In the past, those looking to go to college faced a daunting process before them. They had to complete paper applications. Students in high school were required to visit colleges physically which in turn limited the schools they could be interested in. In addition, they were required to research and scour in order to make an idea of students in the first place.
Students today have access to a simpler process. Technology has made it easier for students to go through the process of searching for an institution, making a decision, and applying to a college. Here are some of the ways technology is changing the college application process.
1. Digital Marketing Is Opening Up Doors
The process of optimizing search engines (or SEO) is the method by which an organization or an individual can increase the amount of organic traffic they receive from search engines. Businesses use SEO as an investment in the long run to create profitable e-commerce websites and business websites.
It’s not surprising that universities and colleges employ SEO, as well. For example, WebFX highlights different ways colleges use SEO to boost enrollment. This is done by using long-form site material, targeted keywords, posts on social media, speed of loading as well as other elements to help students locate their online resources and websites.
Additionally, they employ the search engine market (SEM) to determine the demographics of their target audience. They can then direct online ads and other promotions to their chosen target audience through pay-per-click (PPC) advertising.
The potential to make use of digital marketing strategies can open opportunities for colleges to connect with many more students. The use of techniques such as SEO, SEM, and PPC allows higher education institutions to expand their pool of potential students in a way that was impossible prior to the introduction online.
2. Online Content Offers Copious Resources
The web-based content generated by colleges is now a crucial element of the university’s recruiting tools. Digital content could be a major factor in the likelihood of a student attending the school.
For example, numerous universities have social accounts. This could increase brand recognition and open new opportunities for PPC marketing via social media platforms. It also has the benefit of engaging potential customers on their own terms and within their personal context, where they’re more relaxed and ready to listen.
A college blog can also be an excellent source of digital content. It is able to offer everything from the latest school schedules to dorm details as well as food options, among other frequently asked questions. Videos and photos can also highlight the best or most appealing places on campus. This can also create expectations and highlight the strengths of a school.
3. Tech Is Simplifying Communication
There is no longer only limited communication and long phone calls. Instead, students can select from a variety of channels of communication to interact with the university’s enrollment staff.
These various contact points encompass everything from emails and phone numbers, to video calls and text messages. It’s easy to share details about the school’s various communications channels right on its social media profiles, too. This makes it simple for prospective students to reach out and interact on college admissions in whichever format they like.
Beyond the basic technology can also facilitate communication in more complicated ways. For example, in addition to traditional open houses and customized walks, High Point University offers virtual tours of its campus. HPU offers this in an interactive format with audio and visual elements. The tour is an immersive and comprehensive experience for those interested in attending the school.
It’s important to note that even if someone attends HPU personally, the students are able to use technology to benefit. The school also provides an easy and simple method to arrange tours on-site via its website. No matter if the event is held in person or via the internet this is a great example of how colleges could make use of technology to improve their communications with potential customers across all channels.
4. Honest Reviews Are Readily Available
Another area where technology is making a significant impact is reviews. The internet allows all and every person to make their voice heard. The result is the development of a strong and decentralized review system. Every aspect from the workplace to dog treats is a subject of feedback currently — even in universities.
There are myriad websites on the internet that let students discuss their experiences at their colleges. Scholarship System Scholarship System has compiled an impressive list of eight of the top sites to use for discovering genuine university reviews.
Like all reviews, it’s crucial to read each feedback with an appropriate amount of salt (e.g. If someone has had a negative experience, be prepared for a review that has the most negative of biases throughout the day).
However, the ability to see instantly what others consider a school can be a valuable instrument for prospective students. It’s also an excellent opportunity for college students to enhance their online presence, and create an image that is positive for the brand.
5. Paperless Processes Are Streamlining Admissions
If a prospective student has discovered an institution online or through reviews and other content available on the website and taken an online tour, and contacted admissions staff to make an application and then be accepted, the next step is to complete the application form. But, thanks to the advancements in technology, often it’s now the “paper” part of the paperwork is now out of the process.
Tools such as SIGNiX provide paper-free admission options for schools of education. Universities and colleges can make use of digital signatures to make admissions more efficient. This makes it easier for all parties. Admissions staff can allocate more time and energy to different duties. Students are also able to concentrate on getting ready for their forthcoming academic experiences.
Tech Is Rewriting the College Admission Process
Similar to every other aspect of our lives technology is revolutionizing the rules in college admissions.
SEO and SEM make it much easier for potential students from all over the world to find universities they are able to take a trip to. The online content produced by students and universities alike can provide a wealth of information and reviews for prospective students to utilize when they research the school they want to attend. Technology-driven communication has made every aspect of asking questions and college visits easier. Paperless admission takes the hassle of college admissions.
Whatever way you view it, it’s clear that technology is changing the script to improve in terms of universities interacting with potential students.