With a growing number of colleges and universities, students have more options than ever before, and colleges need to be proactive in their efforts to attract the best and brightest students. By engaging in year-round recruitment, colleges can build relationships with potential students, stay on top of industry trends, and ensure that they have a larger pool of applicants to choose from when admission decisions are made. Additionally, colleges can identify top talent within specific industries to ensure they maintain their competitive edge. Ultimately, year-round recruitment is necessary for colleges to attract the best possible candidates.
Top Ten College Recruitment Trends:
1. According to a survey conducted by the National Association for College Admission Counseling (NACAC), 83% of colleges report that recruiting has become more competitive over the past five years.
2. The use of digital marketing in college recruitment is on the rise. According to a report by Hanover Research, 77% of colleges use social media as a recruitment tool.
3. According to a survey conducted by the College Board, 80% of students apply to more than one college.
4. The use of virtual college tours is becoming increasingly popular. According to a report by Cappex, 85% of students would be willing to take a virtual campus tour.
5. The COVID-19 pandemic has had a significant impact on college recruitment. According to a survey conducted by Inside Higher Ed, 84% of colleges have changed their recruitment strategies due to the pandemic.
6. According to a report by Hanover Research, 80% of colleges use email marketing as a recruitment tool.
7. The cost of college is a major factor in the college decision-making process. According to a survey conducted by Sallie Mae, 70% of families eliminate colleges from consideration based on cost.
8. According to a report by Hanover Research, 88% of colleges use college fairs as a recruitment tool.
9. The use of predictive analytics in college recruitment is on the rise. According to a report by Eduventures, 27% of colleges use predictive analytics in their recruitment strategies.
10. According to a survey conducted by Niche, 69% of students believe that a college’s website is the most important source of information during the college search process.
While there are many methods for recruiting students, direct mail has proven to be an effective way to reach this demographic. Direct mail involves sending promotional, printed mailers to a specific target audience. In the case of college recruitment, colleges can use direct mail to reach potential students by sending them information about their school, academic programs, and feature elements of campus life that set them apart from other colleges and universities. Direct mail is an effective way to reach students because it allows colleges to target specific demographics and create a personal connection with potential candidates.
Click here to see a Viewbook we recently completed for Centre College: https://www.pinterest.com/pin/378795018671477566/
According to a survey conducted by the United States Postal Service (USPS), 84% of millennials take the time to look through their mail and 64% prefer to receive valuable information through mail rather than email. Additionally, the USPS found that direct mail has a higher response rate than digital marketing, with an average response rate of 5.1% for direct mail compared to 0.6% for email.
We were recently working with a Midwestern university that wanted to grow its existing student search program to focus on prospective students segmented by course of study, geographical area, and additional interests to increase their application and enrollment rates. Using our Leads360 program, this Midwestern university was able to deliver ongoing messaging through multiple channels including direct mail, email, and integrated social media marketing. We also created a microsite that included personalized landing pages that are tailored to the interests of the user. A personalized thank you page and email were sent out as well. Together, each element pushed students to respond in their rapid response admission program.
As a result of this campaign, this Midwestern university saw:
- Acceptance rate increased by 5%
- Net enrollment increased by 5%
- Applications increase by 6%
- Campus visits increase by 10%
- And 67.6% of respondents who received the initial outbound campaign enrolled!
While direct mail can be an effective way to reach potential students, it is not the only method of recruitment. To stay competitive, colleges must engage in year-round recruitment. Year-round recruitment involves consistently seeking out potential students and building relationships with them over time. Like the Leads360 higher education case study, this can include e-mail, social media marketing, personalized microsites, and more.
According to a survey conducted by the National Association for College Admission Counseling (NACAC), the average acceptance rate for colleges in the United States is 66.1%. This means that if a college only recruits during the fall semester, they may miss out on top talent who have already accepted admission offers from other schools. By engaging in year-round recruitment, colleges can build relationships with potential students early on and have a larger pool of applicants to choose from when admission decisions are made.
In addition to building relationships with potential students, year-round recruitment also allows colleges to stay on top of industry trends and changes. According to a report by Forbes, the most popular college majors in 2021 include computer science, business, and health professions. By staying engaged year-round, colleges can identify top talent with these interests and ensure that they have a competitive edge in their industry.
Targeted marketing makes it possible for colleges and universities to identify and engage with potential students who are most likely to be a good fit for their institution. By targeting students based on their interests and other demographics, colleges can personalize their recruitment efforts and provide tailored information that resonates with the student. Additionally, by engaging in year-round recruitment, colleges can build relationships with students over time, which can lead to increased interest in the institution and higher application rates. Targeted marketing and year-round recruiting also allow colleges to stay competitive and keep up with industry trends, which is important in an increasingly competitive admissions landscape. Ultimately, these strategies enable higher education to build a strong pipeline of potential applicants and ensure that they are attracting the best and brightest students to their institution.
Thinking about making the switch to year-round college recruitment and/or a more personalized approach to reaching potential recruits? We can show you tons of success stories! Contact us at (937)353-2299 or send us a message.