When your admissions team is looking to improve its fall enrollment – or set itself on the right path for winter and spring – you may be seeking out different strategies and directions. When you’re ready to revamp your admissions tactics for the new academic year, check out our top advice for improving enrollment rates:
Form deeper relationships with guidance counselors
When you’d like to increase your undergraduate enrollment, a strong place to start is by making connections with high school guidance counselors. These K-12 professionals are influential figures in encouraging students to consider specific colleges. Rather than expecting them to flock to your programs, think about developing outreach strategies specifically catered to guidance counselors.
Consider beefing up your website with information that directly impacts guidance counselors instead of just providing resources to prospective students and their families. Looking for some inspiration? Check out the following resources from Dartmouth College, Concordia College and Penn State.
Develop student-driven social media platforms
Plenty of colleges and universities have sparked interest in prospective students and their families by creating student-run Instagram profiles. When students are figuring out where to apply and attend, there’s no doubt they’re considering academics, location and other major factors. But when it’s down to the wire and they have to choose between College A and College B, they’ll most likely look toward residential and student life components. By creating a student-run social platform, prospective students can see what it’s like in the day in the life of a student at the institution.
Delegate the task of overseeing this page to one of your admissions officers, ideally one that has a positive relationship with many current students. Give them a strong foundation of what you’ll expect from this social platform and present them with some jumping-off points, such as:
- Choose one role model student to run the page each week. Try to pick students from different years and that participate in a variety of clubs, from improv and jazz band to athletics and dance.
- Give students a framework of what they might post. For instance, on their first day running the page – likely a Monday – they might post an introductory photo along with an overview of their major, what they do on campus, where they’re from and other information. Maybe Thursdays can serve as a #ThrowbackThursday in which students can share a photo from a past experience at the school, such as freshman move-in day, their semester abroad or another memorable moment.
- Use this profile to engage with current students as well as prospective ones to build on your school’s sense of community
Some exemplary examples of institutions that have leveraged this strategy include:
- Saint Michael’s College: @knightlifevt
- Barnard College: @barnardstudentlife
- Douglas College: @studentlifedc
Transform your admissions technology
With so many applications coming in from prospective students, institutions should steer away from clunky manual strategies in the collection and organization of admissions information. Transitioning to a unified platform can make it much simpler to send information both internally to admissions colleagues or external to candidates, families and guidance counselors. Parchment Receive can help you collect and view all your information in one place.