U of M 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 application experience

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

U of M Music School Built With:
Custom
Application Experience By:
Common Application

U of M's Application Experience - Homepage

No "Call to Apply" (CTA) in the primary navigation.

University of Michigan's School of Music Application Experience - Step 1 - Homepage

U of M's Application Experience - Apply

The "Apply" button is buried on the home page.

University of Michigan's School of Music Application Experience - Step 2 - Homepage Cont'd

U of M's Application Experience - Apply 

After clicking the "Apply" button we come to this new page with various text based links.

University of Michigan's School of Music Application Experience - Step 3 - Prospective Students Page

U of M's Application Experience - Prospective Undergrads

More text based links and opportunity for users to go down the wrong path.

University of Michigan's School of Music Application Experience - Step 4 - Prospective Students Admissions Page

U of M's Application Experience - Admission Requirements

A lot of new information and a link to the Common Application. 

University of Michigan's School of Music Application Experience - Step 5 - Prospective Students Admissions Requirements Page

U of M's Application Experience - Common Application

Required account creation is one of the biggest user frustrations. Why do students need to create an account?

University of Michigan's School of Music Application Experience - Step 5 - The Common Application Homepage

Just like eCommerce sites should not require users to create an account - in Higher Education we need to make it easy for students to submit the application and perhaps offer users the option to create an account after completing the application process. If we need more proof there is great article from Jared Spool about how removing the account creation requirement can make a $300 Million dollar difference.

U of M's Application Experience - Sign-In Page

Nothing much to say here except that if we didn't require a user account this step could easily be removed.

University of Michigan's School of Music Application Experience - Step 6 - The Common Application Sign-In Page

Conclusions

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

  1. Brought the CTA's to the forefront of the home and admissions pages.
  2. Look into 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. 

Or at the very least we could improve the experience by making the CTA's clearer, stronger and above the scroll on each page.

About the Author

Marty Vernon

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