5 Stats From The 2014 E-Expectations Report

Over the summer the annual E-Expectations Report on The Online Preferences of College-Bound High School Seniors and Their Parents was released. This report sponsored by Noel-Levitz, OmniUpdate, CollegeWeekLive, and NRCCUA (National Research Center for College & University Admissions) is a great resource for Higher Education institutions looking to market to high school students specifically through the web.

If you want to look through the report yourself you can download the full report.

We have been following the E-Expectations reports since 2010 and pulling out nuggets that we feel are relevant to us annually. This year is no different. Here are five stats that we found extremely interesting and worth sharing with higher education marketers.

1. 97% of high school seniors said the college website was the resource that offered the most reliable information about a college or university. Digital marketers have been struggling with where to best focus their time and budget for years but it has become more of a fight over the past five years as social media has gained prominence. Just because there are hundreds, if not thousands, of places around the web for a school to market and share their content, ultimately your audience will come back to your website for the final word. We don’t see this ever changing and now more than ever it’s important to make sure that you keep accurate and fresh content available on your website first.


2. 90% of seniors have regular access to a mobile device. Also while we are on mobile there is some additional data that is really fascinating. 40% of high school seniors report that they use mobile devices for web browsing “nearly all the time.” This is in line with 2013 seniors and it’s also interesting to note that 27% of parents report the same doing nearly all their web browsing on mobile. Bottom line is the mobile web is well past the speculative stage and is into the requirement stage.

3. 77% of students rated college websites as the most influential resource for their college search. Besides being the #1 most reliable source, high school seniors are also saying that it is the most influential resource. Once a student has narrowed down their list it is the college website they go to for the information to influence them in that final decision over any other marketing that you do. Once again if in doubt where to spend your time and money spend it on your college website.


4. 74% of seniors rated Facebook as a social media channel that they use (the most of any network) with YouTube just behind it at 72%. Instagram was a distant third with just under 50% adoption. Also, all social networks and their likelihood of being used by a high school senior was up compared to the 2013 data. And over half of the seniors reported visiting a college’s Facebook page. We still stand by our belief that social networks make a great place to syndicate the content of your website to get extra exposure. Engagement is important too, but you should think about social networks as introductory landing pages to drive people deeper into your brand by driving them to your website.


5. 67% of high school seniors said that the college website made a difference in their perception of the college. You have probably heard the saying “Perception is Reality.” Well if your website isn’t updated with relevant content, it isn’t friendly for mobile browsing behavior and you don’t have a strong social media presence then this is a strong leading perception the student gets about how well you take care of the rest of your school. I don’t think it could be much clearer than that. This is a great final point that kind of wraps everything back together. What kind of perception do you want students to have of your school?


If you want to look through the report yourself you can download the full report.

Maybe we can help!

We like to think that we specialize in Campus Marketing with the emphasis on campus. If you want to improve the perception of your campus online then maybe we can help with our Interactive Campus Map and Virtual Tour solution.

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