The nation’s colleges did worse on their website final exam this year, proving again that high school students are tough graders.
For the ninth straight year, the National Research Center for College & University Admissions surveyed more than 100,000 college-bound students and asked them to rate admissions websites. Even when graded on a generous curve, the results were not good.
Only 140 A’s, along with 713 B’s, 1,369 C’s, 635 D’s and 230 F’s. No sites scored in the 90′s or 80′s on the 100-point scale, only 16 scored in the 70′s, and nearly one third of the schools earned scores in the 50′s or 60′s.
“Overall, approval ratings of college and university websites have continued to decline over the last several years,” said NRCCUA President Don Munce. “To satisfy prospective students and encourage them to apply, admissions offices need to continue updating and enhancing their websites to keep them dynamic.”
NRCCUA uses an Enrollment Power Index to rate the functionality and design of websites, determining how well they provide information to prospective students. Most significantly, it measures the ability of the website to take a student from prospect to applicant.
This year’s survey revealed three items that have become more critical to admissions websites and are expected by visitors:
- Interactive functions like instant messaging and live online chats for students to communicate with admissions officers.
- Information about the community where the college is located and an online campus visit scheduler.
- The ability to apply online, as well as track the application status.
To read more about the study and see the top 10 rated schools, visit:
Read more about our authors. Ray Ulmer, public relations director at TargetX, has been involved in higher education marketing for more than 25 years, including serving as executive director of communications at La Salle University and director of public relations at Drexel University. He has also worked in corporate marketing and advertising.