Yale 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 Yale's School of Music.

Yale School of Music Built With:
Wordpress
Application Software By:
Technolutions/Slate

* Please note - This process is gone through of with the assumption that we are a prospective undergraduate student.

Yale's Application Experience - Home Page 

Home page - There is no "Call to Apply" (CTA) visible in the primary navigation.

Yale School of Music Application Experience - Step 1a Home Page

Yale's Application Experience - Home Page

The CTA is buried on the home page.

Yale School of Music Application Experience - Step 1b Home Page

Yale's Application Experience - Admissions

We can see here that the deadline for applications was December 2015. This is not a formal recommendation, but what if students could fill out an application on their own timeline  (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.

Relaxing application deadlines is a trend many elite schools are beginning to implement for the wrong reason (schools relaxing their application deadlines to lower their admissions rate). Some are doing it to lower student stress and better anticipate and identify technical issues, we like this approach.

Yale School of Music Website Application Experience - Step 2a Admissions Page

Yale's Application Experience - Admissions

Here we find another buried CTA. Please don't bury the "Online Application" link under a bunch of text based warnings that might not apply to every student. 

Yale School of Music Website Application Experience - Step 2b Admissions Page

Yale's Application Experience - Account Creation

Required account creation is one of the biggest user frustrations. Why do students need to create an account. Just like eCommerce sites should not require users to create an account - in higher ed 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 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.

Yale School of Music Website Application Experience - Step 3 Account Creation

Yale's Application Experience - User Profile

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

Yale School of Music Website Application Experience - Step 4 Account Creation

Yale's Application Experience - Verification

This is another step that could be eliminated if we didn't require users to create account.

Yale School of Music Website Application Experience - Step 5 Account Confirmation

Yale's Application Experience - Start Application

We can finally start the application. This process could easily be cut down by 5 steps if we:

  1. Brought the CTA's to the forefront of the 1st two pages.
  2. Look into owning the application process and eliminating the user account creation requirement. 

Yale School of Music Online Application Experience - Step 6 Start Application

Yale's Application Experience - Access Denied

Arguably we would not have come this far if we had observed the notice a few steps back that the admissions deadline had past. Still though why can't we let users submit an application on their timeline. We're about to ask them 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. 

Yale School of Music Online Application Experience - Step 7 Application Fail

Conclusions

Finding their application is over engineered. There are far too many steps and this could be paired down significantly.

This process could easily be cut down by 5-7 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. 

About the Author

Marty Vernon

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