Crest of Harvard's Medical School. ThePhotosite /

Crest of Harvard’s Medical School. ThePhotosite /

Myth 2: The higher your institution’s ranking, the more impressed teens are. Only 16 percent of teens deciding where to apply say a college’s ranking is very important to them. But when they are making the decision about where to enroll, then 77 percent say it’s important. Yet, admissions staff believe that a ranking is more important to teens when they’re researching institutions, not when they’re deciding which to attend.


Myth 3: Social media is an awesome channel for engaging teens who don’t know your institution. Admissions professionals believe it’s a good way to reach teens initially; yet, only 4 percent of teens say it’s a good way to contact them initially.


Myth 4: Admissions officers don’t understand how teens use their phones. 87 percent of admissions staff understand that teens visit college websites using a mobile browser, and 81 percent of teens said that they do. Also, 65 percent of teens are open to reading mail from colleges on their phone. However, while nearly half of admissions staff believe teens have downloaded an app from a college, few actually did.


Myth 5: Search works. Really. Though 73 percent of admissions officers believe that communications from a college a teen hasn’t heard about will have some influence on their decision to apply, only 21 percent of teens say that it has made a difference to them, reveals the report.


Myth 6: Print is an important source of information about colleges for teens. Prospectives don’t completely ignore print—a brochure or pamphlet are the most effective form of outreach for getting teens to pay attention to an institution they have never heard of or have heard of but not considered, says the report—but more than half of teens said they threw away 50 percent or more of the unsolicited mail they receive. In fact, the paper notes that there’s a hashtag on Instagram and Twitter, #CollegeMail, dedicated to student photos of the mail they receive from institutions.

(Next page: Admissions myths 7-10)

Add your opinion to the discussion.