Thursday, July 12, 2007

The Value of First Impressions

The Value of First Impressions: Our Applicant Portal
Ira Strauss: Becky Vasquez; Embry Riddle Aeronautical University

In order to improve the numbers of applicants that convert to students it ws decided they should have an applicant portal. This was a strategic initiative supported by president, and they produced their first iteration within 2 - 3 months. Part of the reasoning was that student are increasingly technically adept, and expect information to be available on-line, and also an idea that the university's bility to live up to these expectations could influence the selection process.

Applicants are given both BB access and an institutional email address as soon as they accept a place, typically up to 11 months before they atually enrol.

The main focus is around organisations, and discussin boards. These are very popular, with both staff and applicants, as they give staff an opportunity to identify areas where applicants clearly need more guidance/information.

The project team: admissions, financial aid, marketing, athletics, library, student activities (intramurals, housing), IT (multiple teams)
Licensing and Costs
Bandwidth (asp client)
Account generation
IT Support
Admissions continued engagement – need to be engaged for ever.
Overwhelming applicants with information – need to chunk the information, time released
Terminology and usability – avoid jargon
Not a CRM system – not the process which will attract students to your university

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