Help Prospective Students Overcome Fears with Authentic, Personalized Communication
If every crisis is an opportunity, our friends and clients in Higher Ed Admissions and Enrollment Management have been tasked with being alchemists, working to spin recruitment gold from situational straw. In regions across the US and Canada, the disruptions of the Covid-19 pandemic have exacerbated a trending decline in undergraduate enrollment, with many students choosing to join the workforce instead of pursuing college.
A recent analysis by the US Department of Education’s National Center for Education Statistics shows that high school students perceptions of unaffordability have had a direct impact in the decline of undergraduate student enrollment, especially among vulnerable and at-risk populations, such as first-generation students.
According to Ruffalo Noel Levitz (RNL) 2021 E-Expectations Trend Report, Understanding the Impact of the Pandemic on Online College Search, the college website content most valuable to juniors and seniors is cost/tuition/scholarship information, even before programs or degrees. And they want the information quickly.
There is no silver bullet to improve student enrollment, but when we talk about student recruitment strategies in 2022, it is helpful to return an evergreen truth: Generation Z is seeking guidance. More important than ever is clear communication that amplifies the personal touch and builds trust. The recruiting experience must speak to the unique and specific needs students have now, such as changing financial conditions, geographic preferences, or the need for flexibility for attending school while working.
Especially when it comes to financial aid and scholarships, students need to be reassured that there is solid path forward for them and their families. Authentic, personalized communications specific to the information they need, with a balance of engaging digital experiences and personal interactions, both real and virtual, will cut through the noise. Here are a few tips to keep in mind.
Pragmatism Matters. These Gen Z students and their Millennial counterparts, (the primary target for both Online and Graduate programs) want to know what their education will cost, what’s the return on investment (ROI), what it takes to get in, and what it will be like. Provide quick access to costs, scholarships, graduate outcomes, and application information across communication channels.
Pairing In-Person and Virtual Advisement. The pandemic has permanently altered student recruitment, and many students and parents will desire both virtual and in-person interactions. Students and families from diverse cultural backgrounds, who may have language barriers, or are economically vulnerable, need to be shown a clear pathway forward. Student and family support throughout the application and admittance process will yield results. Undergraduate, Graduate and Online divisions, and International Admissions divisions, are enhancing their virtual event strategies with more web casts, live streaming and digital community interactions. Most importantly, students and parents seek direct access with advisers and financial advisers.
User-generated Content and Influencer Marketing (Peer-to-Peer Power). Among Gen Z and Millennials, 86% say user-generated content is a good indicator of a quality brand. Universities that tap into current student and alumni population to talk about their experience, the impact of their degree on their lives and goals, and how they were able to afford it, will win out. On college websites and digital marketing, brief, mobile-friendly video vignettes are a powerful way to get to telegraph authenticity and relevance from trusted sources.
We Can Help You Reach Your Goals.
We can’t wait to show you how the CustomViewbook Digital Viewbook Platform has helped Admissions and Recruitment teams throughout North America more effectively engage and nurture prospective students.
Contact Mary Pannullo for an informative and fun demo. ( email@example.com )
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