Effective marketing is necessary for any university. Millions of high school seniors across the United States are considering which is the right choice. For example, the images should be consistent across all your new marketing techniques. Great marketing graphics will only encourage the millions of high school seniors you are the right fit for them. Make sure you are their top choice by executing some of the following:
Promote specific programs
Anyone looking at colleges will look into the programs. It’s the most important part of people looking for programs. Your university likely has a program that stands out among the rest. For some, it’s the arts programs. For others, it’s their STEM facilities. Overall, it’s okay to brag about how great your program is if you have the resources to back it up. If your higher education recently built a new building for engineers, use it in your marketing. This is a great sell because it shows you value your programs and its student’s future.
However, if you do plan to promote specific programs, avoid false advertising. It may seem easy to make yourself appear better than the rest, but if your university can’t back the claims, you lose them. They might change majors or worse, transfer somewhere else. Make sure all your information is accurate and up to date.
What makes you special?
If you want to pursue a different route, consider what makes your university special. Some universities offer study abroad options all over the world. Others offer flexible programs for non-traditional students. Use this niche within your college to promote yourself. It’s the weird little quirks of your higher education that make it easier to market.
Many universities can appear like carbon copies of each other with poor marketing. Every school promotes its campus and top programs because every school has it. It’s not too special to have a nice campus, but maybe your college is the only one in your state with an award-winning radio station. Maybe you have the largest student-run farm in the tri-state area. Things like this appeal to specific people to make your university appear more interesting.
Sports is another easy but effective selling point. For those thinking about playing professionally, attending a school with a phenomenal athletics department is a must. It’s not unheard of for admissions counselors and coaches to begin recruiting talented high schoolers.
Easing student anxiety
For teenagers, picking a university is one of the toughest choices in their lives so far. It means dedicating several years to a field they’re not too familiar with. For first-generation students, the process is even more overwhelming. Offer any support your admissions department is able to provide. Waiving application fees is one simple solution to this. It can make a huge difference to a prospective student knowing it’s possible to do so. Other possible solutions include easy access to admissions counselors, clear answers to common questions online and including your application on Common App. You want them to see you as a compassionate and understanding. Easing their anxiety during admissions is a positive way to leave a good impression.
This is a place where your future students do the marketing for you. They may have younger siblings or friends considering college. If it was an easy process for them, they’ll provide a positive review to them. If it’s a struggle, they’re less likely to even consider the school.
When applying for colleges, it’s easy for students to feel like they’re lost in a sea of thousands of other applicants. Some schools receive well over ten thousand applicants, so it’s easy to see why. It’s quicker to just send an acceptance letter and move on. To admissions, you’re accepting another student. To them, it could change their lives. Take the time to personalize acceptance letters.
There are a few ways to execute this. First, know what program they were accepted to. If it’s an art program, send a note praising about some spectacular pieces from their portfolio review. If it’s STEM-related, send them information on upcoming events with a note congratulating them. Make it special by sending out handwritten letters. Anyone can type something up quickly but taking the time to sit down and write adds a personal touch.
While most high schoolers don’t apply for college until their junior and senior years, it’s important to remember the freshman and sophomores. They’re not sure what they want to study, much less where they’re going to study. Marketing to these students is the first step to getting their interest. You’re able to remain an option, while other schools might never cross their minds.
This is done is possible in other capacities. For instance, some high schools offer college fairs. Attending and making connections with students is an effective marketing technique because they get information first hand. They’re motivated to do their own research into your university.
Get a Partner
Partnering with local groups and other higher educations is a great way to increase your student recruitment. It’s not uncommon for four-year universities to partner with community colleges. These agreements ensure both institutions benefit: they attend the first school and go straight to the university. For students, this can be a deal. They attend two years in one place for a lower price, then transfer to a local university to continuing their education.
For high schools, offer the opportunity to take introductory courses to seniors. This provides students with the chance to know what college classes are like before starting. They also can receive credit for it and get a head start. Not only are you helping them, but they’re also seeing first-hand the benefits of going to your school. You’re still marketing to them, but with a more direct connection.
Promote financial aid
You can market perfectly to students, but it doesn’t matter unless they can afford to attend. Your university might be their first choice, but their second choice offered a full ride and you didn’t. It’s not necessary to offer everyone scholarships to cover every cost but offer appealing options. Many compete for exclusive scholarships and grants from their accepted schools to ease the financial burdens. Even if a student knows they might not qualify, the option is still there.
Another less-competitive opportunity is to promote scholarships based on academic merit. However, make it accessible for the average student. It’s possible to offer scholarships to those with a 3.0 GPA and above, but the amount given varies. Those with a 3.1 won’t receive as much as a 3.9. The chance should be marketed so they know it’s possible to still receive aid.