- 87% of students want to attend a tech-savvy college or university, but 58% of students found their institution was less likely than other businesses to personalize the digital experience, according to a new survey of a 1000 students from Ellucian.
- But, there was mixed response on how an application could impact the student experience; 68% of students attending schools with such an app said the amount of information was initially "overwhelming," but 85% of students at schools without a centralized app said they would have liked one throughout the transition to college life, reports Campus Technology.
- Students responded they were most interested in personalization efforts when it came to career prep, followed closely by financial assistance and tuition insight. Eight out of ten students endorsed institutional social media use, with Facebook being the preferred app of 33% of respondents.
Personalizing digital outreach is a challenge for colleges and universities, and there is still a long way to go. For instance, a recent survey from Ruffalo Noel Levitz found that a lack of personalization is a persistent problem in alumni outreach, with only 3% of institutions truly personalizing their content based on an alumnus' individual interests. But, many institutions are modeling how others can incorporate apps into their student outreach programs, like San Jose State University, which earlier this summer partnered with the mobile app OHLALA. Sonja Daniels, SJSU's associate vice president for campus life, noted the app helps students find new opportunities in campus life and activities, while also helping the school see which students were not adequately engaged. The school found that the app is especially useful in reaching students who live off-campus or have unconventional class schedules due to personal or professional commitments. As non-traditional students will increasingly make up a larger pool of college enrollees in the years to come, institutions should work to enhance IT strategies and resources, so they can test a centralized app for widespread use. Partnering with an outside firm can help schools deliver an app to students quicker as schools gradually build their institutional IT knowledge in app expertise and maintenance.