By Jeremy Tiers, Senior Director of Admissions Services
2 minute read
Successfully recruiting your next class of students ultimately comes down to 10 or 11 little things.
Here’s one that I haven’t written about before, but often discuss during staff training workshops or 1-1 conversations I have with admission counselors.
In a traditional two parent family, when only one parent (or no parent) is with their son or daughter during the campus visit, a red flag should go up.
Why? We’re continuing to find that oftentimes the student and parent who toured campus and got to interact with a number of different people usually don’t communicate everything to the missing parent the same way it was presented to them.
Plus, it’s also difficult to explain the “feel” of campus, which remains one of the top two decision-making factors for most students. How do you effectively describe the emotional, relational, and visual experience to another person, right?
With that problem in mind, here are some quick tips I encourage you to consider:
- In your personalized pre-event communications, be intentional about inviting all parents and other influential family members (brother, sister, cousin, aunt, etc.) to campus with the prospective student.
- If you get word ahead of time that a parent or influential family member won’t be able to make it, reach out and try to specifically connect with that individual and tell him or her that you’d really love it if they could come be a part of the experience. Counselors who have taken this advice tell me that even though most times that person still can’t come, they appreciate feeling like you know they’re important in this process.
- Consider utilizing FaceTime, Skype, Zoom or another video app on an iPad or school computer, and invite the missing individual to join that way for one or more parts of the visit – especially during the tour.
- Building on the post-visit strategy that I shared in this article back in June, arrange a follow-up call not just with the prospective student, but with all key family members. Be prepared to lead a conversation and ask direct questions about how the visit went, their feelings about it, and what they’d like to see happen next. For that missing parent or family member, hearing their loved ones talk favorably about the visit experience is vital to keeping them (or getting them) on board with the next step. I’d also encourage you to ask that person, “What’s the biggest thing you’re wondering about when it comes to <Prospective Student’s First Name> potentially being a student here?”
Those tips are a simple and effective way to make sure everyone is on the same page.
And if you’re wondering how to find out who will be influential in helping a prospective student with their college search, ask them, “Who are you going to be leaning on the most for advice during your college search?”
Want to talk more about something I said? Just hit reply or connect with me here.
And if you found this article helpful, forward it to someone else in your campus community who could also benefit from reading it.