Talk to any admissions counselor and they'll tell you that students who take the campus tour are more likely to choose that school. Any liberal arts school worth its salt has invested heavily in those tours. They're romantic (what life could be like) and choreographed (but not exactly what your life would be like).
If you can get the potential students there, you're halfway to getting them in. But how do you get more students to take the tour?
Colleges have tried a lot of tactics - from getting more students to physically attend (busing students in en masse, offering a special concert or other programming, waiving application fees) to taking the tour experience to students (elaborate college fair booths, online videos, integrations with Google Streetview). The former are expensive to maintain; the latter just don't have the same emotional context. They don't feel like school.
I think Capital may have cracked the code with a new Day One experience on their website. This was one of the final projects I worked on at Ologie. It definitely evolved between our last notecards-on-the-wall brainstorm and its recent launch, but I recognize the general approach:
- Balance of big ideas (dreamy) and specific opportunities (tangible)
- Personalized experience (Facebook Connect decorates the workspace with your real photos)
- Guided exploration (continuously choose-your-own-adventure from custom populated menus)
Oh, and shiny-object moment: I totally love how the photo nav works on those desktop iPhones.
Take a peek: