A college degree remains one of the most fundamental contributing factors in deciding an individual’s successful career. Although many might refute the statement advocating that if people like Bill gates, Steve Jobs, Elon Musk, Michael Dell could make it big without a degree, then a college degree isn’t certainly a big deal.
However, they miss on the core principle here: the idea of education isn’t associated with obtaining a degree, but it strives on promoting learning in individuals. Neil deGrasse Tyson briefly sums up the point in his statement- “There is no greater education than one that is self-driven.”
U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics in its current population survey (CPS) April 2021 confirmed that of the 3.1 million youth aged 16 to 24 who graduated from high school between January and October 2020, 2.0 million (62.7 percent) were enrolled in college in October.
In such crucial times, when the student education landscape has widened with time, it becomes essential for colleges to aim to implement proven ways to boost their college enrollment.
“If higher education marketers aren’t paying attention to enrollment issues, they are not paying attention to job one,” says Terry Flannery, vice president for communications at American University, and CASE Treasurer.
Hence, here is a list of 6 proven ways to boost your college enrollment:
1. Social Media Platform-
As it turns out, social media forms a major part of obtaining any information for high school students regarding college course information, location, program structure, course fee, faculty, study quality and much more.
Colleges can best avail these opportunities to reach prospective students through social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, Linkedin, Twitter and cater information that high school students, and college students most search for.
For any student, the quality of education being offered by the institution matters the most. Therefore, social media proves to be a beneficial platform for colleges to introduce new courses, inform about existing ones, and their fee details to increase chances of high school student databases noticing them.
2. Mobile application for enhanced college enrollment experience-
For learners today, mobile devices have become an exponential part of their everyday routine to drive information quickly. Mobile devices encourage portability and offer learners the ability to avail info from any part of the world.
A report by Proc.iscap.info states “58% of the college students used their mobile devices for academic purposes and freshman and sophomores tended to use their mobile devices for educational use.”
“Another study indicates the number of students who actively engaged in college search via their mobile device and used their mobile device to access their college application increased by 61%. Underrepresented groups, including black and Hispanic students, engaged with colleges using their mobile device at even higher rates, 11% and 7% respectively.” EAB
It is not enough to stress here that creating a mobile college enrollment experience is a must for every college to engage prospective students.
Designing a mobile application to encourage college enrollment must consider the entire student experience starting from navigation to email, to digital ads and home page, profile etc. Landing pages and mobile applications should be optimized taking care of personalization, easy to read content, and quick page uploading. This is the type of integration and ease expected by Gen Z.
3. Integrated emailing
Various surveys concerning students and their popular means of communication preferences strongly favor email and direct mail as beneficial in dispersing college related information. This doesn’t imply that other channels are less effective. But emailing is preferred in particular due to its flexibility.
A recent data showcased by EAB indicates a 7-14% increase in application submission when recruitment marketing tactics include emailing and other enhanced modes of digital advertisements in their college enrollment strategy.
The study also revealed that only 3% of students indicated that they wanted to receive information from colleges via text. Over 85% of students presented their opinion in support of emailing saying that emailing allows completion of forms and unfinished tasks at their own leisure. So as a general rule of thumb, communication through emailing popped out to be a preferred mode.
4. Regular communication
Although there is no hard and fast rule as to what consistent means, a general evaluation indicates that colleges who send regular messages/texts/emails to prospective candidates have better chances of being selected by students.
But the problem arises when a large number of students are joining and leaving the colleges each year. And the students who have already left the college keep receiving the email messages. The culprit? Outdated student emailing lists.
Establishing communication to the right section of students is important. This means that you need to get your hands on authenticated student email lists that comprise students who actually want to join a course or are looking for a college.
5. Send students oriented messages
It is a common practice among colleges when they start their student activities to involve frequent messages to students starting with college information that is mostly college oriented, but what colleges can do instead, is to focus on student oriented messages.
For instance- instead of drafting messages like- “ We are the centre of education providing the best of both the worlds for our students. Here you will experience world class infrastructure….
You can draft messages like- “here you will become the architect of your own future. Our exceptional faculty to lay out your own journey…”
6. Virtual Tours and videos
One of the most prominent strategies among this comprehensive list of 6 proven ways to boost your college enrollment is incorporating virtual tours. For the Gen Z, a lot of their time is spent between juggling jobs, and committing to family responsibilities. They might be high school students who are looking to continue their education. For such candidates, a one-size-fit-all approach cannot be applied. Colleges need to fuse virtual components to offer a step forward into familiarising students about what their courses have to offer.