Social Media Stats for Students and Colleges

social media stats college

So there is this thing called social networking. Maybe you’ve heard of it. It’s kind of important these days. Find out more below.

Business2community has an interesting article about the soaring usage rate of social media by universities. The Center for Marketing Research at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth revealed the following:

  • 100% of universities and colleges are using some form of social media (compared to 61% in 2008)
  •  98% of schools use Facebook
  •  86% use YouTube
  •  84% use Twitter
  •  20% use Foursquare

Recent data from comScore report found that:

  • Social networking accounts for 19% of all time spent online (compared to 6% in 2007)
  • People spent 6.7 billion combined hours on social networks in October 2011 alone
  • 82% of internet users are on social networking sites (1.2 billion people)

Time spent on social networks

Nielsen recently conducted a study about teens and their mobile phone habits. Over the last year, researchers found that:

  • Teens age 13-17 now use triple the data usage (320 MB per month)
  • The average teen sends 3417 text messages per month (Wow!)
  • Voice usage among teens declined from an average of 685 to 572 minutes per month

monthly data usage by age
average number of messages exchanged per month

The Lawlor group collected some of the latest figures of how social media affects the college application process for students. Some of the stats they found were:

  • 62% of students wanted to access a college’s social media properties on their mobile device
  • 57% of parents of prospective students say a bad experience on a college’s website may have some negative effect on their perception of the college
  • 27% of first-year students felt the admissions or recruitment materials didn’t accurately portray campus
  • Prospective students are increasingly investigating institutions’ reputations via online networks, word-of-mouth recommendations, and other communication channels beyond the colleges’ direct control

Karine Joly at Collegewebeditor conducted a survey about mobile solutions in higher ed. Among her findings were:

  • 59% of the survey respondents provide a solution (mobile website, accessible website, native mobile device applications etc.) targeting mobile devices. In 2011 it was only 37%.
  • 75% of institutions planning a mobile solution want to use it for student recruitment.


Social media usage has continued its insane growth over the last 12 months and is reaching a saturation point. And wherever teens and prospective students go, universities are quick to follow. Using social media to recruit students is no longer “a nice to have,” but a necessity. Mobile usage continues to rise rapidly and will also impact student recruitment. Institutions need to consider adopting a mobile-optimized website if they haven’t already done so.

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