Sometimes in higher education there are forces with competing priorities. Just sometimes, though.
The stronger those forces are, the harder it is to create a website that works the best a website could.
For example, there are some universities where research, patient care and education compete with one another. Sometimes, alumni and trustees are the ones with the power and the website needs to cater to them… or there will be hell to pay. And speaking of pay, sometimes the advancement folks have the biggest gravity and they win.
So, what happens when all these forces are stronger than the internal equity and power you have to advance the mission you were hired to champion: enrollment? If the battle is not one that you can win, you must pick your battles and let the main website be what it needs to be. Then, you create a recruitment microsite that’s jacked up with SEO, user experience techniques (animations, video, data visualization, etc), and you point your recruitment efforts (paid media, brochures, email signatures, etc.) to it.
[Not knowing the reasons why these schools created them] here are some compelling admissions/recruitment microsites to stimulate your creativity and possibility.
- Union College, Think Union: http://think.union.edu/
- Mount Saint Mary’s Admissions: http://admissions.msmary.edu/
- Northeastern, Picture Yourself Here: http://www.northeastern.edu/pictureyourselfhere/
- Washington State University Admissions: https://admission.wsu.edu/
- University of Arizona Admissions: https://admissions.arizona.edu/
- University of Maryland Admissions: https://www.admissions.umd.edu/
- University of Virginia Admissions: http://admission.virginia.edu/
- Notre Dame College of Arts and Letters: https://al.nd.edu/
- Texas Christian University Admissions: https://admissions.tcu.edu/
- Wesley College Admissions: http://admissions.wesley.edu/
- Southeastern Illinois University Admissions: http://admissions.siu.edu/
- Arizona State University online: Microsite
- Tufts University Admissions: http://admissions.tufts.edu/