As part of the brand development process, Hope has completed a set of perception research studies with the help of EM2, our integrated marketing partner. The results of these studies were shared at a meeting in Haworth open to the college community. If you missed the meeting or are looking for more information, below is a brief summary:
- In February an online survey was sent to three groups: current students, prospective students and faculty/staff. Over 2,100 responses were collected and each group has a margin of error of 3-4%.
- Current students and faculty and staff are very satisfied. On a five-point scale, 90% of current students and 82% of faculty and staff rate their experience with the college as a 4 or a 5.
- Some of the aspects of the college that current students like most are small classes, friendly and welcoming environment, close faculty-student relationships, the Christian environment, academic quality, downtown Holland, the beauty of campus, preparation for success in career and the ability to get involved. This list is very similar to what aspects appeal to prospective students.
- What students like least are cost and financial aid, lack of diversity, parking, housing options and weather. Current students would also like to see more name recognition for the college.
- 77% of current students said the Christian atmosphere influenced their decision to attend Hope.
- 71% of prospective students are applying to at least 4 schools. The top sources in their college search are campus visits, college websites, printed materials and parents.
- The most important challenges identified by faculty and staff include sustaining enrollment, affordability, economic challenges, creating a more diverse campus and building the endowment.
- Faculty and staff identified faculty relationships, the quality of the academic program, and the supportive Christian environment as the biggest advantages or benefits to students.
- Most faculty and staff felt comfortable talking about Hope and the value it offers. 21% said they would like some help.
Overall, the research affirmed much of what we already knew (from a variety of different studies completed over the past few years) and gave us an even stronger foundation to build the brand promise and brand attributes on (more to come on these). We will use this information, including our strengths and challenges, to better articulate our value to those considering Hope.
— Submitted by Scott Travis, Director of Alumni and Parent Relations