Higher Ed Student Experience

What Is the Student Experience in Higher Education?

The student experience in higher education goes beyond just attending classes and completing assignments. It encompasses the entirety of a student’s journey through their academic life, from the moment they step foot on campus to the day they graduate. It includes interactions with faculty and staff, engagement with extracurricular activities, access to resources and support systems, and the overall sense of belonging and satisfaction.


Imagine walking into a lecture hall and being greeted by a passionate professor who sparks your curiosity and makes the subject come alive. Or joining a student organization and finding a group of like-minded individuals who share your interests and support your personal growth. These are examples of positive student experiences that can significantly impact one’s academic journey.

What is the Student Engagement Flywheel?
student engagement strategies

The Student Engagement Flywheel is a comprehensive four-step framework designed to increase student engagement and improve retention rates. The four steps include Outreach, Support, Educate, and Analyze.

Why Is Student Experience Important in Higher Education?

Now, you might be wondering why the student experience is so important in higher education. Well, it turns out that it directly influences key success metrics such as student retention, enrollment, and engagement. When students have a positive experience, they are more likely to stay enrolled in their programs, actively participate in campus life, and achieve their academic goals. On the other hand, a negative student experience can lead to decreased satisfaction, lower retention rates, and even deter potential students from applying to an institution.

higher education student enrollment

Let’s take a moment to explore the impact of student experience in higher education. Imagine a student who feels disconnected from their campus community, lacks access to necessary resources, and struggles to find support for their academic needs. Such a student is more likely to feel disillusioned and may consider transferring to another institution or, worse, drop out altogether. This not only affects the student but also has financial implications for the institution and hinders its ability to attract new students.


Recent research from Qualtrics reveals that only half of current college students (55%) agree that the education they’re receiving is worth their tuition. Even more concerning, 45% of students feel that their institution doesn’t understand what’s important to them. This highlights a significant gap between student expectations and the actual experience provided by higher education institutions. Addressing these concerns is crucial to enhancing the student experience.

How to Enhance Student Experience in Higher Education

Ensuring that every student has a positive higher education experience is obviously vital, so how can colleges and universities enhance the student experience? It starts with proactively addressing student concerns and focusing on delivering value. Students want to feel that they are getting the education they need and that their individual needs are being met. This means providing personalized support, relevant resources, and clear communication about the valuable resources available to them.


Moreover, today’s higher education students expect a seamless experience. They don’t want to navigate through disparate systems or search for information from various sources. They want answers when they need them, with minimal effort. To meet these expectations, institutions need to focus on streamlining their processes, integrating their systems, and ensuring that information is readily accessible and easy to find.

Tools to Improve the Higher Education Student Experience

You know what you need to do, so now we’ll break down what strategies institutions of higher education can employ to achieve their goal of an optimized student experience. More specifically, this is where technology comes into play. Student communication technology, like Ocelot’s platform, plays a vital role in improving the higher ed student experience. Ocelot’s technology enables institutions to proactively convey important information to students when they need it most and via the channels students prefer (such as chatbot, two-way texting, and live chat). By connecting with vital back-office systems such as student information systems (SISs) and customer relationship management systems (CRMs), it enables personalized communication from the institution to the student. This not only enhances engagement but also helps to address individual needs and concerns.

Learn more about the channels students prefer for communications, like two-way texting: Engage Higher Education Students with AI-Powered Two-Way Texting by Ocelot

Furthermore, Ocelot’s centralized knowledge base creates a seamless experience for students. They can access information, resources, and support across multiple channels, but because each of those channels pulls information from a single knowledge base, students receive the most accurate, up-to-date, and compliant information every time. This empowers students to find answers quickly and efficiently, as well as decreases the chances of confusion and frustration, ultimately increasing overall student satisfaction.

In conclusion, enhancing the student experience in higher education is essential for student success, institutional growth, and attracting potential students. By proactively addressing student concerns, personalizing communication, and ensuring a seamless student experience, institutions can create an environment that nurtures students’ academic and personal growth. With the help of innovative technologies like Ocelot, institutions can transform the student experience, increase applications, enrollment, and retention, and foster a future-oriented collaboration between technology and higher education.

Want to learn more about how you can elevate the higher education student experience with proactive, personalized, and seamless student communications? Talk to us today and we’ll show you how!


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