Consumer Information: University of Michigan-Dearborn Opens with College Scorecard
With an growing focus on “transparency” as a valuable higher education attribute (see, for instance, “Reforms to Increase Transparency in Higher Education“) will “Consumer Information” pages play a more important role in providing information to potential students that goes beyond normal marketing fare? Time will tell us.
A review of about 30 “consumer information” pages for various colleges and universities tells us that not many are especially easy to navigate to find content that might be of most interest to potential students. Most open with a bureaucratic statement that the page was created to satisfy a regulation of the Federal Government. Some then go immediately to a PDF. Others present long lists of links to various subjects, often in alpha order. Potential students will understand some. And not understand many others.
Today’s Link of the Week takes an approach that’s possibly more useful to someone searching for the right school to attend. Two links stand out in 5 seconds or less at the start after an decently written opening:
- College Scorecard (no other similar pages visited included this one.)
- College Navigator (many but not all schools included this link but none were as prominently placed.)
As visitors scroll down the page, the key headings (with relevant links) are generally easy to understand, including:
- General Information About the University
- Cost of Attending the University of Michigan-Dearborn
- Contact Information for Admitting Offices
- Additional University Information
- Primary Electronic Means of Communication and Electronic Access
- Maps, Parking, and Transportation (not sure I saw this topic anywhere else)
- Copyright Issues
- Complaint Procedures (more prominent here than anywhere else)
- Information on Student Financial Assistance (with several sub-headings)
- Student Outcomes
- Health and Safety
A visibility note…
Visitors won’t see a link to this page from either the home page or the admissions page. And so it isn’t likely that many people will find it. A search for “consumer information” for those alert to the topic does return this page in first place.
Why not add “Consumer Information” as a 5th link for in the prominent home page block for “Future Students”?
On Mobile, Speed Rating is “Good”…
Google Test My Site gives the Consumer Information page a “Good” 4 second mobile download time, with an estimated visitor loss of just 10 percent.
Follow the Link of the Week…
Visit a “Consumer Information” site that opens with information of most interest to potential students at University of Michigan-Dearborn.
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