During much of my career as a college basketball coach I held the title of Recruiting Coordinator. That meant it was my responsibility to organize and helping execute the “campus visit.” When I put together the information packets, I always made sure that the parents received something unique that was tailored towards them. Why, you ask? The role of parents in the recruiting process has drastically changed over the past ten to fifteen years.
Across campus it’s no different. Parents are now more involved in every aspect of the college admissions process. Finances are a big reason why.
The campus visit has become a balancing act. Your staff must successfully meet the needs of your prospects, along with their parents. It’s a hard act to master, and while there’s no “perfect mix,” because every prospect and parent is unique, there are some important rules that you can use to build a better campus experience for all involved.
In his article, “Balancing Parents and Prospects During Their Visit to Campus,” author, speaker and founder of Tudor Collegiate Strategies, Dan Tudor, offered two important rules that you and your staff can use.
- Separate the prospect and their parents. Not too soon into the campus visit, find a way to separate the prospect from their parents. The reason is simple: Each party will usually have a much more memorable visit, and your staff will get more information from both the recruit and his or her parents. Useable, actionable information that will help increase your school’s chances of winning over that recruit.
- Send parents on the traditional admissions tour, and send the recruit off with a different member of your staff, and possibly a current student. There are mountains of data from all of our focus group surveys we’ve done with clients over the years, helping them design winning recruiting visits for their prospects. That data, largely comprised of feedback from current college athletes reflecting back on what they liked and didn’t like about their visits to college campuses, tells us something that boils down to this main point: When you separate the recruits and the parents while they are visiting your campus, they are both free to speak their mind. Parents can ask questions that they might not normally ask around their son or daughter. Recruits can relax and be themselves around their peers, instead of awkwardly deferring to those over-eager parents who gladly jump in to answer the question that you just tried to direct to their son or daughter. The long admissions tour? The parents will be much more receptive than their kids – who, by the way, would love the chance to just hang out and play Xbox with other students as a way to determine whether your campus feels best to them.
Yes, there are many potential twists and turns you could implement into those two basic rules. The possibilities are almost endless, depending upon the needs and personality of the prospective student coming to campus.
However, these two rules are big keys to a good foundation from which to build a solid campus visit.
Want us to be on your campus in the coming months? We’re setting our visit schedule to campuses around the country, and we’d love to come work with you and your Admissions team. Learn more about how we help schools recruit more efficiently. Click here for all the details or email Jeremy Tiers directly at firstname.lastname@example.org to ask him for options and potential workshop dates with your staff.