New America’s Survey on Higher Education: Top 4 Findings for #HigherEd Marketers and Communicators

May 11th, 2017 Karine Joly No Comments

Varying Degrees: a new survey on perceptions and views about higher education

Varying Degrees - New America's Survey on Higher EducationNew America, an independent DC-based public policy institute, has just released the results of its new survey on public views and perceptions about higher education.

This survey (n=1600) was conducted by IPSOS in February and March 2017 via phone (landlines and mobile phones). Its sample is representative of the American population with a margin of error of 2.8.

Since I’ve read the report available online (that is really well designed, BTW), I thought I would give you the top 4 findings for anybody working in digital marketing and communications in higher education.

Knowing your audience, its perceptions, state of mind and goals is paramount when you are a professional marketer or communicator.

That’s why the following 4 findings are food for thoughts for your team.

#1 College as a way to earn respect

For a majority of Generation Z (54%) and Millenials (56%), college means much more than acquiring skills or knowledge. It’s a way to earn R.E.S.P.E.C.T. – definitely something to keep in mind when working on branding or messaging in higher education.

#2 School first, students second?

When 58% of Americans (and 61% of college grads) think higher ed leaders put the needs of their school before the needs and interests of their students, I think we have a big (communication) problem and it’s not good news for higher education marketers.

#3 College value

The value question is so important to higher education. Here’s how we’re doing so far by type of institutions.

#4 This school is for people in my situation

As a higher ed marketer or communicator, you always try to find the right target audience for your school and show your college is a good fit, right?

Something in this last chart has really puzzled me: how is it possible for 4-year private institutions to get the same type of results as for-profit institutions with Generation Z?

Isn’t there an opportunity to better communicate with this segment of the college-aged population?


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