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Catawba College Admissions Website Ranked Top in the Nation

September 20, 2011

Category: Staff


Enrollment Power IndexCatawba College is proud to announce that its Admissions website is among the most highly rated in the country, scoring in the top 100 of all sites rated. The site was recognized in the 13th annual My College Options® Enrollment Power Index® (EPI), an analysis of the admissions websites of nearly 3,000 colleges and universities.

"We are proud to have our admissions website recognized by My College Options as one of the leading sites in the nation," said Lois Williams, Catawba's Vice President of Enrollment. "We developed our site in-house with the knowledge that potential students would be looking here for critical admissions information. As a result, we have made strides to constantly update our site with the latest tools and information that meet the needs of students and ensure that they can learn about what we have to offer."

Catawba overhauled its website in the spring of 2011, with an emphasis on usability, ease of navigation, and heightened functionality. One of the major focuses of the redesign was cleaning up and simplifying the structure, layout, and visual treatment throughout the website to help optimize the user experience of site visitors and to help them to find content quickly and easily. The process of simplifying content on the thousands of pages that make up the website is so time-consuming that it continues to be an ongoing process that carries on long after the launch of the new website. Another key goal was to implement social media and networking to an even greater degree than before. In addition to the preexisting option to print, save or share most pages on the website, users now have the ability to see all of the most recent tweets, Facebook posts, videos, photos, and blogs all in once place with a simple visit to the homepage. Also in 2011, the college introduced its 1-Minute Application via the website. The number of prospective students applying to Catawba by submitting 1-Minute Applications between January 1 and August 25 totaled 697.

MyCollegeOptions.org is the nation's largest online college planning program. Every summer, its staff of college admissions and internet experts conducts a research-based analysis that measures how well college and university websites provide information to prospective students to assist them through the application process. Of the post-secondary institutions whose sites were graded, less than 45% earned a score of A or B. However, scores for the top 10 institutions increased significantly from last year.

"Very few institutions are able to keep up with the rapidly increasing demands of prospective students when it comes to online user experience," said Don Munce, President of NRCCUA®. "To be rated in the top 100 Admissions websites is a powerful statement that the institution has a focus on the cutting-edge."  

The study grades institutions on a 100-point scale, including functionality, design and technology components. The criteria for the study is reviewed and updated annually by internal experts as well as current high school students. Statistical tests are used to determine the specific EPI criteria to be used and their relative importance to students in college planning. This year's study examined 39 different criteria in four main categories:

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  • Ability to Find Desired Information ;
  • Personal Contact with Admissions Staff and Students ;
  • Online Interactive Tools ;
  • Website Design and Navigation
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About My College Options®
MyCollegeOptions.org, the nation's largest college planning program, is operated by the National Research Center for College & University Admissions™. For 40 years, this non-profit education research organization, based in Lee's Summit, Missouri, has served as the primary link between high school students and colleges, universities, and the resources they need to succeed. For more information, visit www.mycollegeoptions.org.


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