This is an opportunity for readers of this newsletter to anonymously ask me a question about any aspect of student recruitment, leadership, and professional or personal development. Each week I’ll post my answer for everyone to read.
Q. An Assistant Director asks:
“In one of your articles this summer you mentioned that more students were saying in surveys that they would rather have phone calls over texts. Is that still true?”
A. Thank you for your question and I’m glad you reminded me about that. If anyone reading this missed the original article I wrote back in June about the value of phone calls in student recruitment, click here and read this for context.
In our surveys we ask incoming or current freshmen, “In terms of communication, tell us how often during the college search process you wanted colleges to contact you in each of the forms below.” Those forms are by phone, mail, email, text and on social media. And the options to choose for each are once a day, once a week, 2-4 times per week, once per month, and “never,” which was newly added this spring.
Although it was a very small sample size (4 colleges – Class of 2017 grads) the “never” numbers in early June were as follows:
- 43.27% never wanted colleges to contact them on social media
- 33.09% never wanted colleges to contact them by text
- 29.81% never wanted colleges to contact them by phone
Since that time, I’ve added survey research from another 8 different colleges. The sample size is now 12 schools with a total of almost 900 student responses. The latest averages look like this:
- 44.46% never wanted colleges to contact them on social media
- 24.66% never wanted colleges to contact them by text
- 22.15% never wanted colleges to contact them by phone
In my opinion, the biggest takeaway from this data remains the same. When done correctly, phone calls are extremely valuable in the minds of prospective students. Having said that, you should always ask a student’s communication preference early in the recruitment process. Never assume.