By Jeremy Tiers, Senior Director of Admissions Services
2 minute read
What if you only have a month or two to convince those new inquiries that your school is the right fit?
While your approach needs a little tweaking, a lot of the same traditional tactics that we teach admissions counselors still apply.
Don’t make the mistake of being overly pushy and completely transactional. You still need to build a recruiting relationship and figure out a student’s wants, needs, concerns, and how they plan to make their decision.
Here’s how I recommend approaching this situation:
- Start by expressing excitement that the student is considering your school. Let them know they still have time, and make it clear that you can walk them through everything step by step. Ask what the one or two biggest things they need to know are as they’re trying to figure out if they’re going to apply.
- Once a student engages and you send them relevant information, also be sure and ask what their major decision making factors are, when they hope to make a decision by, and who they’re relying on to help them with their decision.
- Make it clear that you’re asking those questions because you want to be on the same page and get everyone the information they want and need as quickly as possible.
- Once a student applies, whatever their major topics of interest are, and/or the concerns that they’ve shared, focus your subsequent outreach on those areas – take things one topic or concern at a time, don’t rush and try to cram multiple things into the same message. Your emails and text messages can be more frequent than the usual 6-9 days that we normally recommend. Just make sure you’re direct and intentional with any outreach and not simply “checking in”. If you want to know why they haven’t done something, or how they’re feeling, ask.
- If a student told you they’re relying on one or both parents for help, reach out to the parents separately and determine what questions they need answered, or what concerns they need you to address/alleviate.
- After discussing each topic or concern, ask the student or parent how they’re feeling about everything, and what else, if anything, they would like to talk about next. And, don’t be afraid to ask a student how it’s going with the other colleges they’re considering. Do they feel like they’re getting the same level of attention and customer service?
- After a student is admitted, ask them how they feel about committing to your school.
As you might imagine, lots of variables can occur as you’re going through those steps, so be prepared to adjust your communication accordingly.
Also, there’s no perfect timeline to complete all those steps. It might take a couple of weeks, or two months.
The key is to consistently create opportunities for engagement in a direct and intentional way that feels personal.
Want to talk about something I said in this article? We can do that, just reply 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.