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43 Creative Ways Colleges Are Recruiting Students Today
43 Creative Ways Colleges Are Recruiting
For decades, colleges have made college recruiting an art. From slick marketing
packages to the ultimate campus visit, there are seemingly endless ways to
entice new students to enroll. But these days, admissions staff are armed with a
whole new set of tricks, thanks to technology developments, social media, and
good old-fashioned ingenuity.
1. Rating systems:
More colleges are tracking data on prospective students, developing
rating systems and devoting more or less time to each student based on
the likelihood that they would enroll.
2. Interactive video game tours:
At various colleges, students can take a tour of the campus through an
interactive video game.
3. Appearing to be more selective:
Some colleges hope that exclusivity will breed desire, cutting out early
acceptance programs and making the acceptance process just a little
4. Going green:
Green living and environmental technology is a big deal these days, and
colleges have gotten on board, attracting students with green facilities,
cafeterias, and even educational offerings.
5. Different protocol for different candidates:
Colleges are changing the way they deal with young recruits, offering a
more tailored recruiting experience for non-traditional students.
6. Special programs:
Colleges who make a home for a certain type of student are bound to
attract more, like many colleges have done with its group for students
who have certain kind of disabilities.
Would you choose a college based on getting a free tablet? That’s what
we were counting on when it was announced that we would be giving free
tablets to all incoming freshmen, and it worked.
8. Free tuition:
A free tablet nice and all, but what about free tuition? It’s a reality at
many, offering free tuition to hardworking and deserving students along
with prizes and other incentives.
9. Short films and viral videos:
Alumni filmmakers and students often create viral videos or short films
that share what’s great about their alma mater, bringing new students to
10. Student blogs:
To build credibility among prospective students.
11. Email follow-ups:
Email is a major part of creative college recruiting today, with many
colleges sending out email blasts and follow-up messages.
12. What the future holds:
In recruiting mail-outs, Colleges are careful to highlight one of its best
features: the great future students will enjoy with a specific degree.
13. One-on-one connections:
With social media, admissions officers are able to offer one-on-one
connections with potential students, letting them know how important
they are and that they should apply.
14. Sponsored search results:
Colleges want to make sure they’re in the results when students search
for colleges online, so many of them have used sponsored search results
15. Text marketing:
Ads on radio, TV, and in theaters get students to connect with colleges
using their cell phones, encouraging them to text their email address for
16. Student-led photos:
Schools used to just take photos of campus and put them on their
website, but now, they’re using Instagram streams and tagging to
encourage students to take the lead and share their own photos.
17. Amazing dorm rooms:
Academics are just part of the equation when it comes to choosing a
college: dorm rooms are a big deal, too. So many colleges are beefing up
their dorm amenities to attract students, with bathroom renovations,
larger spaces, appliances, and new furniture.
18. Facebook forums:
These days, college Facebook pages often turn into Q&A forums during
admissions season, allowing students to ask questions about the school.
19. Live chat sessions:
Students who are interested in a college can drop in and chat with
admissions officers in live chats to learn more about the campus and
20. Social media date reminders:
Admissions officers on social media keep their schools at the forefront of
students’ minds by posting reminders, news, and application deadlines on
Facebook and Twitter.
21. Tuition freezes:
As the cost of higher education rises each year, colleges that can offer a
better deal are attracting a lot of attention. Some colleges are even
freezing tuition in the hopes of increasing enrollment.
22. Virtual college fairs:
Some students simply don’t have time to visit with admissions
representatives in person, so many colleges are offering virtual college
fairs to make it easier and attract more students.
23. QR codes:
Using QR(quick response) codes, colleges are able to get students quickly
connected with the recruitment information they want to share.
24. Stronger student support:
At many colleges, the admissions and administration staff have been
slashed to better allow the school to support students. Instead, there will
be a leaner and meaner department to work with prospective students to
make sure they’re prepared for a college education.
25. Hosting Hangouts:
Using Google+ Hangouts, colleges reach out to students by hosting video
chats explaining the school, academics, and admissions.
26. Parent chats:
Parents can be major decision makers in the admissions process, so some
colleges host video chats not just for students, but parents as well.
27. Student Facebook pages:
At many colleges, there’s a student-run Facebook page for accepted
students, offering an authentic look into the school for prospective
28. Student ambassadors:
Colleges use their students to reach out to recruits in their respective
areas, posting fliers and ads, and hosting recruiting sessions of their own.
29. Accelerated courses:
In today’s instant gratification society, students want their degrees, like,
yesterday, and with accelerated courses, colleges are able to make that
happen, making classes longer, but terms shorter.
30. Good, old-fashioned phone calls:
In today’s world of online interaction, some colleges take an older, more
personal approach: phone calls. It doesn’t work for every student, but
some are impressed by the personal touch.
31. Incredible facilities:
Some colleges seem to be in a facilities arms race to attract the most
students with bigger and better new buildings. They’re splurging on high-
profile architects to create spaces that are sure to bring in new students.
32. Web history tracking:
Some schools track the pages students visit on their site and customize
their Web experience, giving them pages that are of post interest to
Group video chats work well, but some schools are finding that one-on-
one video conversations between counselors and students work well, too.
34. Facebook contests:
At many colleges, the college offers bookstore gift certificates to freshmen
who replaced their Facebook profile photos with the college logo.
35. Highlighting alumni on social media:
Many colleges are calling attention to the fact that they have great
alumni, and social media outlets are a great place to do it.
36. Mobile websites:
As more students use their phones to connect to the web, colleges are
making sites that are mobile-ready, making it easy for students to browse
what they have to offer.
37. Mobile apps:
In addition to mobile sites, some colleges have taken it a step further and
created mobile apps that students can take on the go to explore their
Webcasts and web conferences offer a large forum for prospective
students to ask questions and share answers with the entire group.
39. Showcasing activities:
Social media is a great place for colleges to share the campus lifestyle,
including events and activities that potential students may enjoy.
40. Personalized websites:
At various colleges, students sign on to personalized portals. For
example, students who express an interest in engineering will be greeted
with news about engineering on campus and links to profiles of professors
or other students in the field.
41. Incomplete application follow-ups:
Instead of allowing incomplete applications to sit and rot, many colleges
are following up with these students to make sure they come back to
complete the application.
42. Unique campus tours:
Tour a campus, and you’ll get a whole new perspective and appreciation
of what the college has to offer. At least, that’s what some colleges are
hoping for as they introduce more unique campus tours to their potential
43. Business partnerships:
At the college level, colleges are partnering with schools to bring in new
students for further education and growth in their colleges