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Institutions Face Imperative to Embrace Digital Transformation, According to New Research from

College Students Expect Institutions to Communicate on Their Terms, Provide Unique Learning Experiences through Hybrid, Remote Options

A new study from shows that recent college graduates prefer email over all other methods of communication. According to the newly released Voice of the Student Survey, 37 percent of students prefer email over all other methods of communication when it comes to interacting with administrators at an institution.

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The study is based on an online survey of more than 500 recent college graduates across the United States, to learn their viewpoints on a variety of topics most pressing within higher education.

Key takeaways from the report include:

  • Online learning is here to stay, and institutions must adjust accordingly. Sixty-one percent of students said that having options for remote learning impacted whether or not they chose to attend an institution. However, 37 percent said the current experience must improve.
  • Chatbots are gaining popularity with students, and they are willing to provide additional data to optimize that experience. Ninety-four percent of all recent graduates that experienced chatbots at their institution found them to be valuable. As a result, 57 percent said they’d be willing to provide personal information, in exchange for more personalized support.
  • First-generation students heavily rely on the on-campus visit to make their assessments. However, institutions must provide greater accessibility. Forty-three percent of all first-generation students say the on-campus visit was their top factor when making a college decision.
  • Institutions must continue working to support student mental health. While 62 percent of graduates said they felt supported in their mental health while attending their institution, that same percentage also felt like they’d feel more connected to the institution if it proactively checked on their well-being.

“As higher education continues to evolve, students expect that institutions will adopt the requisite technology to provide a robust, convenient learning environment. One of the biggest takeaways from the past 18 months is that institutions need to think beyond the physical campus, and instead adopt strategies that can serve students at any time, in any location,” said Mary Frances Coryell, Vice President of Partnerships at “In order to better optimize the student experience, institutions need to look for technology that enables students to learn and communicate with any department on one platform in order to succeed in higher education environment.”

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