By Jeremy Tiers, Senior Director of Admissions Services
2 minute read
Whether you have application deadlines approaching or you offer rolling admission, I’m guessing you currently have a large group of inquiries that haven’t taken the next step.
If the majority of your communications to this group are transactional email and text message application pushes and reminders, I encourage you to take a different approach and aim for responses.
Make it your goal to figure out why those students are hesitating on applying, or just in general why they seem to be disinterested.
Create a short, direct email that starts by recognizing the fact that filling out college applications can be overwhelming and stressful. Then, mention that the student is important to you so you’d like to figure out how to best help and support them in their college search.
If the student has previously visited campus or engaged with you or your school at a college fair or high school visit, consider briefly referencing that or something else you might know that will add an additional personal touch point.
End your email by asking a clear and intentional question that is designed to give you useful feedback. Here are a couple of examples to consider:
- “<First Name>, what would you want to hear about from me that would give you the confidence to start your application?”
- “When you think about being a student here at <College Name>, what’s your biggest worry?”
- “What’s something that you wish colleges and universities would talk about more when they send you information?”
If a student answers your question with only one or a few words, you might consider telling them what you think they might be thinking, and then ask another question. An example with an out-of-state student would be, “<First Name>, I know that thinking about going to college farther away from home can be a little nerve wracking. What do you think the hardest part of doing that would be?”
Based on the feedback you receive, you’ll likely need to provide the student with some additional information or possibly some tips and suggestions. After having some back and forth conversation, go ahead and ask if they’re now feeling ready to take the next step and start their application.
Again, the primary goal here is to create engagement that leads to a back and forth conversation where they feel comfortable opening up to you.
Finally, keep in mind that this strategy can also lead to a student telling you that your school isn’t a good fit, and that’s okay.
If you have a question about this article, go ahead and reply back or email me here.
And if you found this article helpful, I encourage you to forward it to someone else on your campus who could also benefit from reading it.