As you can see from the screen shot above, we placed the widget on Undergraduate Admission’s homepage with the simple questions “In high school? Have a question?”. The goal is to get quick interactions from prospective students to start their connection with Wayne State.
In addition the questions allow us to get insight into what students cannot find on the website. At first this was great, we got multiple questions about the GPA requirements and tuition cost. So we are moving those to more prominent areas on the site. Currently we are averaging 4-5 question submissions per day.
A minor change
After a month or so of questions we discovered the same questions being asked repeatedly so we re-aligned the footer of the admission’s website to include the top asked-questions. Prospective students can now click to see the answer immediately.
Since the change
We have received far more diverse questions since the change. This has forced us to make some changes internally to handle the requests. General questions we can usually answer since the information is posted on our main website but questions are now getting more personal and detailed. We had to bring admissions, housing, financial aid and the registrar’s office into the answering process.
We act as the question switch board and delegate the content specific questions to the appropriate departments. So far the system is working out smoothly and we are planning future expansion.
Using the API to extend Formspring
We were lucky enough to get access to the Formspring API which allows us to interact with all our data and answers. With this data we can start categorizing answers and display them on the front end of the Admission’s website, and other departmental sites, based on their content. We are currently adapting the data as we speak and should have something up shortly with some statistics on how it is being used.
In the mean time follow us on Formspring and learn what prospective students are interested in. So far we have answered over 200 questions in just three months and it doesn’t look like it’s going to slow down any time soon. Feel free, ask us anything!