Today’s Graduate Students: Where Do They Come From and How Can We Find Them?


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Richy Damraur from Zinch discusses the recent findings of a survey conducted of over 500 prospective and current graduate students. The results will help you understand how students prefer to be communicated with, how frequently they prefer be communicated with and through which medium(s). Zinch will also discuss a variety of new and exciting avenues to find and engage with prospective graduate students.

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Today’s Graduate Students: Where Do They Come From and How Can We Find Them?

  1. 1. Graduate StudentPerspectivesJUNE 2013
  2. 2. Reaches over 8,000,000 collegestudents and working professionalsZinch registration population in-linewith US populationOver 9 million connections betweenstudents and their right-fit colleges anduniversities over the past 3 yearsChegg reaches 35% ofcurrent college students
  3. 3. MethodologyBackground: To gain greater insight into potential graduate students’ decisionmaking process and tools in selecting which school to apply to and attendMethodology: Survey invitations were emailed to Chegg students takingupper division coursesSurvey Dates: February 2013Total Respondents: 519- Intenders (college students planning to attend grad school): 76%- Current or past Graduate Students: 23%
  4. 4. 28%12%5%12%43%Not planning on attending graduate schoolA current graduate school studentA recent graduate school graduateA college graduate and plan on attending grad schoolGraduating college this year (or next) and plan onattending grad schoolGrad School IntentionsMajority are graduating college or soon plan to attend grad schoolGrad School Intentions and StatusQ1. I am…Excluded from analysisIntendersCurrent GradStudents
  5. 5. 35%2%3%2%5%2%7%14%30%19%5%5%8%9%12%13%15%16%Other (please specify)Law SchoolEngineeringFine Arts (MFA, Writing)Social WorkMedical SchoolTeachingSciences (e.g., chemistry, biology)Business SchoolGrad Student IntendersCurrent Grad StudentsCommon FieldsMBA and Science are the most common fields for grad school fieldsFields of study in grad schoolQ20. What type of graduate program will/ do you attend?Nursing, speech pathology, counseling, etc.
  6. 6. 6%14%18%21%28%38%39%48%OtherI want to defer student loansI want to teach higher educationI am interested in research/ specializationThe economic climate is bad; it’s a good time toget a graduate degreeA graduate degree is expected in my fieldI want to stay in school/keep learningMy career choice requires a graduate degreeGraduate School DecisionsGraduate School helps further careers and desire to keep learningFactors influencing decision to attend grad schoolQ2. What factors influenced your decision to apply to graduate school (or attend)?Prestige, higher pay, employer pays for degreeCurrent graduate students aremore likely than intenders to saythe economic climate promptstheir degree (36% vs. 26%)51% of intenders say theircareer choice requires adegree, versus 40% of current
  7. 7. • Graduate School helps further careers and desire to keep learningFactors influencing decision to attend grad school• My career choice requires a graduate degree• A graduate degree is expected in my field• The economic climate is bad; graduate degree ideal• I am interested in research/ specializationGraduate School Decisions6%28%38%47%80%36%32%33%Q2. What factors influenced your decision to apply to graduate school (or attend)?12%37%44%56%61%72%What influences your decision to go tograduate school in the U.S. versus China?Standard practice to study abroadU.S. graduate degree will provide me more opportunitiesPrestige of studying abroadU.S. graduate degree is more relevant in my fieldWant to experience life abroadEasier to get admitted to top U.S. school
  8. 8. 14%10%21%17%38%31%20%28%13%8%Before attending collegeFreshmen or Sophomore year of collegeJunior yearSenior yearAfter graduating from collegeGrad Student IntendersCurrent Grad StudentsGrad School AttendanceIntenders are deciding to attend graduate school earlier than current students didWhen decided to attend graduate schoolQ3. When did you decide that you were interested in applying to graduate school?Half of intenders decide topursue graduate schoolduring or before Sophomoreyear of college
  9. 9. 9%6%12%12%20%25%28%46%54%Other (please specify)Guidance counselorFriendsA family member is in the field/ strongly encouragedme in this areaProfessional networksUndergraduate professor/facultyPost degree earning potentialGrowth in job opportunities in this fieldI developed an interest as an undergraduate studentCollege and Job OpportunitiesInterests in college and job opportunities influence area of studyFactors in deciding field of studyQ4. What influences what you chose/choose to study in grad school? (select all that apply)Lifelong dream, passionIntenders are 38% morelikely than currentgraduate students to saythey develop an interest asan undergraduate student(58% vs. 42%)
  10. 10. 3%7%14%34%5%19%31%45%Hired a tutorOffline test prep courseOnline test prep coursePurchased book to study for testGrad Student IntendersCurrent Grad StudentsBooks are Still the Top ToolBooks are still the top tool for test prep; online prep is higher among intendersAdmissions test preparationQ5. What steps did you take (or plan on taking) to prepare for admissions tests (e.g., GMAT/GRE etc.)? (select all that apply)
  11. 11. 61%62%68%69%Specializedtopic/professor/area ofinterestAbility to receive a scholarshipor stipendAffordabilityLocationLocation and AffordabilityLocations and affordability are top factors on where to apply and attendInfluencing Factors on where to applyQ6. What influences which graduate schools you apply/applied to and ultimately decide(d) to attend?(Please select all that apply for each phase) (among grad student intenders)50%57%61%66%Specialized topic/professor/areaof interestAbility to receive a scholarship orstipendAffordabilityLocationGrad Student IntendersInfluencing Factors on where to attend
  12. 12. 16%21%21%22%24%28%36%41%44%68%Alumni organizationCareer center siteSocial media (e.g., twitter,…In person help at career centerMagazine or online publicationsGraduate school fairsSchool visitsProfessor recommendationSearch EngineUniversity websitesUniversity WebsitesUniversity websites are most often used to research grad schoolsTools used to research which grad school to applyQ7. Which of the following did you use/are you using to research graduate schools to apply to and ultimately attend?1 in 5 used social media for researchIntenders applied to 3.6schools on average.Current grad studentsapplied to 2.5 schools onaverage.
  13. 13. 19%19%25%30%31%35%38%40%40%44%Alumni from the graduate programAlumni from my undergraduate schoolProfessional networksCounselorCurrent students in the graduate programFellow students in area of studyAdmissions staff from the school (at fairs, events, etc.)FriendsFamilyProfessorProfessors and Family/FriendsProfessors and Family/Friends most influential in school choicePeople influencing where to applyQ8. Whom did you speak with when deciding which graduate schools you would apply to and ultimately attend?
  14. 14. Social Media Gaining ImportanceA lot8%Some24%Notmuch/not atall68%Where to applyNot much/Not at all68%Q9. How much influence does social media (e.g., facebook, LinkedIn) have in your search for a graduate school and which school to ultimately attend?Q10. Which social media do/did you use for your grad school decision?Social Media gaining importanceInfluence of social media Social Media used for grad school decision72%6%12%18%NoneTwitterLinkedInFacebookA lot6%Some18%Notmuch/not atall76%Not much/Not at all76%Where to attend Younger students (<30years) are 40% more likelyto use social media thanolder students (28% vs20%)
  15. 15. 6%6%12%31%54%Social Media gaining importance in ChinaQ9. How much influence does social media (e.g., facebook, LinkedIn) have in yoursearch for a graduate school and which school to ultimately attend?Q10. Which social media do/did you use for your grad school decision?Influence of social media Social Media Used for Grad School DecisionA lot15%Some60%Notmuch/not atall25%Where to attend Zinch Renren Sina Weibo QQ LinkedInA lot20%Some66%Notmuch/not atall15%Where to applyNearly 90% say social mediahad an influence on where they applied and attendSocial Media Gaining Importance
  16. 16. Factors in Deciding Where to ApplyQ11. What else influences your decision on which schools to apply to?
  17. 17. 29%40%43%57%I did not researchscholarships/financingOnline searches (e.g., Google, Bing)Government sourcesSchool websites/materialsFinancial AidSchools and government resources are most used for researching financial aidaidQ14. How did you research student loans/scholarships for graduate school? (select all that apply)Tools used for researching loans/scholarshipsCurrent grad students morelikely to use governmentsources than grad studentintenders (50% vs. 40%)
  18. 18. 7%3%4%24%38%53%81%Other (please specify)textsocial mediapersonal interviews/visitsphone callsdirect mailemailEmail is most used form of contact during application, admissions, decisionprocess; In-person contact and email communication most satisfactoryGrad School means of contactQ17. What type of communication did you receive from graduate schools during the application process or when you were deciding where to attend?Q18. How would you rate the communication you receive(d ) from grad schools during your application process through deciding what school to attend?50%52%60%67%37%41%37%25%phone callsdirect mailemailpersonal interviews/visitsVery satisfied Somewhat satisfiedSatisfaction with communicationInterest Meetings, OpenHouse InvitationEmail
  19. 19. 4%6%7%13%13%33%11%12%18%43%25%45%9%11%41%21%24%13%76%72%34%23%38%10%0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70% 80% 90% 100%textsocial mediapersonal interviews/visitsdirect mailphone callsemailWeekly or more oftenMonthlyLess often than monthlyI do not want this type ofcommunication from potentialgraduate schoolsStudents Want EmailStudents want email as most frequent communication. Direct mail follows.Preferred frequency of contactQ19. How often do you want graduate schools to communicate with you while you are deciding where to apply andultimately choosing a graduate school program?Among social media,students prefer:Facebook (23%)LinkedIn (21%)Twitter (17%)
  20. 20. Respondents represent minorities and are representatively spread throughout USMale,22%Female,78%Female,78%Gender Ethnicity4%1%2%7%15%22%56%Other (please specify)Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific…American Indian or Alaskan NativeAsianHispanic/LatinoAfrican AmericanCaucasianTop StatesRespondentsCA:17%TX:8%NY:8%FL:7%IL:7% PA:5%MI:4%
  21. 21. Similar Considerations in School to AttendQ12. What else influences your decision on which school to ultimately attend?
  22. 22. 6%4%47%42%3%3%26%69%Yes, I successfully negotiatedan award amount upI tried to negotiate but theaward didn’t changeNo, I did not try to negotiateNot applicable, have notreceived offersIntendersCurrentStudents Receiving OffersMajority of student who receive offers do not try to negotiateQ15. Did you try to negotiate the scholarship or award offered you by specific graduate schools? (This includes asking one school tomatch an award offered by another school)Negotiation of award offered by grad schoolsCurrent students’ averageaward much higher thanwhat intenders areoffered($16K vs. $7K)
  23. 23. Key InsightsStudents choose to attend graduate school because it is required or expected intheir career. 4 in 10 want to stay in school to continue learning.College students apply to 3-4 graduate schools on average.Graduate school intenders are beginning their search and decision-makingprocess much earlier than current graduate students.Location and affordability are the top factors determining which graduateschools students apply to and ultimately attend. University websites and searchare top research tools. Social media influences 3 in 10 students on where toapply.Email is most commonly used by schools to contact students.Students are open to receiving email most frequently and prefer it over all othermeans of contact except in-person visits.
  24. 24. Zinch is an online network that connects collegesand universities to best-fit students globallyOver 12MM students worldwide haveUsed Zinch/Chegg to connect with schoolsZinch recruits for 800+ institutions &750+ graduate programsZinch/Chegg
  25. 25. International OutreachZinch China:Zinch Turkey:Zinch Middle East:Broadcast your message to a database of over 350,000 users on Zinch.cnZinch has teamed up with NAFSA to create a series of 9 white papers that give youdeep cultural perspective on recruiting in ChinaProtect your brand with Zinch’s Brand Monitoring service for any suspicious has tapped into China’s social media outlets boosting your brand recognitionZinch has partnered with Mezun to help students find the right opportunities in the USRecruit best-fit students by establishing filtering preferences and criteria with our expertsZinch has partnered with Al-Jamiat to help students find the right opportunities in the USRecruit best-fit students by establishing filtering preferences and criteria with our experts
  26. 26. Insert an advertisement into theChegg textbook rental boxes forstudents renting books from yourtop feeder schools.Chegg currently rents to over8,000,000 college studentsevery semester.Get in front of the exact studentpopulation that you want.Chegg Box Inserts
  27. 27. Thank you!!Presenter:Richy DamraurAccount Executiverichy@zinch.com435-760-2470