The dreaded phenomenon of summer melt: three months that feel like a year for college admissions and enrollment management. Each year, 10% to 40% of students, accepted and deposited in the spring, drop off before completing their enrollment journey.
We understand how 17- and 18-year-olds who just spent months getting accepted can feel overwhelmed at this stage. Suddenly confronted with complex forms and deadlines, they grapple with FAFSA applications, supplemental loans, the reality of tuition costs, housing, orientation, registering for class, confirming their major, transportation and the most current COVID requirements. Not to mention the big leap away from home, family, and friends. Especially at-risk are low-income, first generation, and underserved populations who may lack the support system at home to help push through these barriers to the final stages of enrollment. Confusion, self-doubt and anxiety can set in. And for certain, COVID-19 has only complicated matters.
For college admissions, it’s more vital than ever to support and encourage prospective students and their families, especially those most vulnerable to melt. At the same time, many schools are having to do more with less – leaner budgets, reduced admissions and recruitment staff, and summer months filled with administrative tasks. While no college app or AI chatbot can replace the personal individualized touch, virtual and digital tools are powerful ways to combat overwhelm, provide clarity, and have future students seeing and feeling the bigger, brighter picture just over the horizon, right on your campus.
- Offer Centralized Support
Create a ‘first stop’ student portal on your website so that accepted students can ask questions, be directed to the right resources, and confidently take next steps.
- Inspire with Quality Content:
At this stage, your accepted students have already formed a strong impression of your unique value proposition and brand. Digital ads, email, text, and social media campaigns should direct future students to website landing pages and multimedia experiences where students can explore and immerse themselves in the best of your academic, campus and experiential offerings with high quality videos, imagery, and interactive experiences.
- Peer-to-Peer Impact:
Provide a level of authentic connection and mentorship with student takeovers of your social media platforms. Have student ambassadors, honor society members, and program rock stars primed and ready to take over your Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter. Providing students with a peer-to-peer, day in the life peek behind the scenes at academics, student life, research, clubs, and organizations brings possibilities to life with joy and fun – and can bring a new confidence to students’ decision making.
- Maximize the Use of Virtual Tools.
Virtual tools have provided a level of connection and access previously unavailable, especially for international and out-of-state and students who may not be able to make it to campus. Use these newly integrated tools to host town halls, open houses and decision day events where prospective students and their families can be introduced to and have direct access to the college president, leadership, faculty, and staff.
- Engage Parents
The parents of your accepted students, Gen X, primarily use Facebook as their preferred social media. Target parents with social media advertising that has messaging distinctly for them, driving them to landing pages and resources specific to their primary concerns, like financial aid, health resources, commuting, housing and safety.
- Provide Continual Engagement and Nudges
Texting and Chat bots have been shown to be effective ways to keep this non-linear decision-making process moving forward, with students getting real-time answers about orientation, housing, financial aid, loan applications and deadlines.
Let us help!
CustomViewbook provides prospective students with all the information they want in one personalized best-in-class digital experience. And, the highly-qualified inquiries you need. Mobile ready and with nothing to download, students are immersed in the best of your academic, student life and experiential offerings, with helpful next steps to support them through application, financial aid, connecting with campus, and more.
Contact Mary Pannullo for demo. ( firstname.lastname@example.org )
We’ll can’t wait to show you how CustomViewbook and its suite of tools will help you capture stealth shoppers, including international and out-of-state students, and nurture inquiries at every stage of the recruitment journey.