Nine out of ten high school seniors and eight out of ten parents have access to a mobile device.[i] When it comes to marketing your college or university to prospective students and their parents, a mobile app for Admissions is an excellent marketing and recruitment tool. After all, your app is the first interaction most people will have with your school, so use this opportunity to build your brand and promote what makes your university great.
While you have many options when it comes to mobile outreach to high school students, our picks for the top 5 best practices for Admissions apps are:
1. Empower marketing and admissions staff to create an Admissions app that shows off your college or university and all it has to offer.
Easy-to-use, self-service tools, like Kurogo Publisher, allow even non-developers to create beautiful, rich mobile experiences. Marketing and admissions staff members can take ownership of the entire process and produce an awesome end-product in just hours or days. Include information about your academic programs, admissions qualifications, financial aid, residential life, the local community, the school’s history, FAQ’s and more. Share the beauty of your campus, or vibrancy of student life with photos, videos, and social integrations to your Facebook, Twitter or Instagram feeds.
2. Integrate the Admissions app into your overall campus app.
If you already have a robust campus app for current students, faculty, or alumni, consider including Admissions within the existing app. Not only does this make it easy to deep link features in the Admissions app to other important app data like campus maps and directories, but it also allows prospective students to preview the many features they would enjoy as an enrolled student.
You can also set up your campus app to feature different Personas depending on the end-users’ relationship to the school, such as Current Student, Prospective Student, New Students, Alumni, or Faculty and Staff, ensuring the right people can easily take advantage of the most relevant and timely features. For example, The University of Arizona app allows users to identify whether they are Prospective Students and then provides relevant modules for them like maps, tours, videos and photos. Georgetown University even created a Persona for newly admitted students which provided all the information admitted students needed for a successful campus visit and decision making.
3. Use push notifications to engage with prospective students.
Send out alerts regarding upcoming deadlines such as applications, interviews or financial aid. Provide links within the alert to where students can submit their applications or find additional information. Using Personas with the Kurogo Platform you can send targeted push notifications to specific groups – such as Prospective Students.
4. Add a Campus Tour for the “full experience” – digitally.
A campus tour is a key decision-driver for prospective students. Include a mobile tour in your Admissions app to engage users and show off your campus from hundreds of miles away – especially important for those who can’t easily visit in person (think international students). Utilize interactive maps with dynamic route paths and showcase key points of interest with media-rich content.
5. Nurture prospects with in-app forms.
Provide information request forms for students, or their parents, to fill out within the app. Use this as an opportunity to move students and parents “down the decision-making funnel.”
Stand out from the crowd; take this as an opportunity to be on the leading edge of mobile recruitment. And, perhaps more importantly, don’t get left behind: “71 percent of seniors and 45 percent of parents have looked at college websites on their mobile devices.”[ii] A strong mobile presence is also important for international student recruitment. Campus Technology recently reported on a survey that found that “fifty-six percent of international millennials (those born between 1980 and 2000) used a smartphone to search for and apply to colleges and universities in the United States.”[iii]
With the right tools it’s easier than ever for non-IT staff to create beautiful Admissions apps that will recruit and nurture prospective students and their parents.
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[i] 2014 E-Expectations Report Sponsored by The Online Preferences of College-Bound High School Seniors and Their Parents. http://omniupdate.com/_resources/pdfs/research/2014_eexpectations.pdf.
[ii] 2014 E-Expectations Report Sponsored by The Online Preferences of College-Bound High School Seniors and Their Parents. http://omniupdate.com/_resources/pdfs/research/2014_eexpectations.pdf.
[iii] Survey: International Student Candidates are Finding U.S. Schools by Smartphone.