You can’t hogtie potential students and force them into your school’s hallowed halls. Nor can you force your school’s brand into their homes, smartphones, or computers.
If you want to increase enrollment numbers, you need effective student recruitment strategies that you haven’t tried yet. Here are a few unique options that will get you started.
1. Advertise Discounted Tuition
As tuition gets higher and students face tightened belts among scholarship programs and grant administrators, reduced education costs become a powerful motivational tool. An increasing number of universities and colleges have begun offering discounted tuition as a selling point.
Before you wait in protest, consider the upside. A number of leading universities have steeply discounted their tuition to attract new students. Writing for Forbes, higher education expert Lucie Lapovsky reported on 39 schools that, as of January 2016, had slashed tuition costs by as much as 61 percent. This makes higher education attainable for more students, which means greater matriculation.
2. Turn to Social Media for International Recruitment
If you’re targeting international students, for instance, your target market might not use Facebook or Twitter — at least not predominately.
According to U.S. News & World Report contributor Mallory Hughes, the largest international market for U.S. universities awaits in China. She notes that higher education institutions have had excellent results using WeChat, a common messaging app among the Chinese.
Of course, Hughes notes that Facebook and other popular platforms can still prove effective when targeting international students. If you want the best results, don’t trust the statistics. Conduct your own research to find out which student recruitment strategies generate the best engagement.
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3. Partner With Employers
The College for America at Southern New Hampshire University, for instance, has launched a workforce development program. Employers can sign up for discounted tuition rates if they want to put their staff through additional training, whether it’s a single class or the pursuit of a degree.
It’s effective. According to the program’s website, the school has successfully lured the employees of big brands into its clutches, from McDonald’s to The Gap, to ConAgra Foods. If you can promise a low, set tuition rate and expanded skills for employees, you might significantly increase your adult enrollment numbers.
No matter your approach, effective student recruitment strategies should get the tuition checks rolling in. Using a unique strategy will set you apart from the competition.