Think Like a Student
I spend a significant portion of my day speaking with prospective students about programs at various schools. Sometimes I’m speaking with people over the phone other times via email and more often than ever before on live chat. There are many educational options currently available to potential students and the vast majority of them are doing their due diligence by researching schools and programs before enrolling. Like any savvy consumer today, they are doing their best to make a sound decision and good investment.
Most importantly, today’s prospective student’s primarily do their school and program research online. This is a double-edged sword for educational institutions. If a school’s website is clear and concise it’s a win-win for both the potential student and the school. If a school’s website is confusing, too wordy, or lacks important details, then the student is left stranded and confused. Hopefully the educational institution reaches out and tries to further the communication with the potential student to bridge any gaps between the website and the program.
I am part of a team at MindMax that reaches out to students via phone, email, and/or live chat to bridge that potential web experience gap and enhance the communication between educational institutions and their potential students. Regardless of the school or the program, I have found that students have very similar questions – and they’re asking them because they haven’t been able to find the information on the school’s website.
We need to never forget to “think like a student” if we want to better assist potential students’ in their decision to select a school and program. I’ve worked with many different schools and found that many of the people I partner with have been in the higher educational space for ten, fifteen, or twenty plus years. While you may know the school and programs forwards and backwards, this may actually cause you to overlook that a potential student lacks the same familiarity and knowledge.
So, how can we “think like a student”?
A good starting place is to make sure your school’s website answers the following 3 questions.
How much and when is the program?
This is very basic but frequently this information is hidden or hard to find. Make is easy to find the tuition and the dates of the program. Potential students will immediately know whether or not they can afford the program or fit the program into their schedule.
How does the program work?
This is straightforward but repeatedly this information is absent. Tell potential students how the course works. When it comes to online programs they are particularly looking for logistically information.
- How much time do I need to dedicate to be successful?
- Do I have to log on at a certain time of day?
- Is the course graded?
- Will there be quizzes, exams, papers?
- How do I communicate with a faculty member when I have questions?
What do I get when I complete the program?
This is rudimentary. Clarify the actual benefits of the course to potential students.
- Are they earning a degree or a certificate of completion?
- Are they earning any college credits?
- Will this enhance their resume or further their current educational or career path?
If your school’s website answers the above 3 questions, then you have a good solid foundation on which to build and market both the school and the program. If your school’s website does not answer the above 3 questions, then I’d recommend updating it to include this information so that potential students don’t look elsewhere for their education.
How I lived, saw or experienced one of MindMax’s values this month.
Get Results – Learn Always – Align to Mission – Build Meaningful Relationships – Ask for Help.
This month my oldest child started Kindergarten. This was something new for my entire family. It required some planning…you need to look at the weekly schedule so you don’t miss out on really important days like PJ day, favorite sports team day, or show and tell! It requires communication…you need to determine who is dropping off and who is doing pickup so that your child actually makes it to school and home each day. It requires a new bedtime routine…you need to get your child to bed early (my favorite new thing) so there is a good chance they will wake up rested and ready for a new day. As most parents will agree sometimes this works and sometimes this doesn’t, but one thing is for sure…I’m always learning!