Understanding Prospective Students With Interactive Maps

Michigan Technological University is a public research university founded in 1885. Michigan Tech’s main campus sits on Michigan’s Upper Peninsula with sweeping views of the Keweenaw Waterway and is just miles away from Lake Superior. Michigan Tech offers over 120 undergraduate and graduate degrees to their student body of just over 7,000.
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Michigan Tech

Launched in March 2019, Michigan Technological University has had numerous successes with their campus map. Parents began sharing it in the move-in category in their Facebook group within hours of its publication and before it was even announced. It includes collaboration with the Facilities Management department to highlight construction areas and the best detour routes. But the biggest challenge the interactive map needed to address was engagement with admissions.

Problem

Connecting the campus map to prospective students’ activity. How many prospective students reference the campus map prior to applying? Do parents and families use the campus map in helping their students select a school? Where in the awareness phase do prospective students engage with the map, if at all?

Despite all the map’s successes, Michigan Tech needed to understand and track its role in early students’ life cycle, before they ever stepped foot on campus.

Michigan Tech
Michigan Tech

Solution

In July 2020, Michigan Tech embedded a Slate form in their Virtual Tour, which uses the campus map. Slate provides an HTML version of its Request for Information (RFI) form. Michigan Tech took this HTML and, using an iFrame, embedded it into the fourth tour stop.

Since adding the first RFI, Michigan Tech has added another at the end of the tour to increase opportunities for prospective students and their families to engage. The embedded forms close the loop between the campus map, the virtual tours within it, and admissions. The marketing and admissions teams can see the role and importance of a campus map in engaging prospective students.

“Our developer took five minutes and [the form] was in the tour!”

Megan Ross, Digital Services Coordinator, Michigan Tech

Results

Reached 4% form completion within nine months, exceeding expectations and industry benchmarks. 32% of those submissions were a prospective student’s first touch with Michigan Tech. And 21 of those students are now planning to attend Michigan Tech.

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Beyond being a powerful gateway to Michigan Tech, the campus map also serves as a support tool for friends and families of students. Accounting for 22% of the submissions were non-students — parents and guardians looking for information to help their students make important decisions about where to attend.

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