Brand Perceptions in Higher Education

October 2011

In a first-of-its-kind study, we worked with Ipsos/OTX to measure perceptions of For-Profit, Public, Private, and Community colleges. The results revealed an overwhelmingly negative association with For-Profit colleges. Though media was not attributed as a factor for the adverse reaction, it was found as a viable way to shift perceptions.

Google's first-ever study to analyze how people perceive the higher education landscape including For-Profit, Public, Private, and Community colleges. It also identifies the impact of online advertising on people's awareness and opinions. This Google study conducted with Ipsos/OTX highlights:

  • Clear negativity prevails toward for-profit colleges: For-profits garner lowest overall opinions and are students’ least-preferred choice to attend.
  • Media attention on the industry not the driver: 9 in 10 prospective students recall no negative media coverage of for-profit schools.
  • Perceptions can be influenced through digital: Positive shifts in perceptions of For Profits observed across several dimensions after exposure to all ad formats. Video ads resulted in largest increase in key metrics among both audiences.
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