How college websites influence students’ web experience

Both prospective and current college students admit their experiences on college websites are hugely influential.

How are today’s students researching higher-education institutions? The two dominant audiences for college websites are prospective students—defined as high school juniors and seniors—and current college students who are searching for support during their experience. A recent Ektron infograph offers insight into the different ways these two student groups locate and are influenced by college information.

Currently, there are 4,495 degree-granting institutions in the United States, and research estimates that 21.6 million students plan to attend college this fall.

Differences aside, both current and prospective college students strongly agree on one thing: They are heavily influenced by web experiences. Sixty-five percent of prospective students said that a bad web experience hurts their opinion of a school, and 63 percent of current students said their opinion of a school improved when they connected to it through technology.

According to research, college websites are one of the most influential resources for prospective students, second only to a campus tour; friends and family and guidance counselors ranked as the third and fourth most influential resources. Sixty-eight percent of prospective students said they would open an eMail from an unknown college.

(Next page: How social media influences prospective and current college students)

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