Date Approved


Embargo Period


Document Type


Degree Name

M.A. in Public Relations


Public Relations & Advertising


Ric Edelman College of Communication & Creative Arts


Bagin, Donald


Universities and colleges--Admission; Universities and colleges--Public relations; Web sites--Design


Public Relations and Advertising


This study provides advice to college admissions and public relations professionals so they can make their college web sites more user friendly.

The author surveyed 275 juniors and seniors from six randomly selected Catholic and public New Jersey high schools. There were 261 viable responses.

The author found that the family is the most influential factor in the student's college search. Participants indicated that the Internet plays a role in most of their searches. The students rely on direct mail and guidance counselors in their search as well.

Participants were interested in visiting college web sites that were easily navigated. The students also value the opportunity to apply on-line. Students also said that waiving the fees for on-line applications would be helpful to many of them.

The research shows that to draw traffic to their web site, they should consider subscribing to a metasearch engine or varying their method of advertising. Most of the participants have visited metasearch engines. Because the Internet is a new medium that appeals to younger demographics, it may be a more effective way for colleges and universities to get their message out and people to their site.