Out-of-the-Box Recruitment

Soon, your Fall 2017 class will be moved in and settling into your campus (their new homes). You’ll be giving your team a pat on the back for a job well done just before diving headfirst into the next recruitment cycle and starting all over again. The countless hours spent between travel and file review add up, yet somehow there’s still a margin that leaves you sweating and wondering if you’ll make the goal or set a record-breaking year. The pressure is on!

We’ve got some fun and out-of-the-box ideas to expand your recruitment toolbox and personalize your outreach to incoming students, using your best assets for your benefit.

Engage students, alumni, and counselors with these 6 simple ideas that will make you and your institution top of mind.

Start Younger

Did you know that many universities around the country are already reaching out to junior and even sophomore students? Which means if you’re waiting until a student’s senior year to start reaching out, you’re way behind.

That may not worry you if your inquiry pool is large enough and you’re feeling good about your goals, but if not, Search can be a huge asset to your team. Buying lists that fit within your target markets, creating engaging content, and reaching out to junior and sophomore students is a great way to stay ahead of the curve.

Keep It Comfortable and Casual

Host events in areas with a large population or with feeder schools of your incoming class. Consider hosting a two-hour come-and-go coffee night where families can swing by and ask questions or a sit-down dinner at a local restaurant. Feeling comfortable with you and the environment is a significant factor for them. Keeping it casual makes it easier for them to ask questions and get to know you, so don’t be afraid to meet them where they are.

Another option to connect is to host alumni events or mixers in the area. Whether that’s a sporting event of some sort or a party before fall orientation to send off students, engaging your alumni brings that personalized touch to life. Remember alumni are your biggest advocates!

Take Care of Your Counselors

We’ve heard of admission counselors taking students treats when they come for a visit at their high school. One of our team members noted that when she was in admissions, she applied that strategy to the high school counselors and teachers who had let her present in her region. Needless to say, they never turned down an offer for her to stop by and visit!

Students Love Swag

Even though not all conferences allow giveaways, don’t miss the chance to attract students to you during lunch visits or after presenting at a high school or college. Don’t forget to encourage social media engagement using their newly attained swag.  Giveaways not only go a long way to attract attention, but are also great for brand recognition and become free marketing as the students proudly wear, display or post them.

Engage Their Parents

Millennials had helicopter parents, Gen Z have lawn mower parents – they’re flat out paving the way (or so we hear). Parents are more involved in the admission process than ever before. Some counselors even report hosting full families with grandparents on campus visits because as they say “it takes a village”. So, while it’s great to target the student, don’t forget to show some love to the parents through outreach.

Host Lunch and Learns

As we know, the landscape of admission is changing. While the majority of schools are still appealing mostly to the traditional student, the non-traditional population is an increasing market. Try reaching out to local businesses or alumni around the area to host a lunch and learn. Have guests RSVP in advance and provide food (sandwich boxes are easy and affordable). Use the hour to talk about programs relevant to their field and experiences. Tip: they likely have students who will soon be searching for a college too, so it’s a win, win.

Don’t get left behind, have fun while engaging students, alumni, counselors, and your community in new ways. Fall travel season will be here before you know it and there will be a whole new cycle to test out these methods on. Remember to think outside the box, explore new opportunities to meet those around you where they are, and don’t forget to let your best resources help you.

Please contact TWG Plus for more tips on successful recruiting, and other ways we can help you hit your enrollment goals.

5 Tips to Combat Summer Melt

‘Summer Melt’ … it’s a term I knew nothing about as a senior in high school, although it was happening all around me. We all daydreamed and speculated in the hallways about what life after high school would bring.  We eagerly discussed moving away from our parents – oh, the freedom! We applied to college after college for varying reasons: campus events, friends we’d make, life experiences we would have, the concentration or major the school specialized in, the amazing location.  For others, it came down to finding the right financial fit and a school we could count on.  We, of course, had no idea that all the colleges we’d applied to and then never enrolled in had, in some way, been counting on us as well.  As the summer after graduation flew past, the last thing on our minds was the colleges we’d applied to but had decided against.

As admission professionals, this drop of college-intending students (those that apply then drop out of the enrollment funnel between graduation and the start of fall classes) commonly referred to as ‘Summer Melt’ has a significant impact on institutions.  There are a variety of reasons why this happens ranging from financial aid falling through or lack of support or guidance, to difficulties in the logistics of actually attending college.  The students who once had a bevy of friends around them to urge them forward – guidance counselors, financial aid advisors, teachers with their interests in mind – suddenly find themselves navigating the next steps alone.  The entire support network that had surrounded them is gone.  One Harvard study noted that between 10 and 40 percent of students melt away in the summer months. This melt is even more prevalent in low-income communities.  That is a difficult number for an institution to justify.  Luckily, there are 5 tips that institutions can apply to lessen the blow and cool the melt.

1. Transition Programs

Often referred to as “Launch to College” events, transition programs bring alumni, current students, financial aid officers, and college representatives together to encourage and aid in the transition from high school graduation to college.

2. Comm Flows

Keep open lines of communication and continue to build student engagement and excitement about their choice to attend your college.  A skilled Higher Education marketing company such as TWG Plus can help launch an anti-melt campaign to seamlessly continue the dialogue with your students.

3. Specialized Teams

Create an internal team of people to reach out personally to each student to ensure their questions are answered, they know where to find resources to help them, and they are talked through processes that can hinder their movement forward.

4. Leverage School Counselors

Some institutions are hiring guidance counselors on a contract basis to continue their support to incoming students throughout the summer months.

5. Analyze your Data

Know what the rates of summer melt are among your students and the trends among them. Consider employing a company such as TWG Plus to conduct research of prospective and current students to gauge where the students are dropping and why.  Detailed analysis will show you exactly where and when to focus your anti-melt strategies.

Any of the above tips will yield positive results for both your institution and your students.  A combination will bring you close to your enrollment goals.

For more information on Summer Melt, Research, or hitting your enrollment goals, please reach out to us at info@twgplus.com