Remember the college application process? Not the most enjoyable experience. Pikes Peak Community College (PPCC) in Colorado Springs is changing that. It has taken an innovative approach by making its online application a simple, interesting process. By using Addy, a CodeBaby Character, to assist applicants and answer their questions, students are engaged throughout the application process. This increased application completion rates, decreased application error rates, and reduced call volume for the PPCC Admissions Staff.
To find out more about PPCC’s new approach, we interviewed Alex, a college applicant who recently went through the process. Here’s what he said about his experience:
CodeBaby: Hi Alex, thanks for taking the time to talk with us.
Alex: Hey, no problem.
CB: When did you apply to PPCC?
A: I applied in May 2010 for the fall semester.
CB: Did you use the online admissions form?
A: Yes, I’ve used the online form for most of the colleges I’ve applied to.
CB: No paper applications? Why?
A: Ha, I guess I didn’t think about the paper option, only online. It’s just easier.
CB: So you’ve met the CodeBaby Character Addy, then? What was your initial reaction?
A: I was surprised! I wasn’t expecting to have a character start talking to me and interact with me when I went to the application. It got my attention. Also, I was pleasantly surprised that they had created a system to help people with the admissions process. They didn’t leave the students to try and navigate the process by themselves. So I liked to see that.
CB: We like to hear that! But comparatively, was it a good experience? I mean, have you applied to other colleges that didn’t have a CodeBaby Character?
A: Yeah, I’ve applied to quite a few. I don’t like applying to colleges, and I don’t know of anyone that does. There are just a lot of questions, and it’s pretty bland. It can also get really frustrating.
CB: What do you mean?
A: Well, I’ll take the time to sit down and fill out the application, then realize I don’t have all the information I need. I start making phone calls trying to track down the information, and before long, I’m distracted. It’s just so tedious. Or the wording will be so technical that I’m not entirely sure what they’re asking about. The whole experience just isn’t my favorite.
CB: And is this what you experienced at PPCC?
A: Actually, no. This was pretty cool. Partly because PPCC put the time into making this application easy, and the character kept me moving through it. It’s nice hearing answers to the questions I have - it helped me move through the application very quickly.
CB: At what point during the admissions form did you use Addy?
A: I started using Addy at the beginning of the application, and it made the process easy and fast. I was able to answer the questions much faster.
CB: Much faster? So how long did the entire admissions form take?
A: I finished the application in about 15 minutes.
CB: Overall, did you find Addy helpful?
A: Very helpful. It was such a pleasant experience, it really made PPCC stand out in my mind. More sites should use a character like that.
CB: Have you made a decision about where you’re going to college this fall?
A: Yep. I’m planning on going to PPCC in the fall.
CB: Great! Well best of luck! And thanks for your time.