about how text messaging has opened the door for two-way communication, building relationships, and really communicating with prospective students.

Bringing Legacy admission issues to light

Each year when colleges release their acceptance rates, the bar is set for prospective students. However, a small percentage of the population seem to not even worry about it. Legacy students are often looked at under a different microscope. Balancing alumni support and maintaining the admission standard often is what drives legacy admissions. However, it should not be the only driving force. While discussion of legacy admissions may seem to be drawing attention to a “secret side” of admissions, it is important. When prospective students know and understand the acceptance rates for the category they fall in to, they can make better choices for their future. This may decrease applications for a few years, but that will also increase the efficiency and speed in which applications can be processed, resulting in a more diverse freshman class and happier admissions officers.

Stanford was one such university highlighted in a Washington Post article discussing legacy admissions, where reports suggest legacy acceptances are three times higher than the 4.7% acceptance rate for 2016.

Is your Landing Page doing the work for you?

Effective web content is huge in digital marketing, and colleges need to make sure they are paying attention to what their content is saying, and doing. If you aren’t seeing click-through rates that make your advertising department happy, it’s time to consider making some changes. Here are a few suggestions that can easily be adapted from the intended audience of international schools to your college’s website.

  • Post content prospective students want to read
  • Use content to build relationships
  • Feature unique traits about your institution
  • Be sure to include realistic testimonies that are relatable
  • Change things up if they aren’t working

Efficiency in admissions operations are not going to improve overnight, it may take several months or application cycles to see measurable progress. However, as the prospective student population changes, institutions that are able to adapt will see the best results.

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Over the last three decades, Liaison has helped over 40,000 programs on more than 1,200 campuses more effectively manage admissions through its Centralized Application Service (CAS™) technology and complementary application processing and support services. The higher education technology leader supports its partner institutions’ total enrollment goals by pairing CAS with its Enrollment Marketing (EM) platform as well as the recently acquired TargetX (CRM) and advanced analytics software Othot.