USC Thornton 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.

Thornton Music School Built With:
Wordpress
Application Experience By:
Common Application

Thornton's Application Experience - Home Page

Strong call to apply in primary navigation. That is really great to see.

USC Thornton School of Music Application Experience - Step 1 - Homepage

Thornton's Application Experience - Application Process

The undergraduate application process is a bit buried, but at least it is above the scroll.

USC Thornton School of Music Application Experience - Step 2 - Admissions Page

Thornton's Application Experience - Application

Another buried link on this next page in their application experience and also surrounded by robust side bars and along side another text link.

USC Thornton School of Music Application Experience - Step 3 - Steps for Applying Page

Thornton's Application Experience - New Apply Button

Now we are taken to a page with a new layout and a navigation with a new "Apply" Button. Hopefully this one will take us to the application.

USC Thornton School of Music Application Experience - Step 4 - Undergraduate Admissions Page

Thornton's Application Experience - Buried Apply Now Button

Still not taken to the application. The "Apply Now" button is buried below the scroll.

USC Thornton School of Music Application Experience - Step 5a - Undergraduate First Year Prospective Students Admissions Page

Thornton's Application Experience - Apply Now

After scrolling we can find the "Apply Now" button.

USC Thornton School of Music Application Experience - Step 5b - Undergraduate First Year Prospective Students Admissions Page Cont'd

Thornton's Application Experience - Account Creation

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

USC Thornton School of Music Application Experience - Step 6 - The Common Application Sign In Page

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.

Conclusions

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

  1. Took visitors straight to the application from the home or 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. 

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

Is this what it feels like to find your website's application? Contact our team to:

Plan A Better Application Experience

About the Author

Marty Vernon

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