Write A Compelling Personal Statement
The personal statement plays a critical role in college admissions, especially as more schools drop their SAT/ACT requirements. Over half of the colleges surveyed by NACAC considered the essay or writing sample at least moderately important.
The essay provides one of the best opportunities to sell yourself. According to Skeldon, “A stand-out essay shows the admissions team who the student is outside a GPA or test score.”
Be sure to spend time developing a unique perspective and choosing the right prompt for you. Your goal should be to tell an intimate, engaging story.
Apply To A Diverse Selection Of Colleges
Students should apply to a variety of schools, including safety, match, and reach schools. Your high school guidance counselor can help you put together a list of potential schools for which you meet or exceed all necessary criteria for admission. These will be your matches and safeties, meaning you have a solid chance of acceptance.
Once you’ve done that, you can start thinking about reach schools, or institutions you’re less likely to get into. Note that some colleges are reach schools for all students, including the Ivy League and top-tier private universities like Stanford.
Applying to a variety of colleges ensures that even if you get rejected from your dream school, you still have a high likelihood of gaining admission to at least one college on your list.
Active And Flexible Engagement Strategy
The applicants you get are different. Do you have a flexible engagement strategy in mind for them? Todayâs Gen Zs and Millennials are smart at evaluating the behind messages they get. They look for something personal that strikes a chord in their lives.
With higher education marketing automation you can solve this problem of personalizing at a large scale. You not only get to fetch your prospectâs backgrounds but track their behavior and sent engaging messages that are particularly segmented and unique, according to their stage in the enrollment funnel. This way of targeting the prospects in groups who belong to a similar background, location, engagement source, language preference makes a world of difference to your enrollment efforts.
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Know Your Enrollment Marketing Numbers
Enrollment marketing is no longer a game of chance.
According to the Cost of Recruiting an Undergraduate Student Report by educational enrollment agency RNL, the median cost of recruiting an undergraduate in 2018 was $2,357
And every ineffective marketing decision pushes that number higher.
To secure cost-effective tuition revenue, you need to know which marketing channels work best so you can keep your recruitment efforts focused and efficient. With the right data at your fingertips, youll always know who your ideal students are, where to find them, and how to effectively recruit them without breaking the budget.
Calculate Application To Enrollment Conversion Rate
Like Applications in the last section, having a defined set of requirements for someone to be considered enrolled is a must. Once those definitions are in place, and you have this conversion rate for your school, it is easy to set application goals per week/per admissions team member since we know how many applications will likely convert to an enrollment.
Divide the enrollments received by the applications received. Many schools focus only on the enrollment number as they track their daily or weekly progress. By moving that view earlier into the perspective students enrollment cycle, we are better able to monitor how our upcoming classes are filling and make adjustments accordingly.
Formula: Enrollments Received ÷ Applications Received × 100
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New Report: The College Enrollment Decline Worsened This Spring
Undergraduate enrollment decreased this spring by more than 662,000 students compared to spring … 2021, bringing the total two-year decline, roughly corresponding to the period of the Covid-19 pandemic, to 1.4 million undergraduates, a decrease of 9.4%
The decline in college enrollment is worsening. According to a just released report by the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center , total postsecondary enrollment, including both undergraduate and graduate students, decreased by 4.1% – equal to about 685,000 students – in spring 2022 compared to spring 2021. Overall postsecondary enrollment now stands at about 16.2 million students.
Added to the 3.5% drop that was seen in spring 2021, the overall two-year decline in college enrollment has reached 7.4%, or nearly 1.3 million students since spring 2020. The deepening slide dashed hopes that the worst of the pandemic-era erosion of enrollment was over and, instead, raised concerns that other factors – such as growing skepticism over the value of college – may be keeping students away.
Undergraduate enrollment decreased by more than 662,000 students – or 4.7% – from spring 2021, bringing its total two-year decline, roughly corresponding to the period of the Covid-19 pandemic, to 1.4 million students, a decrease of 9.4%. The decline was even steeper than the 3.1% decrease in undergraduate numbers seen last fall.
Higher Education Sectors
One Bright Spot
Enrollment By Student Characteristics:
Use Social Media To Market Your College The Right Way
70% of social media users hit the sweet spot for college student demographics.
But theres an important distinction between colleges that boast high traffic and engagement on social, and those that struggle to keep up.
If youre in the latter camp, you should know its not your fault.
Many of us did not grow up with social media as part of the equation and its easy to want to simply rush to create a branded account on every platform, post once or twice a month, and call it a day.
But when it comes to enrollment marketing, the default approaches to social media just wont cut it.
Here are three crucial tips to help you use social media to enroll more students:
This one is a deal-breaker. Stock photos and boilerplate memes dont offer any real value to prospective students. Remember, youre competing for your prospects attention and not just against other schools but also against content from influencers, brands, mainstream media, friends and more.
So, how the heck are you going to attract new students amid all the noise?
Start by learning everything you can about the kind of content that works on each platformthen consistently build your audience from there.
For example, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill has .
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Strategies For Successful Enrollment Management In Todays Higher Education Environment
Data tell a story. It may not always be the story we want to hear, but knowing what it says allows for intentional, strategic, successful enrollment management decisions to impact student recruitment and retention.
I have been involved in enrollment management for more than 20 years, both as an enrollment manager on campus and as a consultant for RNL. During this time, I have seen changes in higher education that are nothing short of revolutionary, expedited in the last year because of the pandemic. Shifts in access to higher education, the gender and ethnic composition of classes, the number of students attending college, and technological innovations are just some of the sweeping changes that have made higher education an increasing force in the social, economic, political, and cultural life of our country.
But change is hard. And we all know that the rate of change in higher education is slow. For all the ways higher education has propelled us forward, we sometimes resist and even fear the changes brought on by ensuing generations of college students. Advances in social media and digital marketing has forced the hand of change.
However, if there is a lesson I have learned from my own campus experiences as well as consulting with over 100 colleges and universities, its that adaptation is not an option in enrollment management. Change and succeed or resist and fall behind.
Integrate Digital Ads And Voice Search Into Your Channel Mix
We know from surveying students about their communication preferences that they strongly favor email as the primary way to receive information from colleges. But there are two additional channels that can make an impact early on in a students college search.
The first is paid search. Our data shows that 81% of prospective students go to Google search for general questions about your institution, so any opportunity to boost your schools visibility online is worth the investment.
Similarly, consider optimizing your .edu for voice search. After all, 44% of students use voice search once a month, and 22% use it every day, according to our survey. Because search mode impacts your search-engine optimization ranking, ensure that you keep in mind the words and phrases students commonly type and speak when conducting searches when setting your websites SEO strategy.
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Element451 Makes The Creative Process Easy
If you want to truly elevate your enrollment efforts this year, a powerful admissions platform is the missing piece to delivering a truly personalized journey. Turn the tide from declining enrollment, and transform admissions numbers with a new approach that builds connections and fosters student growth.
This year, stay on top of creative new college enrollment trends. Book your Element451 demo today to design an innovative enrollment process that helps you conquer new enrollment benchmarks.
Start Your Student Recruitment Activities Asap
As a college or university, you may need to devote more time to recruiting at lower grade-levels rather than trying to get students attention as seniors. Engaging scholars at a younger age has proven to be useful in establishing relationships between higher education institutions and students.
For instance, emailing high school underclassmen with exciting news about your institution will help build trust, loyalty and a sense of enthusiasm over time. Make young people feel special and let them imagine the campus experience they will soon be living.
We provide our university and college partners with both traditional and non-traditional advertising campaigns. From high-impact OOH sign campaigns to geo-targeted mobile ads to social media advertising services, we deliver the support that our higher education clients need in order to meet and even exceed their objectives.
Here are just a few of the clients who have benefited from our higher education media and PR services:
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Stay Ahead Of The Enrollment Marketing Curve With Video
If youre not using video content as a part of your enrollment marketing strategy, youre missing out.
According to a report by Wyzowl, a whopping 68% of people prefer to learn about a product or service by watching a short videowhich is probably just one of the reasons why, according to Dartmouth University, some 86% of colleges and universities have a presence on YouTube.
No matter which way you cut it, video marketing is one enrollment strategy thats not going away anytime soon.
Video content provides two key benefits for private colleges and higher ed orgs.
According to the Wyzowl report, 83% of marketers say video provides them with good ROI, and 81% claim video helped them generate leads.
And that ROI rate soars even higher when you use video in conjunction with other engagement tools, like email.
If there is a segment of your database that hasnt engaged in a while, a quick video email could be a great way to bring those conversations back to life.
In Shape you can easily integrate with video marketing tools like BombBomb to seamlessly add videos to your emails or even to your SMS messages, in just two clicks.
Involve Parents In The College Search
Most enrollment managers recognize that parents play an important role in a students college enrollment journey. According to our data, parents have become the top influencer by far since the start of the pandemic, with 55% of students citing parents as the most dominant voice in their college search.
We see how this plays out in the parent-specific campaigns we manage for our partners. Among students in the inquiry pool who respond, 46% provide parent contact information allowing us to contact parents directly. Those students are 53% more likely to submit the college application.
What about the parents of the other 54% of students in your inquiry pool? In our parent-first search campaigns, where we apply machine learning to a national consumer database to identify the parents of students in our clients inquiry pools, we found that launching parent-specific campaigns before students respond increases the likelihood to apply by more than 40%.
Our 2020 Parent Survey also confirms that most parents want to hear directly from colleges and universities, particularly on issues such as cost, scholarships, and admissions requirements.
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Why Are Innovative Enrollment Strategies Necessary
The college experience, particularly the admissions and enrollment process, has drastically changed over the past few years. In fact, the COVID-19 pandemic exacerbated issues with enrollment that may have already been brewing below the surface long before remote and virtual learning.
Innovative enrollment strategies are necessary for any college or university that wants to emerge into the next stage with more students and higher levels of engagement. A new plan of action is also essential to undergraduate enrollment to combat trends such as:
To get back on track, the higher education landscape needs a fresh wave of enrollment ideas that capture student interest and increase college enrollment.
How You Can You Implement These Enrollment Management Strategies
I hope you found these strategies helpful. Of course, we could write posts on each of these individual strategies . As an industry, we must move away from reactive decision making and focus on a systematic, forward-thinking approach to enrollment management. With so many changes in the higher education marketplace and the economy, you must take a data-informed approach to every aspect of recruiting students so that you focus on the types of students you want to enroll and dont waste your limited resources in trying to recruit them.
Ways To Help Increase Enrollment
With over 600,000 fewer students enrolled in spring of 2021, higher education is continuing to see decreases in enrollment from the impact of COVID-19. Although the certifications and technical degrees that community colleges offer are in high demand, these facilities are feeling the hit the most with 9.5% or 476,000 fewer students than last year that’s over 65% of all undergraduate enrollment decreases as reported by the National Student Clearinghouse® Research Center.
Undoubtedly, the rising cost for college tuition is high on the list for reasons why students aren’t planning on going on to postsecondary academia yet, community colleges, the least expensive option, are seeing the largest decreases in enrollment. With family incomes impacted so significantly through the pandemic, the idea of investing money into something that doesn’t wield immediate results can seem insurmountable to families just trying to survive.
While keeping the cost of postsecondary education in mind, here are a few ideas to positively impact enrollment and bring even more value to students considering their academic path.
1. Build partnerships with industry representatives.
Sundt Construction and Central Arizona College are one such partnership. Sundt originally approached CAC to explore an apprenticeship partnership in heavy equipment operations. During these discussions, it was obvious there was a larger gap in available skilled workers.
Engage With Students On Relevant Social Media Platforms
If you want to truly accelerate your enrollment efforts, you must be willing to connect with students where they spend a good amount of time. In addition to offering direct access to many students, social media platforms also allow higher education institutions the opportunity to build a modern and relatable brand.
To have success in this arena, find out where your ideal students are spending the majority of their time. You might check out options such as:
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How To Increase Student Enrollment With Strategic Enrollment Management Tools
College enrollment in traditional institutions took a significant hit over the past year and student enrollment is soaring for educational institutions offering 100% online degrees, credentials and coursework. Colleges and universities can benefit from this surge in interest in online classes to grow their undergraduate enrollment with strategic enrollment management services. Mobile enrollment is an excellent place to start, mobile enrollment is new and dynamic. Mobile enrollment meets students where they live on their phones.
Recent survey results from Strada Center for Consumer Insights illustrate opportunities in higher education enrollment management today. The survey found that 42% of Americans would prefer an online education or training program if they were to enroll in postsecondary education in the next six months.
Those aged 25-49, which is the prime market for adult learning, had the most favorable perception of online education. Additionally, the survey found that the preference for online or hybrid options would remain strong even if COVID-19 werent a threat:
- 31% of respondents said they would prefer a hybrid option
- 28% stated a preference for online-only coursework
Appeal To Students With Video
While traditional blogs and other written content are still relevant and important for digital marketing, vlogging is a great way for schools to interact and connect with millennials. Vlogs let viewers immediately engage with current events. Many higher education institutions already publish various content to YouTube, but livestreaming that functions similarly to Snapchat could support the interaction with potential students and alumni right here and right now by showing schools events, lectures, and other creative content.
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Secure Strong Letters Of Recommendation
Letters of recommendation hold a lot of significance because they reveal aspects of your character that your grades and test scores can’t. This is why you should aim to ask people who can describe your skills, accomplishments, and attitude with positivity and enthusiasm.
Most colleges require 1-3 recommendation letters, typically from teachers and a high school guidance counselor.
Be polite when making the request. In addition, be sure to ask at least a month before your college application deadlines. You want your recommender to have ample time to compose a strong letter on your behalf.