by Catherine Arjet
As I’m sure everyone knows by now, Millsaps recently updated the school’s website. We traded the old one we’re all familiar with, which may not have been perfect but worked, for this new one that has everyone confused.
Ever since the new website rolled out, people have been complaining about it, as people always want to do every time something changes. The main concern, however, seems to be that this new website doesn’t cater to current students as much as the last one did. We have to scroll all the way down to the “Resources” tab and then click on “Students” to get what used to be available from quick links in the corner. I’ve also heard complaints that because it came out in the middle of the semester, it has messed a lot of things up. Overall, the general consensus seems to be that it doesn’t work for us. But here’s the thing, this new website is not for us. It’s for the prospective students thinking about applying, and it seems like it’s great for them.
Imagine your own senior year of high school and how overwhelmed you were with college choices. Remember the long nights you spent in front of a computer navigating a seemingly endless abyss of possibilities. If your college search was anything like mine, you probably had five or six tabs of college websites open generated from lists of “best colleges in the south” or “30 most cost-effective colleges.” You didn’t know much about most of these colleges except your parents went to this one, or your college counselor suggested that one, or you’d driven past this one’s campus and it looked pretty. And after a while even these details started to blend together in your mind. In our digital age, the majority of the college search happens online (especially if you’re applying out of state), and as such, the website is really the
only thing that a confused 17-year-old has to identify the place where they might spend the next four years of their life.
When you open the new website, instead of seeing a student in an action shot, or a piece of Millsaps news, you now see a beautiful picture of Galloway Green and the New Dorms, the crest and “Millsaps College.” If you scroll down a bit, the phrase “Put down your roots” appears. The first three links say “Connect,” “Visit” and “Apply.” For a moment, imagine you’re not an annoyed current student trying to figure out how to find some link, but you’re a high school senior trying to figure out where to go to college. This website invites you into Millsaps and makes it look like the kind of place you could learn and grow as well as making it easy to find out more about Millsaps, and to ultimately apply.
Getting more students to apply and to choose Millsaps (should they be accepted of course) has great benefits to the college. More students applying means that the school can afford to be more selective while still working to bring Millsaps’s size back up to where it was a decade ago, which would hopefully mean less tuition hikes to cover overhead. Of course, this website still has its faults — the amount of broken links is frankly embarrassing — but ultimately it’s something I’m glad Millsaps is doing.