University Web Sites Hot As Fall Semester Nears

University Web Sites Hot As Fall Semester Nears

For those serving the education markets, Nielsen//NetRatings reports that traffic to education and university Web sites jumped 34 percent to nearly 3.3 million Web surfers at-home during the week ending July 14, as students gear up for fall semester.

"University Web sites have really evolved from simple informational sites," said T.S. Kelly, director and principal analyst, NetRatings. "Students and administrators alike benefit from the convenience and efficiency of streamlined, Web-based offerings such as registering for classes or renewing library books."

On a related note, traffic to Web sites offering information on financial aid for students also grew. The U.S. Department of Education Web site (, which offers a downloadable version of the Free Application for Financial Student Aid, drew 533,000 Web surfers, recording a 28 percent increase in traffic., an online college savings network, skyrocketed 89 percent in traffic, drawing 506,000 visitors.

Fastest Growing University Web Sites, Week Ending July 14 (U.S., Home)

Wk End 7/7 Audience (000)Wk End 7/14 Audience (000)% Growth
1. MIT.edu128230 80%
2. Columbia University124 191 54%
3. Ohio State University154213 38%
4. University of Texas163 218 34%
5. Virginia.edu149 192 29%
6. University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign 180 220 22%
7. University of Phoenix155 188 21%
8. University of California at Davis133 157 18%
9. Michigan State University183 208 14%
10. UFL.edu151 170 13%
Source: Nielsen//NetRatings, July 2002

Additional data highlights for the week ending July 14, 2002:

- Traffic to MTV Networks spiked 42 percent to more than 1.1 million unique visitors at home during the week ending July 14. Fans flocked to the site for a recap of the "Real World Chicago" episodes.

- Shipping sites such as UPS, FedEx and USPS drew office workers during the week ending July 14. UPS and USPS each drew nearly 1.6 million Web surfers while FedEx attracted more than one million office workers. Seventy-seven percent of UPS visitors and 54 percent of FedEx online customers utilized the online shipment tracking features. Nearly 10 percent of the USPS audience visited pages featuring online package tracking services.

- The National Geographic Web site skyrocketed 332 percent in traffic at-home during the week ending July 14, leading the way as the fastest growing brand at home. The site drew 801,000 unique visitors with a predominantly male audience, capturing 53 percent of the site's traffic.

Source: Nielsen//NetRatings.

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