The VPM Blog

Boost Morale and Retention Among Freshmen for Spring Semester

Posted by admin on Nov 4, 2014 9:20:00 AM
Screen_Shot_2014-11-04_at_9.13.01_AMUniversities across the country lose quite a few freshmen students between fall and spring semester each year, but retention among freshmen is an integal part of your college's success.

Sure some of those students had a little too much fun the first semester and may have flunked out, but what about those that were unsure if your university was the place for them? Now, thanks to the world wide web, you can communicate with your students even when they’re home for the Holidays to change or alter those unsure feelings. How do you do this, you ask? Here are two options that are worth implementing.

1. Have a welcome back event early in the spring semester:
  • Welcome your students back to campus with open arms, and fun events. Have a pizza party on campus, invite all your college's students and faculty to celebrate the start of the new semester. Or perhaps have a concert free to all students in your arena.
  • Making these unsure freshmen feel more comfortable at your college is imperative to making them feel like a true part of your school’s family. Bringing the whole school together in a fun, festive way will help these uncertain students remember why they chose your college in the first place. Allow them to have fun in a relaxed, laid back way. Perks of having events like this are endless. Freshmen will start to feel more included in campus life and they'll be able to make connections with other students.
  • Advertising your event is key. Put up billboards around campus at the end of the first semester so students see what will be happening at the start of the next semester. Make sure to post on social media as well. If it’s seen on Instagram or Twitter, people will be talking.
  • Remember, after the event is over, post pictures of students having fun at the event in your school's newspaper, on social media, and on your website. What is most important about an event like this is to make sure everyone has fun, so the uncertain freshmen coming back to give college a second chance won’t regret their decision.

2. Have a noticeable social media presence

  • Fight any finals week blues. This is a time in a lot of your freshmen’s lives when they are feeling overwhelmed, so let them know that you want them to succeed. Send out encouraging messages on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to let them know you care throughout the week. Finals week often brings out anxiety and feelings of doubt among first year students in both their academic ability and their decision to come to your university -- so nip that in the bud. Also try to include humor (we’re talking funny memes, etc.) as a reminder to students that life on your campus isn’t all serious. Sure, the reason they are there is to attain a great education, but it’s important to remind students that their happiness is your priority.
  • Be present over the entire winter break on social media. Of course most of your students have migrated back home to enjoy the holidays with family and friends, but remind them about all of the perks their new home away from home has to offer.
  • We know what you are thinking, what kind of information should we be posting on our social media? Well, the answer is pretty simple.
    • Post pictures from first semester events, football games, etc. Anything to remind your students how much fun they had during their first semester at college. Make them miss being on campus by posting visually satisfying photos of different spots around your school.
    • Tweet about upcoming events that will occur during spring semester. Athletics is a huge part of most school enthusiasm, so tweet upcoming sports schedules. Advertise your college to these freshmen; win them over again so they will choose to return for their second semester. Social media is an important part of most college students’ daily lives, so use that to your advantage and post info that will make your students miss being on campus while they are away on break.
    • As for those that may be questioning if they can handle the academic side of college -- use Twitter and Facebook to post about various the academic services that are offered at your university. Encourage them to start off the new semester with confidence and the tools to help them succeed.

Implement these tips to make certain your students will be returning to campus with grins on their faces and an excited attitude in the new calendar year.

Higher Ed & Instagram CTA

photo credit: courosa via photopin cc

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