A campus visit is a make it or break it moment when it comes to turning prospective students into enrolled students. When selecting a college, students are choosing where they will spend the majority of their time for at least the next four years.
Studies have shown that most students are concerned with the physical environment and condition of school facilities and their decision to attend is often based on what they experience during a campus tour.
SaniGLAZE has worked with colleges and universities for decades, offering innovative and creative solutions to restore aging facilities that will impress students on campus tours.
Campus visits still drive choice in higher education
A 2020 EAB firm briefing states, “More so than academic reputation (12.9%) and cost (11.5%), it’s the campus environment (13.6%) that drives students away—or draws them in,” writes Associate Director for EAB Research Lisa Berglund.
High school students rely heavily on visits to college campuses when selecting a school because it’s a moment for the prospective student to see for themselves what their experience might be like if they attended.
According to a U.S. News and World Report surveying more than 200,000 students, 41 percent listed “a visit to this campus” as a “very important” factor influencing their choice. Information gathered online was only an important factor in 21 percent of cases.
Although the bounds of the digital realm has expanded to include 360-degree panoramic views, as well as live video tours, it’s no substitute for the emotional connection that can happen with real-world experiences.
School environment can act as a tipping point for college selection
If prospective students were only concerned with academics and affordability, college brochures wouldn’t need any pictures. The simple fact is, when students choose their education, they’re also choosing their home for the next several years. It should come as no surprise they want one that’s appealing and well-maintained.
Research conducted by the EAB firm, which surveyed over 200,000 students in 2017, determined that “campus environment is the number one reason students chose to enroll at a different institution.”
With the environment and experience being such strong drivers in school selection, facility managers would be wise to capitalize on showcasing student spaces that are both appealing and useful to prospective students.
The Student Research Foundation reported students are paying close attention to a school’s campus appearance and comparing it to their other school choices. A 2017 study reported 89 percent of students rated their number-one college choice as good or excellent “regarding the quality of the school’s physical environment.” Only 72 percent rated their number-two choice as good or excellent in this area. When trying to boost student enrollment, campus appeal, restoration and solid facilities maintenance will be an integral part of success.
Enrollment experts and administrators urge prospective students to use campus visits as a kind of litmus test, studiously collecting critical data that will inform their college choice. Students say it’s less about the details and more about the atmosphere – about making a connection.
Many will choose a school for the campus and lifestyle that best appeals to them over a college with a distinguished reputation. When surveying students who got into their top choice university only to not attend, EAB data revealed that 9 percent cited the campus environment as a reason for their decision.
An affordable solution to making your campus more appealing
As higher education infrastructures age, providing clean and well-maintained facilities is important to meet the expectations of incoming students. Tile and hard surface restoration services are available at a fraction of the cost of replacement. With tight budgets and busy schedules, choosing to restore your existing tile is a timely, affordable solution that will last for years to come.
This is an excerpt from our full report, available here.