Colleges and universities are seeing an increase in enrollment from out-of-state students. Students see higher education as a time that they can can expand their horizons, but other than the promise of freedom, what makes students choose a school out of state? Do reviews really have that much impact on a student's education choice, or does it involve much more than that? I interviewed three people who chose to go out of state and found out just how important reviews are for a school to be able to target high achieving students.
Auburn University student Dillon Hollingsworth is enrolled in the College of Architecture, Design and Construction. After doing extensive research on top industrial design programs, Dillon landed upon Auburn. He wanted to be in a highly ranked program nationally, as well as stay as close to home (Florida) as possible. The school of his choice was ranked within the top ten public schools in the United States for his particular program by reviewers online.
Graduate Alana Malone went to not one but two out-of-state colleges! After extensive searching of different websites, reading reviews of the college, and visiting the beautiful campus, Alana chose Saint Lewis University in Missouri to continue her educational journey after attending Spring Hill College of Mobile Alabama.
Communication major, Mckenna Stern, is enrolled at the Auburn University School of Communication and Journalism. She is originally from Florida but is from a long line of generations that attended the university. Word of mouth from her family and friends drove her to make AU her home.
A 2016 survey of 1500 students concluded that a staggering 58 percent reported that online reviews were important to their higher education selection. Another 20 percent of students said that online ratings and reviews were the MOST influential digital channel that they relied on. Social media marks its place at second behind reviews. You can find out more about what other ways students find universities in this blog.
Overall it is clear that reviews GREATLY impact students choices to go out of state or remain in-state. This means you need to be proactive in encouraging students and alumni to post their reviews online while managing your online presence. Provide a great experience for your current students and help them thrive at your insitiution and you will see the positive impact through reviews, social media, and word of mouth!
Want to develop strong relationships with your students? Trying to connect with your students can be a job all on its own. We can help! Download the Digital Deans Whitepaper to get best practices and tips on social media efforts to help build long lasting relationships with your students.