Eastern Washington provides net cost comparisons for 7 in-state universities
Potential students (and their parents, depending on age) want to know how much it will cost them to attend a university they are considering. In many cases, this is the first or second top task they have when first visiting the website of a school they might possibly add to their initial selection list. But net cost content is difficult to find.
At most schools admissions folk are wary of providing cost info early in the recruitment process lest it scare people away. At the same time, many admissions people bemoan the fact that too many potential students see sticker prices and flee without understanding that few students actually pay that cost.
Eastern Washington University takes a different approach. On a detailed “Tuition Information” page, EWU provides a content variety that’s unusual to find in a single page:
- Right at the top of the page is “can’t miss” link to compare the sticker price of 11 public universities. Yes, EWU is the lowest in the group. Every university should do this regardless of price level. Price is not the only factor in picking a school. But people do want to know what that is. This touch of “servant marketing” gives visitors something they want to know. EWU will get credit for that.
- Perhaps more important is the second “can’t miss” link… to “Compare Net Price by Family Income” for 6 public and 2 private universities in Washington. The net price information includes an “Average Net Price” as well as net price points for 5 income levels from “$0-$30,000” to “$75,001-$110,000.)
Note also that is is quite easy to find “Cost Calculators” on this page for anyone who wants an initial individual assessment. There are links to calculators for potential freshmen and transfer students. For those who first want to know about scholarships rather than a full financial aid package there is a 3rd calculator. Just enter GPA and state for the award you might expect.
As a content strategy, this is a marketing-smart content collection.
Creating stronger inquiry and application pools…
If potential students are frightened by a net price point, there’s a strong argument to be made that it is best to get them out of an inquiry pool early in the recruitment cycle. Do that and it is easer to devote attention to converting those who remain.
Among the admissions future being created by COVID-19 will be a new emphasis on increasing conversion rates at each stage in the recruitment cycle. That’s easier to do when universities shrink prospects right at the start. Inquiry pools, as everyone knows, always contain a large majority of people who are never going to apply for admission. Realistic cost info available when a person first visits a website is a smart marketing move to shrink the clutter.
This page works well on a mobile phone although some side-to-side scrolling is required. Overall it is best visited on a laptop or desktop computer.
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See how one university takes the lead in helping potential students complete a top task by providing net cost comparisons when you visit Eastern Washington University “Tuition Information.”
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