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A new survey from Noel-Levitz, OmniUpdate, CollegeWeekLive, and NRCCUA® (the National Research Center for College & University Admissions) asked nearly 2,300 college-bound high school students about their use of mobile devices, particularly when it comes to searching for schools.

Here’s what the mobile devices survey found:

  • 94 percent of respondents students said they use a mobile device (cell phone, smartphone, or tablet) at least once per week.

This underscores the tremendous necessity for mobile marketing and mobile-friendly Web offerings.

  • 50 percent have looked at a campus web site on a mobile device.
  • 76% of respondents have accessed Facebook from their mobile device.
  • 46 percent of students who looked at campus Facebook pages did so more than once (from a few times a day to a few times a month)
  • 50 percent of students said they would “like” a school’s Facebook page to see future posts from that school.
  • 83 percent said they would view the Facebook page of a school they were considering.

Taken together, these findings clearly illustrate how important it is for schools to have a comprehensive social media plan and strategy. Prospective students are now using social media platforms to get a better sense of what a school has to offer, and Facebook appears to be a starting point for many.

  • Only 4 percent have used a tablet device (iPad, Blackberry or Android tablet) to visit college Web sites.

This figure probably has more to do with the relative “newness” of tablets. We suspect it will rise with time. In the meantime, it’s clear that the mobile Web experience for most student is still restricted to smartphones, which means that schools should be creating content that is optimized for smaller, harder to scroll screens.

This last point is especially important given that a majority of respondents said that a positive mobile browsing experience improved their opinion of the school. Clearly, mobile-friendly Web offerings are becoming a necessity.

The survey also examined what content students would want to browse on a mobile device. The following six items were considered the most important to respondents:

  1. Academic program listing
  2. Cost/scholarship calculators
  3. A calendar of important dates and deadlines
  4. Specific details about academic programs
  5. An application process summary
  6. Online application forms

Click here for more of the Noel-Levitz, OmniUpdate, CollegeWeekLive, and NRCCUA® survey findings.

What do you think about these survey results?