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The Q1 2018 Higher Education Inquiry Generation Review, published by Digital Media Solutions (DMS), presents trends in inquiry generation and student acquisition activities of higher education institution. While our data discusses trends for the period of January 2016 through March 2018, we have placed an emphasis on reporting volume trends for January through March of this year.
Read on to see recent highlights surrounding higher education inquiry generation for Q1 of 2018.
Q1 2018 Inquiry Volume Trends
The first quarter of this year saw a 13% rise in inquiry volume from last year’s first quarter and a 15% increase from 2017’s fourth quarter.
Between Q1 of 2017 and Q1 of 2018, inquiry volume for both campus-based and online programs were up, though online programs drove more movement of growth.
Q1 2018 Media Channel Volume Trends
Throughout the first quarter of this year, and consistent with the first quarters of 2016 and 2017, third-party channels drove a little more than half of all inquiries. Third-party affiliate data lead volume was up nearly 15% year over year.
Internal website volume rose by more than one-third from Q4 2017 to Q1 2018 and delivered nearly one-fifth of all leads.
Unsurprisingly, the social media share of volume has been on an upward trend since the beginning of 2016.
Q1 2018 Degree-Level Distribution Trends
Bachelor’s degrees accounted for more than one-third of all lead volume in Q1 of 2018, while associate programs brought in almost one-fifth of all leads.
Diploma-level programs were the most popular option for the campus-based format.
Interestingly, master’s programs drew more than one-quarter of all online leads but less than 5% of campus-based inquiries, whereas certificate programs brought in 18% of leads for campus-based programs but less than 2% for online formats.
Q1 2018 Program Distribution Trends
Health programs were extremely popular in Q1 of 2018, driving almost half of all campus-based program inquiries and about two-fifths of all online volume. Landing in second place across both formats, business programs were more popular in the online program category.
Education, computer and psychology programs were all top five program categories. Computer programs were more popular in the campus-based format. Education and psychology programs drove more online volume.
Q4 2017 Conversion Rate Trends
Conversion rates averaged 9% in Q4 2017. The campus-based conversion rate was down 3.5%, but campus-based programs still delivered slightly more than 50% of all conversions in Q4 2017 from Q3 2017.