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7 Interactive Calculators Every College/University Needs on Its Website
12th August 2016 Pratham Mittal

7 Interactive Calculators Every College/University Needs on Its Website

Higher education marketers spend a lot of time perfecting various strategies to engage audiences and create interests in their schools. Generating leads, however, often takes a back seat. Keeping this in view, we bring to you a list of 7 must-have lead generation interactive calculators that can bring 10X traffic to your website.

1. How Much Financial Aid Will You Need?

Helps students calculate the amount of financial aid they would receive based on the course they choose, their nationality, their family income etc.

Why It’s Important - Finance is every student’s prime concern. This calculator tells them upfront the amount of aid they’ll receive and the remaining sum, if any, they need to pay for pursuing a degree at a college.

The Marketing Magic - When you Google "Financial Aid Calculators", you see only 3 universities in the top 10 results. The rest of the spaces are up for grabs.

The number of searches for 'financial aid' go up to 165K per month. And consider other keyword combinations people use, and you will see millions of searches in a year! This means, if your college/university builds a financial aid calculator and optimizes it properly, you could get a good percentage of these million hits on your site per year. That’s a lot of traffic!

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Not only traffic, most of these students will be in your target market and hence will be great leads as well. Calculators see a conversion rate of over 40%, so you can expect to get tons of leads coming your way!

2. How Much is Your Degree Worth?

What will be the ROI (Return on Investment) in terms of incremental salaries relative to the cost of a particular degree?

Why It’s Important - No one wants to be a stuck in an industry that has no jobs! The first step to a great career and the first thing on every student’s mind is whether they will be able to get not only a job but also a  well-paying one. If students are investing in a degree they’d want to ensure that it lands them an equally rewarding job.

The Marketing Magic – This will help your college/university showcase the value a degree from your university adds to students. More importantly, they will know that you care about their post education plans. This will give your brand an extremely favorable image, while also helping you generate leads.

3. What is the average GPA of entry level freshers in your desired job?

For any particular industry that the student is interested in, this calculator tells the average GPA of previous applicants who went to a similar university, pursued the same degree and landed the same job.

Why It’s Important - Securing a good job is the ultimate dream of every student. However, only 14% of college grads have real jobs waiting. Besides, companies via campus placements or otherwise, take scores as their basic shortlisting criteria. This makes it even more crucial for students to know their odds of getting a real job, that too in an industry of their choice. So, for instance, if a student who is pursuing a finance degree at Wharton wants to know the average GPA of entry level Investment banking analysts, the output would be 3.7. This helps the student prepare in advance, and can motivate him/her to perform better.

The Marketing Magic - The calculator provides value upfront, increases credibility score of a college/university and can help increase course intake. Besides, it can go viral on social media instantly.  Who doesn't love sharing his/her career prospects with friends, while having a chance at getting to know theirs as well? What’s more, you can co-create this in collaboration with recruiters, making it a great promotion platform for them.

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4. Will you get into <x college>? Calculate the probability.

Calculates the odds of a student getting into a college, including famous institutions like Harvard, Stanford, Princeton etc.

Why It’s Important - Students work hard to get into grad school, especially institutions like Harvard, Stanford etc., and their degrees mean more than just an accolade for them. The U.S. Census Bureau reports that over a typical, forty-year working lifetime, the average college graduate earns about 75 percent more than a non-graduate. So, yes, that degree is worth it! And if students can calculate their odds of getting into these colleges based on their scores, EC activities, financial situation etc., it can be a treasure of practical information for them.

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The Marketing Mix – Imagine, if this post that simply offers practically written advice on finding the right college, can make it to the first page of Google and get 200 plus shares, how well will this calculator perform? This value-based tool can not only go viral and have a positive impact on your institution’s branding, helping them come across as “ahead of the others” and prove them to be real ‘thought leaders’.  Besides, it will be a great lead generation tool especially for education consultants who help students get into colleges of their choice.

5. Where do you fall on the nerd scale?

Do you feel like Harry Potter still forced to live in the cupboard under the stairs or Jesse Pinkman who has to use his intelligence to make crystal meth? Engage students with these and a lot more fun predictions through this calculator that reveals how studios a person is but with a twist.

Why It’s Important – OK! This might not be a life or death kinda question, but it is definitely no less from a student’s point of view. After all, you’ll any day find a student who wants to show off his knowledge or a student who hates being tagged as a nerd. This has always been a point of debate.

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The Marketing Magic – A calculator like this can become highly popular and can help your college/ relate more with a younger audience. After all, this is going to deliver personalized results for each student. Don’t believe us? Consider the example of the New York Times that created a student loan calculator that spoke to their young professional and student readers. The NYT was not selling a service related to the topic but offering a free product with the intention of deepening their relationship with their audience.

6. Calculate how much you need in <Competitive Exam> to get into Law/Med/Business School?

Calculates students’ chances of getting into  different law/business/medical schools by comparing their competitive exam scores with those of the previous year’s applicants.

Why It’s Important - The number of students appearing in competitive entrance exams is on a rise year after year. For instance, In the fall of 2014, 3.8 million students took the PSAT as compared to 3.7 Million students who took the test in 2013. Similarly, there has been a 4.4% increase in the number of LSAT test-takers. The same is true with many other exams. This hints at the importance these tests hold for the takers.

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The Marketing Magic - A calculator that can predict the minimum score students need in your school’s/college’s entrance test can be a point of traction. For instance, if you build a calculator which predicts PSAT scores, you’ll be attracting a potential 3.7 Million students! This would mean you could get a lot of leads!

7. What is the minimum grade you need to get into graduate Law/Business/Med School?

Calculates the minimum score a student needs to get into grad school based on their current scores, areas of interest, study schedule etc.

Why It’s Important – Grad schools are an important juncture for students and honestly, grades matter a lot. Students are required to maintain the GPA at a minimum standard to show academic progress, to satisfy scholarship requirements, and to qualify for fellowships, etc. This calculator can help them set a goal and work towards it with a clear vision.

The Marketing Magic – Look at this post below. This has been viewed more than 53 K times! Yes, grad schools are a big deal, whether law, medical or business. Now imagine if you create a calculator which tells them upfront the minimum score students will need to qualify for any grad school, how many students will you attract?  This can be a lead magnet.

WikiHow - Graduates schools with low gpa

Source: WikiHow

Attracting the right students begins with capturing the right leads. And these calculators can help you connect your educational offerings with prospective students in a cost-effective manner. Sounds promising? Give it a shot!