NewCity’s Seven Pillars of Higher Ed Digital Strategy

multi-colored plastic pillars along a wall, looking up
In our three decades of research and work with higher education audiences, we've identified seven things we must do well for any digital experience that supports enrollment. When you partner with NewCity, we keep these front and center.

We are publishing a series of in-depth articles about each of the seven pillars. Subscribe to our newsletter (below) to get the series in your inbox!

#1. Unified Strategy Starts with Language & Empathy

Enrollment, Marcom and IT all belong at the table when shaping digital strategy. But each sees a school’s goals through their own specialized language and lens. Taking time to learn each other’s language and viewpoint builds the trust needed to rally your teams around a shared strategy and vision.

#2. Show Me the Degree

Prospective students’ #1 goal on your site is finding the degree program they want. Make that a great experience: help them choose, answer their questions about the program, spark their imagination, offer next steps. Win their first goal and build from there!

#3. Show Me the Experience

No one takes a journey they haven’t first imagined. Choose media, stories, and details to spark imagination and answer


      • How would I fit in here?

      • What’s it like to study here?

      • Is it in a place I’d like to be?

      • What can I do outside of class?

      • What makes you special?

    #4. Start a Conversation

    If a student walks into your admissions office you wouldn’t ask them to fill out a form before you talk to them. Your website can be a 24/7 admissions counselor, answering top questions in plain language and inviting conversation so you can take the next step.

    #5. Connect to My Future

    People choose higher ed to change their lives, opening doors to opportunity. Evidence of these outcomes shows the value of a degree or school. Connect your degree programs with alumni and career services content. Let students hear alumni voices, and show the support they receive along the way.

    #6. Make Cost, Aid and Application Accessible and Easy

    The experience around applying and paying for school presents a real speed bump to many students and families. Every investment you make to simplify, streamline and clarify here pays dividends for years.

    #7. Establish a Platform and Rhythm for Growth

    The pace of change in higher ed can make your head spin. Sustainable growth starts with the right roles on your team, a flexible design and tech foundation and a rhythm of regular improvement. Find a cadence that works for your resources, partner where needed and stay the course!

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