By Jeremy Tiers, Senior Director of Admissions Services
1 minute read
In last week’s article, I made the statement that successfully recruiting your next class of students ultimately comes down to consistently doing 10 or 11 little things well.
One of the key pieces of data we continue to see in our focus group surveys with students is, most of them have no idea what they’re supposed to ask a college admissions counselor, or how they’re supposed to ask it.
Combine that with the fact that many students and parents don’t have a clear understanding of the college admissions process, plus not every school has the exact same processes and requirements, and you’ll understand why what we’re going to talk about today is so important.
It’s crucial that you lead the conversation at every stage of the college search process.
To be clear, leading the conversation doesn’t mean dominating it. Your goal should be to make it a two-way conversation that is always student (or parent) centered.
Here are a few quick examples of how you do that:
- Instead of just telling students to sign up for a campus visit or virtual event, your email explains how doing so will help them with their college search.
- You ask what scares or worries them the most about their college search process, and based on what they tell you, you then provide tips or share a relatable story as a way to help alleviate their fear or concern.
- You consistently define how any aspect of your student experience is different from your competitors, and why your students think it’s better.
- Once a student deposits or commits to your school, you continue to provide them with concrete reasons around why they should be excited about their decision, and what they have to look forward to as a student at your college or university.
If you decide to take a hands off approach because you don’t want to seem pushy or you’re convinced that students and parents will figure everything out on their own and reach out anytime they have questions, you’re going to be disappointed a majority of the time.
Fear of saying or doing the wrong thing prevents a lot of students (and more parents than you might think) from engaging with you.
Without your guidance and help, many will wait to take action, or in some cases never take action.
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