What Do Prospective Business Students Want to Know?

Mar 15, 2017 at 12:00am ET By Alyssa Walker

So, what exactly do prospective business students wonder about programs? Cost and rank, according to a new global survey by GenerationWeb.

GenerationWeb surveyed 600 undergraduate and postgraduate students from 57 countries.  82 percent of them wanted to know about tuition costs and 78 percent cared about rankings.  Alumni profiles ranked lowest on the list of concerns from prospective students, with just 18 percent of students reporting interest.

The GenerationWeb survey, conducted by British business school consultant Carrington Crisp also received support from the European Federation for Management Development. 

In a press release, study author Andrew Crisp said, “The business school market gets more competitive every year and prospective students want to know first what a course will cost them and second, how prestigious it is compared to rival schools. The low position for alumni profiles is surprising, but may be an indication that students are skeptical of alumni profiles neatly marketed to them, preferring to get views on the strength of a school directly from friends and peers on social media.

The study also found the following, as per the press release:

1. The number of students who use business school videos on YouTube and comparable applications increased to 42 percent.  59 percent watch videos on business school websites.

2. 48 percent of respondents said that they search for business school information on social networking sites.

3. Of those, 92 percent use Facebook, 71 percent use LinkedIn, 71 percent use WhatsApp, 62 percent use Instagram, 43 percent use Google+ and 38 percent use Twitter.

What does this mean?  Business schools who want to attract students should consider how they market to students—it requires more than just a great website, but clearly a presence on social media.

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Alyssa Walker is a freelance writer, educator, and nonprofit consultant. She lives in the White Mountains of New Hampshire with her family.

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