University Web Developers

University Web Developers

Does anyone out there run analytics on their school's online admissions applications? We are trying to improve our conversion through our 8 page application and are wondering what abandon rates are for other schools' forms. Currently we are at about a 80% abandon rate from beginning of application through submission. I am curious how our numbers compare to others. Thanks.

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I would install ClickTale on the form pages to see where users are struggling.
We know where and why people are abandoning the application, what we don't know is what kind of abandon percentage is normal. Thanks
Why would you care what is normal when you know where and why people are abandoning?

If normal is 40% you still have a where and why to fix.
If normal is 90% you still have a where and why to fix.

I don't think I've ran into any analytics measurements where I've cared what "normal" was.
I agree, but am being asked by upper management what kind of numbers we can expect once the app is fixed.
I would be inclined to tell them that in a perfect world, abandonment should be 0%. If a student STARTS applying, then they more than likely do so with the intention of finishing. That's the trick, once in the funnel, you should be able to suck them through to the other end.

Obviously, it's not a perfect world. But it still holds that we aren't talking about people window shopping at Amazon, leaving things in a cart for later or such. It'd be more like they start checking out, then bail. If they start checking out, why wouldn't they finish? Occasionally you'll have someone that forgot their credit card or something, but normally, a person checking out would finish, unless they want information that can only be provided in the funnel (like shopping sites that don't show you shipping costs until checkout).

8 pages sounds like problem numero uno. Every page increases the odds of losing people. Those risks increase if they don't know how many pages there are (if I've done 7 pages, I might get the impression that there could be 10 more, which I just don't want to take the time with, never knowing the next page was the last), so a progress status is good. Cut the form requirements to the bare minimum, and collect the rest later once you've gotten them bought in.
I agree with you the form, which was developed by our IT department, is being redesigned by the Interactive Marketing department. We have done user testing, UX consulting. We have a plan to shorten the process, add a progress bar, offer online help, etc. We are just wondering what the expected rate of competition should be on a college application delivered online. Feedback I am getting from other sources tell me that 50% is about as high as the completion rate might get (with a user friendly form and a warm lead into the app) and a 40% completion rate is a pretty good standard to base performance against.
It's hard to entirely measure yourself against others, since there are a lot of variables from one application to another. My recommendation is to measue against yourself. Set a goal. If your bail rate is 80%, try to get it down to 60% as a start. Then, use the results from your first goal to set a delta for future goals.

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