(PRWEB via PR Web Direct) August 24, 2005 -- Over the past five years, the Internet has become one of the most important recruitment tools for colleges and universities. In fact, a recent report compiled for the Pew Internet & American Life Project found that nearly nine in 10 young people between the ages of 12 and 17 have Internet access, up from about 75 percent just five years ago.
But merely having a Web site with standard information about admission requirements, financial aid and student activities isn't enough anymore to sustain the attention of Internet-savvy high school
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students who have come to expect an “experience” from the Web.
With the launch of www.WhyLongwood.com today, Longwood University is now part of a growing national trend of colleges across the country – and the first public university in Virginia – to create a separate “microsite” that speaks directly to high school students in a style and language
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that is less formal and more engaging.
This new site, which has a separate URL from the university's main site (www.Longwood.edu), appeals directly to teenagers considering higher education
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The site has numerous components usually not seen on traditional college Web sites, such as streaming video, an interactive FAQ (frequently asked questions), a one-of-a-kind tuition calculator, a virtual campus tour and “The Longwood Show,” a Webcast news and entertainment program written and produced by Longwood students, which will air three times a semester, with the first episode premiering in mid-October.
“While our Longwood.edu site speaks to many different audiences – current students, faculty, staff, alumni and the public – our WhyLongwood.com site speaks directly to prospective students in a style and manner they feel comfortable with,” said Bob Chonko, dean of enrollment management at Longwood University.
WhyLongwood.com was the brainchild of Dave Hooper, director of Web communications at Longwood. He said the site will eventually include “Longwood REAL Life” – a take on MTV's “The Real World” – which will chronicle the lives of five Longwood students who will be writing online “episodes” about their college experiences and posting on-the-fly snapshots using pocket-size digital cameras given to them by the university.
“It's definitely a national trend for schools to look at the versatility of the Internet to really showcase the 'real' college experience for prospective students while emphasizing their institution's unique qualities,” Hooper said. “High school students want to see the campus and hear from current students. The only thing more real is for prospective students to actually come visit the campus, which we hope WhyLongwood.com will entice them to do.”
About Longwood University
Founded in 1839 in Farmville, Virginia, Longwood University is a coeducational, comprehensive state institution offering programs leading to bachelor's and master's degrees in a wide variety of subjects. Longwood has an undergraduate enrollment of 4,300 students, combining the quality of a small, private college with the cost benefits of a public institution. Longwood was cited recently as one of the nation's best college buys in America's 100 Best College Buys, a national publication that profiles schools that are the highest rated academically but have the lowest annual costs. For seven consecutive years, Longwood has ranked among the best in higher education in U.S. News & World Report's “America's Best Colleges” annual survey.
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