Monday, December 01, 2014

College-bound students give UIS website an "A" grade for being user-friendly

College-bound students rate the University of Illinois Springfield’s website among the best in the nation for the ability to find information easily. That’s according a new report from the National Research Center for College & University Admissions (NRCCUA).

As part of the evaluation, high school students examined the UIS website for key features such as ease of navigation, the ability to apply online, and tuition and financial aid information.

The UIS website ranked eighth best in the nation among the 2,929 college and university websites that were reviewed in the NRCCUA’s 16th annual Enrollment Power Index. Overall, the UIS website was ranked in the top 99th percentile nationally.

“We were surprised and excited about the ranking. The redesign of our website was a part of a wider effort to enhance our online presence to our audience, especially prospective students,” said Munindra Khaund, UIS director of web services.

As part of the report, technical experts also rated the website’s navigation and design. The UIS website received high marks for the ease of navigation between sections and overall for its responsive design.

“When it comes to our web traffic, we are dealing with a wide range of viewports on mobile, tablets, and desktops. Responsive web design allows us to serve up our websites by responding correctly to these varying display sizes,” said Khaund.

The NRCCUA report found that the UIS Admissions website made it easy for students to request information, submit their application, sign up for a campus visit, and track their application status online. The website also received points for easy access to social media and the ability to directly email and chat live with a counselor.

“Today’s college-bound students expect fast and easy access to college information,” said Fernando Planas, UIS director of admissions. “Colleges and universities that can’t keep up with new information technologies and advances in social media will fall short of meeting the expectations of prospective students. If that happens they risk losing in the competitive world of college enrollment.”

According to the report, “three out of 4 students say that a college website is the most influential resource in their college planning process. Sixty percent of seniors draw a direct correlation between the quality of a college’s website and their quality of education.”

“We know that the UIS website is often the first place a student turns when looking for information about the university,” said Khaund. “We are dedicated to making the website more user-friendly for all our visitors and staying on the cutting edge of technology.”

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