Today’s high school and college students are on the move – and want to stay connected to friends, family, work and school. [Tweet “Your students are mobile, is your college campus?”]
Female college students spend an average of 10 hours a day on their cellphones, while male college students average nearly eight, according to a study conducted by Baylor University. Another recent study found nearly 25% of Stanford University students own an iPhone. By the end of 2011, 43% of the mobile phones in use were also smartphones, able to access email and the Internet, scan QR codes and keep their owners connected with the world around them.
What does this mean for your school? As mobile phone use increases among students, so do their expectations of using technology to stay constantly connected, multitask and communicate. [Tweet “Campuses must make it a priority to interact with students through mobile smartphones.”]
Take a cue from some of the tech-savvy schools below who have made their campuses mobile-friendly for the benefit of students, their families, staff and faculty.
Mobile Use to Boost Enrollment
Many schools, such as Stony Brook University (SBU), tout smartphone use to learn about what the campus has to offer. Prospective students can browse through majors and individual courses, schedule visits and check application status. As with many other institutions, SBU students are now able to make emergency calls, search the campus directory for local information, events, view maps and other activities with the app.
Mobile Use to Improve Financial Aid Processes
“Millennials are the most educated generation in American history,” says New York Times author Dionne Searcey in her article Marketers are Sizing Up the Millennials.
The Millennial generation is not a paper handout generation. They’re a generation of flashy, blinking ads, screen time and video tutorials. Plain text documents not only bore millennials, they are a largely ineffective way to communicate to them. [Tweet “The Millennial generation is not a paper handout generation. They’re a generation of shiny, blinking ads, screen time and video tutorials.”]
Western Governors University takes another approach. Part of the school’s Responsible Borrowing Initiative was to use AwardLetter, a software that enables schools to send digital and dynamic award letters, which students can view on any device. The electronic nature of these letters allows schools to link to helpful resources to educate students on financial aid terminology, calculators, estimated payments and much more. With this increased understanding of financial aid, WGU students borrowed 39% less within the first year of the Initiative’s launch.
Mobile Use to Enhance Student Life
University at Buffalo (NY) offers with its UB Mobile application for students, alumni and faculty with the slogan “Take UB With You. Wherever.” With the app, students can more easily:
- Receive notification about weather and other campus closings, library information and updates, on-campus transportation, restaurants, instructor/ student updates and messages
- Navigate campus with interactive maps
- Track campus buses and shuttles
- Make emergency calls
- Students can check their application and financial aid status
- And much more.
How Could Your Campus Benefit from Mobile?
Is your campus able to accommodate students, faculty and staff members with their mobile phone needs? If not, it may be time to assess how many students are being lost due to archaic processes, as well as how many internal processes could be expedited through the use of technology.