IT: Why it’s critical to nurture the selfie in students

A new survey shows that students expect highly individualized campus services—and those schools that deliver can reap great rewards.

Remember the old saw about the self-absorbed woman at a cocktail party? “Enough about me,” she says. “So, how do you like my dress?” Get ready, higher education, because colleges and universities are increasingly populated by students with exactly the same mind-set when it comes to campus services and support. A new survey by Oracle of 300 C-level executives, including many at universities, revealed that today’s consumers want service that is all about them personally.

Appropriately titled “Era I,” the Oracle survey also suggests that colleges and universities may pay a steep financial price for failing to provide this up-close and personal digital experience for their students. “Higher education respondents estimated a 19 percent revenue gain for institutions that provide a highly individualized experience to their constituents,” said Keith Rajecki, Oracle’s senior director of industry business solutions for global education and research.

While Rajecki is quick to point out that higher education doesn’t share the same kind of baseline revenue goals as companies, he noted that universities are nevertheless under tremendous pressure to control costs. “We’re not out of the woods yet on the cost-of-education challenges,” he said. “It’s a key factor that will help drive university presidents and CFOs to focus more on personalizing the student experience.”

Perhaps nowhere are the financial stakes more quantifiable than in the area of student retention.

(Next page: Campus services and their relation to retention, finances)

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