How to create the campus experience students want.
Colleges and universities that want to attract and retain quality students are paying more attention to the student experience: the combination of activities and interactions with technology, facilities, information, faculty, administrative staff and other students.
To discover the factors that matter most to students, Pitney Bowes commissioned Morning Consult to conduct a study of approximately 2,000 higher education students and 250 faculty. The results reveal some surprising student priorities, and indicate that the quality of life outside the classroom is more important than ever.
Modern technology is a must-have
Most currently enrolled college students are digital natives that use technology to shop, socialize, manage their finances, access entertainment and even do their homework. Technology makes life simpler for them, and they are always on the lookout for the latest innovations. So, it’s not surprising that 86 percent of students surveyed stated that they want modern technology and up-to-date facilities at their school.
They’re looking for a campus with modern facilities and up-to-date amenities that support both their highly connected lives and their unique learning style. They expect their schools to provide high speed Wi-Fi in dorms and across campus. And because many are preparing for careers in tech-driven industries, they also want classrooms and labs equipped with the latest hardware and software.
Students want new level of safety and security
Overall, most students report feeling safe on campus. But there’s another dimension to security that matters to them on a day-to-day basis. In addition to receiving care packages from home, students now regularly shop online for everything from electronics to clothes, food and even prescription medications. But many campus mail centers aren’t equipped to handle the rising volume of incoming packages. As a result, just over half of students worry that their packages will go astray—a realistic concern, given that 20 percent have already had a package that was delivered to campus end up lost or stolen. Because of this, two-thirds of students say they want a more secure way for packages to be delivered.
Focus on flexibility
While safety and security are top concerns, students think that flexibility in their schedule is equally important. A whopping 93 percent of students say that flexibility is important, and 65 percent say that it is very important. The reason? Today’s students have a lot going on, and rigid schedules can inhibit them from making the most of their college experience. Almost half of students surveyed said that they frequently missed operating hours of college facilities. More than three quarters want the ability to access the library, mail center, equipment or storage outside of regular operating hours. They’d like to be able to pick up their packages when it’s convenient for them including at night and on weekends.
Smart lockers deliver a better experience all across campuses
It’s clear that college students want a way to receive and manage all the things they need at school – simply, efficiently and securely. Smart lockers enable schools to match student expectations, enabling convenient self-service package delivery and secure short-term storage while streamlining package handling and relieving congestion in the mail center.
Inbound package tracking software seamlessly integrates with smart locker solutions for a full receiving and delivery experience. Together, they provide a full chain of custody for each and every package that comes into the mail center, so staff members always know what came in, who it was for and when it was delivered. Tracking software also allows them to quickly field inquiries when students call to ask, “where’s my package,” and frees them to focus on higher value tasks.
Higher ed students are fans of smart locker technology
About one quarter of students have used smart lockers, and more than three quarters of those who haven’t are interested in using smart lockers in the future. While students on urban campuses and those with the longest commutes are especially interested, nearly all are enthusiastic about the benefits that smart lockers provide.
- 77% like the convenience that smart lockers provide.
They no longer have to call to ask whether a package has arrived, or rush to the mail center to pick it up. Instead, they can pick up their packages at a time that fits into their busy schedules, any time and any day of the week.
- 6% like the increased security for their packages.
They know immediately when a package is ready for pickup, which is only accessible with a unique PIN or barcode.
- 79% are interested in on demand use for storing textbooks and more.
They don’t like carrying textbooks, gym clothes and other gear back and forth every day. On-demand storage protects valuable electronics, which may also contain sensitive information, from theft or damage.
These benefits extend beyond the student body: faculty also give smart locker technology high marks. Nearly three quarters of faculty members are interested in using smart lockers for storage: 68 percent would use them to exchange equipment, technology or important documents with students or other faculty members.
Added benefits for campus mailrooms everywhere
Smart lockers bring a new level of speed, simplicity and accuracy to package processing and management, even across multiple campuses. Schools gain full visibility into every incoming package from the time it is received until it is delivered to the recipient. Mailroom staff, faculty and students all enjoy the increased safety, security and convenience that smart lockers provide.