Throughout our Out-of-State series we have learned that attracting out-of-state students is a very important part of the overall growth and success of any univeristy. It is a large target market that cannot and should not be ignored by a university's marketing efforts.
So, let's recap what we have learned so far.
- Attracting Parents
- Attracting the parents of prospective out-of-state students is a key factor in grabbing these students' attention. For a majority of these students, their parents have quite a large influence on their college decision. This is why it is extremely important that prospective parents see the value of an education from your university so that they will feel like it is worth paying the out-of-state tuition. Parents want to have access to all of the available information about your university, so it is imperative that you keep them informed without overwhelming them. Take advantage of social media to reach prospective parents and provide information, especially on a platform such as Facebook.
- How Students Find Universities
- There are a variety of ways in which out-of-state, prospective students should be able to find your univeristy. You want these students to be able to evaluate your university in several different categories including academic program rankings, atmosphere, diversity, population and location. All of this information is imperative because depending on the student, one category could have more weight on their decision than another. Social media is a great way to showcase your university's personality. This way, students can begin to understand more about the student body and atmosphere of your university. Alumni play a large role in spreading positive word of mouth about your university. If prospective students are exposed to positive stories and opinions from alumni, it can affect their decision. Be sure that you are staying connected with alumni while also continuing to share more about your univeristy on social media.
- Do Reviews Impact Decisions?
- The simple answer is yes. For a large majority of students, they claim that reviews are one of the most important factors to consider when looking at your university. Reviews provide these students with specific situations and real-life examples of how your university operates. It is extremely important to generate a multitude of honest yet positive reviews about your university because they could highly impact a student's higher education selection.
So, you've taken these tactics and have started attracting potential out-of-state students and parents, but now it's time to seal the deal. The work definitely does not stop at attraction because now it is time to convert and close. In this phase, the interaction between a university and prospective students becomes a bit more personal. They know who you are but now it's time for you to learn who they are and reach them on a personal level.
If they have been accepted by your university, your job is to get them to sign on the dotted line and accept their offer. Highlighting the benefits of attending your university may sway their decision, and social media is a great place to do so. Share content from students who love attending your university through a video series of students discussing their favorite part about your university or simple testimonies paired with a picture of that student. Real students sharing real exeperiences may be a game changer. This way, they can begin to picture themselves in that situation and start to see themselves as a part of your university. You can even go as far as sending them a direct message on Instagram or Facebook saying that you hope to see them at your university next semester. You have made them aware of your university, but now they want to see that you are aware of who they are, so don't let them down!
Your deans can play a very impactful role in closing the deal with out-of-state students. By having information about each dean available and hearing from them on social media, students, again, will be able to paint a better picture of what life at your university would be like. Do you want to learn how your deans can utilize social media? Download this whitepaper below!