Survey

Nearly All Prospective Students Want a Tech-Savvy Institution

Nearly All Prospective Students Want a Tech-Savvy Institution 

Nearly nine in 10 college students—, 87 percent — said it was important to them that the institutions they applied for were technologically savvy, according to a new survey from ed tech provider Ellucian.

The report, "Students Are Looking for Personalized Digital Experiences: Do Colleges Deliver?" is based on responses of 1,000 students, including 265 from two-year institutions and 735 from four-year schools, who were invited to take the survey online via email.

More than half of students surveyed, 58 percent, said that of all the companies and institutions they engage with, their college is the one least likely to have personalized their experience.

Other key findings include:

  • Among students whose institution provides a centralized app, 68 percent said they were overwhelmed by the amount of information their college provided when they began school there;
  • Among those who were not offered an app, 85 percent said they thought it would have eased their transition and made them more likely to participate in student organizations;
  • Students were most likely to say that they want data-driven personalization for career prep at 29 percent, finances, such as financial aid and tuition, at 28 percent, academic matters at 25 percent and student life at 18 percent;
  • 81 percent of respondents said they believe that social media fosters an essential emotional connection to campus, with Facebook, at 33 percent, being the preferred app and the campus app coming in second at 30 percent;
  • Creating ways to connect with other students and make friends was the most commonly cited way for institutions to make students feel more emotionally connected to school, at 56 percent; and
  • Other commonly cited methods for fostering an emotional connection include suggesting coursework based on performance and interest (47 percent), suggesting events based on major or interests (45 percent), delivering deadline alerts (44 percent), offering opportunities to connect with faculty (42 percent) and suggesting supplemental resources or tutoring (26 percent).

"We all know that students feel vulnerable when they first step foot on campus and begin their college journey," said Mariana Cavalcanti. Ellucian vice president of user experience, in a prepared statement. "When schools work to connect with students on an emotional level it can help them get started on the right path and be critical to success and long-term loyalty."

The full report is available at ellucian.com.

About the Author

Joshua Bolkan is contributing editor for Campus Technology, THE Journal and STEAM Universe. He can be reached at jbolkan@gmail.com.

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