The Shepherd College of Music Online Application Experience

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Students applying to colleges and universities have made their frustrations quite clear on Twitter. Feel free to checkout some of our favorite tweets about the painful college application experience.

Here is the walk through of what it takes to find the online application for the Shepherd Music School.

Shepherd Music School Built With:
Adobe
Application Software By:
Common Application

Shepherd's Application Experience - Home Page

Home page - No visible "Call to Apply" (CTA) any where in the primary navigation. Please don't bury the lead.

Rice - The Shepard School of Music's Application Experience - Homepage

Shepherd's Application Experience - Admissions

We can see here that there are multiple options under "Prospective students". After selecting one of the items we're met with even more link options.

Rice - The Shepard School of Music's Application Experience - Prospective Students Page

Shepherd's Application Experience - Undergrad Admissions

Met with another set of buttons. For this example we'll continue down the path to "Apply".

Rice - The Shepard School of Music's Application Experience - Undergraduate Studies in Music Page

Shepherd's Application Experience - Apply Page

Met with another set of buttons. For this example we'll continue down the path for "Freshman".

Rice - The Shepard School of Music's Application Experience - Undergraduate Studies in Music Application Page

Shepherd's Application Experience - Applicant Checklist

Its not which text link is clear, but for the sake of this example we'll click on the "Common Application" link.

*This is not a formal recommendation - what if students could fill out applications on their timeline when they feel ready (lowering their stress with the application process) and us as higher ed institutions could accept applications and let our student know that it will be reviewed with the next batch of applications.

Rice - The Shepard School of Music's Application Experience - Freshamn Applicants Checklist Page

Shepherd's Application Experience - Common Application

Users are sent off site to the Common Application website and encounter a completely different layout and navigation. They also must "Create Account" to proceed.

Rice - The Shepard School of Music's Application Experience - The Common Application Homepage

Shepherd's Application Experience - Sign Up

Users are required to create a profile and log in to access the application.

Rice - The Shepard School of Music's Application Experience - The Common Application Login Page

Conclusions

This process could easily be cut down by 4-5 steps if we:

  1. Brought the CTA's to the forefront of the home and admissions pages.
  2. Considered owning the application process and eliminating the user account sign up requirement.

We're about to ask students to make a serious monetary and life commitment for the next few years. Let's show students we are committed to them before they ever step foot on our campus. 

About the Author

Marty Vernon

Marty is Co-founder/Strategic Director at EDUCO. Connect with Marty on , LinkedIn or