Your Higher Education Marketing Link of the Week… Ursinus College: “Starting the College Search”… 16 April 2021

“Starting the College Search” to navigate the college selection trail to Ursinus College

Ursinus CollegeYou don’t have to look hard to find articles telling us how the college admissions process stresses out high school students as they search for the proverbial “right fit” college to attend. Few colleges make as strong an effort to reduce that stress as Ursinus College does with its “Starting the College Search” content.

One important content piece isn’t obvious on the site itself: the admissions rate.

Ursinus admits nearly 80 percent of the students who apply. Few colleges advertise the fact that most applicants are admitted although that’s an important stress reducer. It isn’t hard to find out (see any Google search for a particular school) so why not tell potential students on a website? Alas, we suspect the “selectivity” myth still deters that admission.

Ursinus does offer high school students and their parents an easy-to-find information package that should exist on higher education websites everywhere. Consider the easy-to-scan topics as the page opens:

  • The College Search Rules: Our Most Important Tips… 5 tips, including “Demonstrate your interest… it matters”
  • Starting Your College Search in 3 Easy Steps… Asking 8 questions, starting with “What do I want to study,” including “What can I afford,” and ending with “What feels right?”
  • Glossary of College Terms, divided into “Admission and College” (“Demonstrated Interest” appears again) and “Student Financial Services.”

“Demonstrated Interest” defined…

Ursinus CollegeUrsinus for sure is interested in having potential students show the college just how interested they are in the school. Here’s the definition in the Glossary:

  • “Demonstrated interest tell a college or university that a students is interested in their institution, and can include visits to campus, contact with the Office of Admission, requests for information or attending high school visits. Students can also demonstrate interest by completing our “Why Ursinus” supplemental essay question as part of the application for admission.”

What’s not so clear is how demonstrating interest helps a potential student. More likely to be admitted? A better financial aid package with more scholarships and grants and less loans? No word on that.

Writing right for the Web…

The content here, including the Glossary definitions, is for the most part easy to understand.

Someone at Ursinus knows how important it is to not just repeat higher education jargon and expect normal human beings to understand it. That’s especially true in the “Student Financial Services’ section where there is a clear 10-step progression from “Cost of Attendance (COA)” to “Net cost/net price.”

Clear navigation…

Ursinus really wants potential students to visit this page. You’ll see the link to “Sophomores & Juniors: Start Your Search” as the Admission entry page opens. (And this is also a strong page link to include in early email responses to potential students.)

Follow the Link of the Week

Review and be ready to steal some ideas from Ursinus College when you visit “Starting the College Search.”

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 bob@bobjohnsonconsulting.com

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