Following on from Part 2 of our Marketing for Colleges mini-series where we looked at Facebook, Open Days & Campus Visits, Student Advocates, News, and the use of Print Media, here are the final five marketing suggestions.
Less Inquiries, More Focussed Applications
In the past, students would have approached colleges and institutions they were interested in with their questions and to request information. Nowadays, however, they expect all the information to be available easily on the Internet and will look for this to conduct their research in finding suitable schools and colleges.
For a college, this means that it’s important for information about the college to be as widely available online as possible, with an expectation that those individuals coming forward to make direct inquiries are more likely to be those with a serious interest in completing their application.
No Fee Applications
The traditional model of paying for an application to a college is losing favour amongst a lot of colleges, as they compete for students in a time when students’ budgets are dwindling and attending college is increasingly expensive. To address this reality, many colleges now waive the application fee, encouraging students to send applications with a minimum of fuss and obstruction.
Such colleges are receiving an upsurge of applications, as individuals, particularly from disadvantaged minority groups, take advantage of the opportunity. Again, removing the stumbling blocks and objections translates to a higher rate of conversions from inquiries into enrolled students.
Predictive Modelling and Science
With so many possibly sources for students, it’s impossible for a college to exhaust every avenue. However, many sources are better than others. Using predictive modelling, schools and colleges can determine the likelihood that students from a particular source or school will enrol.
Knowing this, admissions teams are best placed to know which schools and areas provide the highest source of potential new students and can focus their recruiting efforts where they will enjoy the most success, as well as which students will actually stay at the college and graduate.
Harnessing Mobile Phones
It’s not just QR codes, smartphones provide a wealth of ways to access students. Smartphone applications in particular are a hugely popular way to better integrate students and potential students into the life of the college. Custom built applications can be made to allow a user to browse news about the college and its courses, or to request a visit, or even make an application, further breaking down the barriers to enrolment.
Another great, though aging, advantage is the availability of text messages. Though in many ways superseded by the wealth of alternative social media opportunities available, text messaging provides yet one more way to get the college’s message straight to current or potential students.
Having a Campus to Brag About
It’s not just the course that colleges are selling to potential students, it’s the entirety of the experience. For years students will be living at that campus and, as such, rate their potential future choices as much by the amenities as the course of study.
State of the art study facilities, labs and lecture halls are only part of the demand from students. Living facilities, and dorms too, are due an upgrade, with modern comfort being a key part in attracting and retaining students. Even long maintained bans on pets are being dropped by some places in an attempt to make their institution more appealing to potential students.