by Jeremy Tiers, Director of Admissions Services
You throw them around all the time.
You use them to sell your college or university, and you brag about them in an attempt to separate your school from a competitor.
Facts. We’re talking about facts.
But which facts are worth talking about, and which ones just take up space in your messages to prospective students? Furthermore, are some facts that you present actually hurting your recruiting efforts?
While this generation of students does rely on facts about a college or university to form their overall opinion of the school, we’ve found that it’s most effective when admissions recruiters tie those facts directly to a benefit the student will receive.
This is a very important distinction that admissions counselors need to begin implementing. Again, when you state a fact as a selling point of your institution, it is vital that you take the extra step in explaining to your prospect exactly how they will personally benefit from that fact.
Why is that worthwhile? Our ongoing research continues to find that many prospects don’t usually “connect the dots” between the benefits that your school offers and what it means for them personally. They also, as I’ve explained many times before, rely largely on feelings to help them make their final decision.
When you’re able to communicate facts that will personally benefit a prospective student, and get them to understand those selling points, you win, more often than not. Good feelings about your school coupled with these personalized facts are almost impossible to ignore.
Here are 4 facts that we’re seeing recruits rate as very important in their decision-making process:
- Your on-campus housing. Interestingly, you don’t always need the newest and biggest dorms or apartments to win. Instead, you need to make sure your prospective students understand how they will have fun living there and how easy it will be for them to make new friends, “fit in”, and enjoy campus life. By the way, your current student’s opinions and personal stories go the furthest in selling your on-campus housing to your recruits.
- The food on campus. Prove to prospective students that they will eat well, and you’ll have an advantage over your competition just about every single time.
- How a degree at your school will trump a degree at another school. Every admissions counselor in America loves to talk about the academic strengths of his or her school. I’m here to tell you that you’d better be ready to prove it to your prospect (and their parents) with real-life examples as to how your school is going to better prepare them to find and successfully start a career.
- How the admissions staff, and how current students, treat them during their campus visit. Regardless of location or school size or type, these two factors rank at or near the top on almost every single focus group survey we’ve done over the past year. Today’s generation of students can easily spot the difference between those who are acting friendly and welcoming, and those who truly are. We see quotes all the time that contain phrases like, “everybody was welcoming and you could tell they really love their school”, and “the student ambassadors were super friendly and could answer or give a polite response to all of my father’s hundred questions!”
The improper use of facts is a major problem in student recruitment. We see and hear about it almost daily.
If your admissions and enrollment team commits themselves to taking the extra step of stressing facts that prospective students care about, as well as finding how best to tie those facts personally to those students, you’ll gain the upper-hand over your competitors who are content with reading this research and then choosing not to change the way they are telling their story.
Tudor Collegiate Strategies can help you formulate your strategy when it comes to presenting facts about your school that get attention. We can take our research and put it to work for you making a big difference in your overall recruiting efforts. To learn more, simply contact me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org