University of Rochester: Why is this the World’s Best Financial Aid Entry Page?
Quick answer: New potential student visitors easily can scan 19 links and quickly find in one spot links to both sticker price and two “cost-to-me” estimators on a single page. One is quick. One is more complex.
No matter how much surveys of potential students demonstrate a high interest in cost-to-me and scholarships and financial aid as top tasks for both potential undergraduate and graduate students, most college and university websites don’t make these tasks easy to complete. You might even think that schools don’t really want to deal with “cost” early in the recruitment cycle. And you’d likely be right. You were right in 1992. And in 2012. And, alas, your are still right in 2022.
That’s why the University of Rochester entry page (“Your Guide to Affording a Rochester Education”) was a Link of the Week selection early last year. And that’s why it deserves another listing early in 2022.
What’s to like about the Rochester approach?
- The important “affordability” word opens the page. People want to know whether this place is affordable or not, however different personal interpretations of that word might be. The success of this page for potential students will rise or fall on how easy it is to get to a “cost-to-me” answer to that question.
- The “Cost of Attendance” block stands out and will be of special interest to potential students. “Tuition and Expenses” takes you to the usual sticker price listing. The one that just might scare someone away from a particular school. For Rochester, that’s $79K+ for a full-time undergrad. Scary for many.
- But the “Cost of Attendance” block includes a second link to “Cost Calculators.” Note the plural. This link takes visitors to a page that includes not only the “College Board’s Net Price Calculator” in second place. It begins with the 7-step “MyinTuition Quick College Cost Estimator.” To reinforce things, the next heading reminds visitors that this will give “A quick estimate of your cost.”
- If you like the “cost-to-me” estimate from the quick format then you just might continue to the College Board version for “A more in-depth estimate of your cost.”
A useful addition…
Add the link to the “Cost Calculators” page to the “Tuition and Expenses” page. Right at the top of the page. Catch people who might flee from $78,000 without ever checking the estimators. Easy to do.
Speed on mobile…
Google PageSpeed Insights measures time to first view on a mobile phone as 3.5 seconds (OK, but not great) and time to full interactivity as 13.0 seconds (much slower than the Google-recommended 5 seconds or less but typical of higher education web pages.)
Follow the Link of the Week
Refresh your approach to “affordability” and Cost and Financial Aid content after you visit University of Rochester’s “Your Guide to Affording a Rochester Education.”
Recommend a future Link of the Week
Always eager to get recommendations of websites that dare to be different… or just do something ordinary in a special way. Write a comment with link here or send me the link at email@example.com
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