Ideas, insights and inspirations.

With strained budgets, weakened endowments and the anticipated demographic cliff the college bound undergraduates are beginning to shrink. Colleges are developing strategies for winning an outsized share of a shrinking undergraduate market. Our higher education marketing and enrollment clients have started asking us to prepare a playbook for successfully recruiting and growing undergraduate student enrollment. In increasing enrollment for undergraduate  programs for the past 25 years for numerous colleges and universities, we have learned two things: First, students can’t buy your programs or buy-into your university unless they can find you; Second, you can’t bore students into enrolling in your university. To succeed, universities must invest in first impressions, and deploy a unique balance of the marketing air-game, boots-on-the-ground game and follow-up contact strategies. ASSESS THE SITUATION Appraise the college’s situation by immersing yourself in the college data and touch points: Asses your brand. Are you a local brand, regional brand, state brand, super-regional brand or a national brand. Your … Continue reading

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Like every market, the audience of college-bound high school seniors is responding to change and uncertainty with… more change and uncertainty. Very recent surveys show roughly a quarter of next year’s class feeling uncertain about whether they will attend their first choice college, attend a school closer to home, or delay college enrollment for a year. College enrollment marketing teams (already stressed by acceptance/deposit season) now have to scramble to reassure and to some degree, re-recruit the Class of 2024. Here are five content needs/priorities to consider. Liberal Arts as catalytic. How often and how well do you make the case for why complex times and challenges require agile thinkers? Do you routinely interview students who find the core curriculum applicable across a range of research, internship and other experiential learning opportunities? Do you trace that confidence back to encounters with specific faculty, courses, assignments and texts? Do you ask internship supervisors and employers why such learners outperform their peers? … Continue reading

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