Student data you won’t find anywhere else … Are you ready for the inside scoop on the brand-new Media Prefs?

Jamie spills all the secrets on our complete rebuild of Media Prefs!

“Media Prefs is really the only place where you can get feedback directly for your type of students,” says Jamie Wagner, Executive Director of Media Prefs. Media Prefs serves up 17 years and counting of student data from our vault of hundreds of thousands of student survey responses from all over the country. 


Debra McGaughey, Director of Communication Services at HCC Central, says, “Media Prefs is the best way to get information from your students that’s fresh and engaging. It will help drive your marketing strategies and tell you what your students don’t tell you to your face — and you need that.”
Houston Community College used Media Prefs to better align its outreach with students. Read more in our blog, “HCC’s Fearless Tips to Secure Game-Changing Media Prefs Data.”

Using the power of student data from Media Prefs, our colleges have consistently …

  • Made their marketing dollars stretch further and reach more students …
  • Better targeted their advertisements across social media, radio, television, and beyond …
  • And helped bolster outreach efforts along with enrollment and retention!

The Secret to Student Data … Just Ask Our Colleges!

Participating in Media Prefs is easy. During the eight-week survey period, we’ll help you enlist your students to take your college’s customized survey, getting you insightful data straight from your students. You’ll also have access to our vault of national and state community college student data aggregates, giving you penetrating insights into your region and beyond.

Says Wagner, “This is student data specific to your technical and community college students that you’re not going to find anywhere else.”

Student Data Platform Is Easier to Use and More Powerful than Ever Before

We spoke with Wagner for an exclusive peek at the newest version of Media Prefs, launching this fall.

“We’ve really amped up things behind the scenes, and we have a lot of really great features,” confides the executive director. “We are doing a complete rebuild of our survey builder that’s going to be more user-friendly.”

On top of being mobile responsive, so students can more easily take the survey on the go, the platform will also be streamlined for college marketing and student services teams. Chart display will be optimized, with upgraded export options to make it simple to share supercharged student data with colleagues. Plus, you can look forward to a seamless display of qualitative and quantitative data in the portal. But that’s just scratching the surface of the power of our latest student data system!

Here’s a rundown of the top six of our latest features:

1. Go for the Goal with a Game-Changing Survey Calculator and Tracker 

Now it’s a breeze to track how many surveys your students have completed with the new survey calculator and tracker. It’s simple to figure out your student data goals: Just enter your college population size and the level of data confidence you’re seeking, and presto, you’ll know exactly how high to aim.

“Once you set it, and the survey goes live, you’ll be able to track your participants in real time and see how close you get to your goal over the eight-week survey window,” says Wagner. 

The calculator is built right into the portal, so you can log in anytime to monitor your progress.

2. Frictionless Participation with Single Sign-On

Now Media Prefs offers single sign on. Students can easily follow a link or scan a QR code to take the survey, making it a cinch to secure your student data.
Sending students to the survey has never been simpler.

It’s a cinch for students to participate in the Media Prefs survey. There’s no special code students have to enter. Instead, they can directly follow the link and get going on the survey right away. Plus, colleges can also share a custom QR code for extra convenience. 

“Colleges can take that QR code, put it on posters, table tents, or handouts to students, and they can just scan that right from their mobile phone and jump right into the survey,” says Wagner.

Our data shows that students love using QR codes. Just a decade ago, 60% of students had never used one. But by 2020, that number dwindled to just 2%! In other words, 98% of students are scanning QR codes, so make sure to have your posters prepped for students to scan!

3. Winner, Winner, Chicken Dinner: New, Fun Winner Selector Tool

In the winner selector tool, just specify how many winners you want to pull and the tool will do the rest.
Selecting winners for your survey incentives is a snap!

We always recommend that colleges offer incentives to survey participants to boost your student data. Not only do fun giveaways increase your engagement on social media, but they can really help your survey numbers soar! Houston Community College offered $500 scholarships (Read more about their outstanding incentives on our blog!).

Providing survey incentives can help you secure valuable student data. Debra McGaughey, Director of Communication Services at HCC Central, says, “Many students are paying out of pocket. Offering a $500 scholarship was attractive.”

Other schools have offered Nintendo Switches, Chromebooks, and even iPads! But no need to get super fancy — a good old-fashioned gift card also works nicely.

“If you have leftover swag items or bundle up something from your bookstore, those also get really positive feedback from students,” advises Wagner.

But how do you choose a winner? Never fear, our new winner selection tool is here!

Jamie spills all the secrets on the winner selector tool!

Whether you want to draw a winner midway through the survey or at the end … or even if you want to give away prizes once a week … the power is in your hands.

“We have the very cool ‘select winners’ box in the portal for all colleges,” says our executive director. Simply input the desired number of names you’d like to receive and click the button to trigger a download of contact information to use for awarding your prizes. 

It’s never been simpler to pick winners out of a digital hat!

4. More Accessible than Ever before with New Stop-And-Start Feature

The stop and start survey feature lets students save their progress and come back later, ensuring your student data will be robust.
It’s easy for students to save their progress and return to the survey later.

When students open the survey, they know it takes about 20 to 30 minutes to complete. And now, they can log in and out of the survey and divide that time into chunks, making your completion rates more likely to climb.

“Lots of our students are also parents,” says Wagner. “If they’re trying to squeeze in some survey time in the middle of a break somewhere or on the job, we want to be as flexible as we can.”

It’s easy: At the bottom of each survey page, students have the option to take a break. They just click a button, enter their email, and presto. They’ll receive a personal completion link to use whenever they are ready to continue within our eight-week survey window.

And if they are slow to come back? Then the portal automatically sends them gentle reminders to return and finish their answers! It’s easier than ever to gather rich student data.

5. Easier Billing with Flexible Payment Methods (With Exclusive Promo Codes!)

Survey prep has gotten easier for colleges as well! Credit card payments will be accepted as early as this fall, which has been a popular request for some time. Forget invoices and navigating complicated processes — signing up is as easy as a virtual swipe.

And pssst! If you’re in the “in crowd,” we’ll have some special discounts just for you!

Says Wagner, We’ll be offering promo codes and discounts throughout the year, so make sure you are following Media Prefs and Interact, so you can be the first to know!”

6. Free Trial: Put Real Student Data in Your Hands and Give Your Enrollment a Boost!

Plus, if you’re new to Media Prefs, have the first month on us. Take advantage of our free trial offer so you can test-drive the data for yourself! 

“Even if you don’t have local data with us, you can still get in the system and learn a lot about students in your area, your state, and nationally,” says Wagner.

Jamie breaks down all the important dates you need to know!

Keep your eyes peeled! The fall survey starts toward the end of September, with training sessions in full swing in late August.

Learn more and save your spot for the newest version of Media Prefs!


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By Published On: July 5, 2023Last Updated: July 5, 2023Categories: Blog ArticlesTags: ,