Study: Gen Z in #HigherEd

Long-time PadillaCRT client Barnes & Noble College recently published a study on Generation Z and what makes them tick. The report reveals some valuable insights on how higher education communicators and marketers alike can better cater to the next generation of students. Here are three of the most relevant takeaways as I read them:

Demonstrate Value

According to the Barnes & Noble College report, the top three factors Gen Z considers when choosing a college are career preparation, interesting coursework and professors that care about student success. Gen Zers are more financially-focused than their Millennial predecessors, so communicating the value of tuition dollars is more important than ever. In a previous blog post, I wrote about how schools can set themselves apart by demonstrating a positive ROI.

Understand and Adapt To How They Like To Learn

Gen Z students have different learning preferences. They value implementation of technology in the classroom. They thrive in collaborative environments. They learn by doing. Taking note of these preferences is vital for colleges and universities who want Gen Z to succeed at their schools. And to Gen Z, the most appealing universities are up-to-date and actively making the changes necessary – in the classroom and on campus – to keep their students engaged.

Ask the Right Questions

Recognize how Gen Z wants to communicate with colleges before you connect with them. When it comes to reaching Gen Z with your messaging, it’s all about where – the report found that Gen Z rated online college resources as their number one method for researching schools. To catch this generation’s attention and spur engagement, however, consider how your messaging sounds to them – be genuine and be concise.


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