Eastern’s application, MyEIU sites see user friendly updates

Analicia Haynes, Senior Reporter

Eastern revamped its application site and the MyEIU site, making both more user friendly and mobile friendly for prospective students.

This new interface was launched over two weeks ago after two months of working out the final details.

The project itself was five years in the making.

MyEIU is the site that prospective students use to communicate with the admissions team at Eastern and, if they are admitted, it is used to finish a checklist of things to do before the first day of school like applying for housing and dining or applying for orientation.

Students also create a MyEIU account to apply to Eastern. When students decide to apply, they are redirected from MyEIU to the Banner (EIU Paws) site to start their application.

Why the change?

Ryan Gibson, interim assistant vice president of information technology services at Eastern, and web developer Nate Atkinson presented the finished project during a June 21 Board of Trustees meeting.

One of the reasons for changing the application site was because the old interface (in Banner) was a little over 15 years old, and more prospective students were using their mobile devices to view the site.

“Data drives enrollment management, so the first thing we noticed was that 45 percent of our traffic comes in on a mobile device,” Gibson said. “So students are accessing our systems on their mobile device and I will tell you that the old banner application where they apply is about 15 years old, so can you imagine how it works on a device like (an iPhone)? These devices weren’t even around.”

Another reason is the students who did not finish an application.

Gibson said in the Fall 2019 enrollment cycle, 787 people who started their application did not finish.

He said when they found that data out, they had to finish the upgrade by the next enrollment cycle (which started June 17).

Gibson said ITS had been working on an upgrade for five years but could never find a good solution that worked and was cost efficient, but he said when IT technical associate Sandy Dryden found a solution, they were able to finish the project in two months.

What’s new?

Atkinson said he has been working on MyEIU since it was first launched in 2011.

It is custom built and is integrated with Banner.

Now, he said Eastern is continuing to lead with cutting edge technology because he said no other university has anything as good as MyEIU and the application site.

Atkinson said both sites are now mobile friendly, are aligned with Eastern’s branding and load twice as fast.

Some of the changes include creating a new majors and minors database that is integrated into MyEIU and giving prospective students the opportunity to contact their counselors directly on the site via email, phone or text message.

However, the texts do not go to a counselor’s personal device, it goes into the system. Also, the number associated with the account is their work number, not their personal cell, Atkinson said.

Looking at enrollment

Josh Norman, the interim vice president of enrollment management, said this new approach to the MyEIU application site reflects the efforts of Eastern’s 10-year strategic enrollment plan that started in 2017.

The plan looks at data such as that received from college choice surveys given out to current admitted students asking them about their college choice, including why they may not have chosen Eastern, according to a Sept. 5, 2018 article from The Daily Eastern News.

Data, such as this, is collected and assessed to determine what Eastern needs to do to recruit students and keep them enrolled, according to the same article.

The end goal is to eventually see an enrollment number between 9,000 and 10,000 students, according to a Sept. 4, 2018 article from The Daily Eastern News.

“It makes me excited to meet that 10-year goal,” Norman said of the new MyEIU site after the June 21 Board of Trustees meeting.

Analicia Haynes can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected].