Reaching student enrollment goals isn’t as easy as it used to be. With the sheer number of Colleges and Universities out there today the game has changed and Admissions Offices have to use every tool at their disposal to stand out from the competition and reach those goals. This has never been more important than it is now as we are living in a world ravaged by a pandemic. Industries around the world have been affected and the world of higher education is no exception.
Here are 4 ways to ensure that your school is staying ahead of the curve and reaching your enrollment goals.
1. Keep in contact with prospective students often via email.
While it may seem as though younger generations are not very fond of communicating via email, studies have actually shown that it is the preferred form of communication when it comes to the college recruitment process. It is important to email prospective students often to show them that they are not just a number to you, but you are actually interested in them as individuals and that you are doing everything you can to make them a part of your college community.
While email after email may seem excessive, a study by EAB enrollment services shows that more than a quarter of all deposits come from students who have not responded to the first 4 emails received from a school. Be persistent and remain in contact with those prospective students that you are targeting.
2. Make everything mobile friendly
Its not news to anyone that we are living in a world dominated by mobile devices. The Gen Z demographic more so than any other are attached to their phones and prefer using them as opposed to the traditional desktop. That’s why you need to cater to these prospective students and make sure that your school creates a mobile friendly experience.
Students should be able to view your schools website on a phone as easily as they can on a laptop. They should be able to view display ads and landing pages as well as navigate their email inboxes. If you fail to do so you are missing out on one of the best ways to reach these individuals. Many colleges are even making applications mobile-friendly, making sure all bases are covered.
3. Make the students the focusing of your messaging
Messaging is obviously an important part of the student recruitment process and it should include information that highlights what the institution has to offer, but the mistake that many schools make is that they rely on this messaging exclusively. Instead of only talking about things like the curriculum, the campus, and the history of the college, focus on the students themselves. Show them how they will fit into the culture and how they as an individual, and not just a number, can fit in and thrive.
Prospective students don’t want to hear about how prestigious your school is, but how the school can work for them and how professors and advisors will invest in them to ensure that they get the most out of their experience and be ready for life after college. Showcase how your college will help them build a firm foundation for the rest of their lives.
4. Utilize all communication channels
While email has proven to be the preferred method of communication among prospective students, it by no means should be the only one utilized. Make sure that your administration office is making contact with those prospective students on all fronts. Expect to see an increase of applications when you integrate digital display ads with your current student recruitment methods.
While digital advertising can be more expensive than more traditional forms or marketing, it will be worth the investment. You can display ads right on the personal devices of your target demographic by using advanced targeting techniques in unison with the rest of you marketing/advertising efforts. You can target specific geographical locations/areas as well as specific brick and mortar buildings.
Text messaging prospective applicants can also be useful when it comes to keeping your college or university top of mind. While this method may seem a bit intrusive, it can actually be quite effective. Not only does it remind those individuals that you are there and interested in them, but it will also prompt/remind them to explore the school’s website, schedule a tour of the campus, and finish filling out an application. With people today being glued to their phones, it’s only logical to capitalize on the opportunity not only at hand, but in hand.
Putting These Methods into Practice
Incorporating all of these practices will help your institution increase student enrollment and ensure that you continue to operate at 100%. Adding just one of these practices may not bear your desired results, so it’s recommended that you blend all of them into your student recruitment strategy.
Lastly, it is important to track and measure all of your efforts. This way you can see which of these procedures are most effective, which can use improvement, and you can then pivot, and make adjustments specific to your school where you see necessary.