By Jeremy Tiers, Senior Director of Admissions Services
2 minute read
As humans we value honesty and authenticity from others, a lot.
Unfortunately, most prospective students continue to feel like the communications they receive during their college search are copied and pasted to the masses. And believe it or not, in some cases they don’t believe that the sender of a college related email is a person who actually exists.
Because of the amount of spam they’re hit with on a daily basis, this generation is very skeptical.
Part of the problem is, most colleges and universities brag too much and only highlight their ‘positives.’ They paint a picture of college being the best years of your life where nothing ever goes wrong and there are no challenges. Frustrations like those continue to get voiced in our focus group surveys as well as on social platforms like Reddit.
We both know, and so do prospective students, that no college student at any school is happy 100% of the time and without any fears, worries, or concerns.
Because of that, it’s never been more important for admissions counselors, tour guides, and those writing college related messaging to come across as genuine and empathetic.
To help with that, I’ve got an easy tip for you to put into practice.
Tell more stories about challenges or failure.
I encourage you to make it a priority during campus tours, events, and in your enrollment communications and conversations to tell stories of current and former students who struggled with common things – the transition to college classes, making new friends, time management, being homesick, being depressed, living with a roommate for the first time, or learning how to be independent and accountable.
Focus on why a student struggled (or why new students every year struggle) with something or even failed. What did the student learn? What advice and tips would they (or can you) offer? What resources on your campus (and people) did they utilize?
And remember, anytime you’re telling a story, details matter.
Talking about challenges or failure can enhance your credibility and let the student know that you’re being honest with them in what challenges lie ahead or what mistakes not to make once they choose your school or another college.
Honesty is something that most prospective students actively look for during their college search. Does it feel like you’re consistently giving it to them?
If you’d like to talk more about something in this article, I’m happy to connect. Simply 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.