By Jeremy Tiers, Senior Director of Admissions Services
2 minute read
After last week’s news of an additional delay when it comes colleges receiving FAFSA information (ISIRs) from the federal government, I received a bunch of emails and texts from enrollment leaders wanting to discuss, among other things, the timing of their admitted student events.
Knowing how much those events positively impact yield, my advice was two-fold. First, it’s important that you encourage students and families not to wait to visit colleges on their short list until after they receive their financial aid package. Be sure and clearly explain the benefits of doing so. Along with that, consider adding more admitted student days (ASDs) in late April and May as more students than usual may just be receiving (or have just received) their financial aid awards.
When it comes to the messaging that schools send ahead of ASDs, I continue to find that the majority of it is impersonal and full of nothing but the schedule and logistical reminders. Plus, parents are often an afterthought and simply CC’d.
That approach is not differentiating you from your competitors.
If you want to stand out, increase the amount of personalization in the emails and texts you send. Consider implementing these two strategies that have worked well for our college partners.
Message 1: The week of your event, send a short text from the admitted student’s admissions counselor. If the student has previously visited your school, express excitement that they’re coming back, and ask a direct question like “What will you be trying to figure out about us when you come back to campus?” Send a slightly modified text to students who have not visited before, also expressing excitement, but asking a question such as, “What are you most excited to see when you get to campus?”
Message 2: The week of your event, send a short email from the admissions counselor to the parent(s) of the admitted student. Consider a subject line like – Helping your family with the college decision. In your message, mention that you understand the important role parent(s) play in this process, and that this decision affects the entire family. Ask a direct question like, “What are one or two questions you would like to ask me now instead of asking in front of your son/daughter?”
Consistently finding ways to create engagement and learn more about a student or parent’s mindset is an important part of being an effective territory manager. Also, don’t forget that caring more is a competitive advantage.
If you’d like to talk about something I said in this article, I’m happy to connect. Just reply back, or email me here.
And if you found this article helpful, forward it to someone else on your campus who could also benefit from reading it.
P.S. Many of your admitted students will be unable to attend your event, so I encourage you to have a discussion about live streaming on a platform like Instagram or YouTube. It’s another way for you to visually create emotions and feelings that impact decision-making, and motivate students to attend a future ASD. Plus it’s something most colleges aren’t currently utilizing.