By Jeremy Tiers, Senior Director of Admissions Services
2 minute read
I continue to find that too often colleges and universities don’t give prospective students and their parents (at all stages) enough of this when sharing different things about their student experience and value proposition.
Instead it’s a lot of vanilla, generalized statements like, “We have a welcoming and diverse community.” Or, “We have small class sizes and professors who care.” Or, “We’re a big-city university with small town conveniences.” Or, “Our students get practical, hands-on experience that prepares them to make a difference.”
Each of those statements lacks context.
When you don’t provide it, you end up sounding like a lot of other schools. Plus, students struggle to understand how your student experience is different and/or why it’s better than the other choices they have. And when students struggle to differentiate, it can slow down their decision-making process or result in the student making the easier and less stressful decision (i.e. choosing the least expensive school, the one closest to home, or the one with the most well-known name).
Giving context also does five other really important things:
- It gives the other person a reason to listen to you (and respond).
- It helps you personalize the college search process.
- It accelerates the other person’s understanding of why your school might (or might not) be a good fit for them (or their child).
- It allows you to define what prospective students and parents should think about something, and why that something should be important to them.
- If done regularly, it can also accelerate action when it comes to scheduling a visit or filling out your school’s application.
To improve in this area, focus more on defining the how, what, and why in your messaging as well as during your visits and events.
Ex. How do the different resources that your school offers make the transition to college smoother for new students?
Ex. What are the key benefits to having smaller class sizes?
Ex. Why do current students (and alums) like your school’s location so much?
Context is one of the hidden secrets of student recruitment and conversion. I encourage you to provide more of it in 2023.
If you’d like to talk more about something I said in this article, let’s do it. 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.