What Gen Z Really Wants When Researching College

StudentBridge Staff |Aug 19, 2015

We’re all familiar with the corporate world’s fascination with the Millennial generation. But as these students are moving out into the “real world” so to speak, a new generation is beginning their college search: Generation Z. Feeling like you finally mastered the Millennials and aren’t ready for a new generation? Don’t worry – we’ve compiled three key characteristics of these incoming students and given some tips to help you market to them.

They are doing research in new way.

According to a study by Pew Research, 52% of teens today use YouTube or other social media sites for a typical school research assignment. When you are trying to communicate with these students, it is important to give them information in ways that they want. In fact, in a report from DeepFocus, it was found that 40% of Gen Z students prefer that their favorite brands communicate on YouTube than anywhere else. This statistic also shows that students are specifically looking to video for the answers to their questions.

They are incredibly optimistic.

For a generation that has grown up with war, terrorism and disease, they are incredibly optimistic about their future, especially when it comes to their own technological advances. According to a survey by Wikia, 66% say that technology makes them feel like anything is possible. In your campus marketing materials, try to show prospective students all of the things they can accomplish with a degree from your institution.

They react well to social media contact.

According to DeepFocus, 34% of Gen Z consumers want brands to reach out to them on social media, and 67% prefer to communicate with real people. While automated emails are great for getting out primary information, have your admissions counselors active on Twitter to start a conversation in the medium that students want.

While many of these characteristics aren’t radically different than those of Millennials, it is important to take them into consideration and make adjustments to your recruitment plan as these students begin their college search. These students are highly motivated, many of which are looking for business-world experience before they even apply to college. The future is bright for these students, and recruiting them the right way will set them up for a life of success at your college or university.


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