University Website

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University websites hold considerable power for reaching prospective students via a cost-effective means as many view the Internet as the great equalizer among institutions. Unlike traditional forms of marketing, the quality of a website does not have to be limited by university size or budget as the price of accessing the medium and distributing the message can be equal for all. Therefore, in terms of marketing activities, websites have the potential to remove the disparity between what larger universities are able to accomplish and what smaller ones would like to achieve. But establishment of a website provides no guarantee that visitors, especially prospective students, will find what they seek within a reasonable time frame. Therein rests the dilemma for institutions – failure to locate desired information or difficulty negotiating the site might, and likely do, lead prospective students to exit. The focus of this research study was two-fold: to evaluate the extent to which university websites use relationship marketing techniques to communicate with prospective students and to evaluate the usability of these sites. This book is addressed to professionals in higher education responsible for student recruitment and marketing.