In these challenging time you need creative ways to stand out and still attract students. Despite still quite a good first half of 2020, most institutions are now facing COVID-related enrollment declines. We experienced this first-hand by many Universities focusing on converting students rather than recruiting new ones.
The data also shows this, as in the second half of 2020, 67% of prospective students were reconsidering higher education and looking at other options.
Enrollment fell 2.5% in fall 2020, almost twice the rate of the previous year
Even worse, first-year student enrollment declined more than 13%
Despite these challenges we are all battling with, we have come across some things that seem to work. These are our 4 recommendations:
- Ensure to put Digital first. COVID has catapulted us into a digital era, and it´s here to stay. Data backs this up as more and more prospective students respond to online ads. In 2020, 64% of high school students clicked on a Pay-Per-Click (PPC) ad, up 29% from the previous year.
- Make sure to engage in a proper way with prospective students. Wether it is through Webinars, virtual fairs (or Virtual Lounges) or something similar, ensure to create interactive, engaging events.
3. Keep accepting applications throughout the summer. One of the reasons students are not applying is that they’re waiting to see what happens. Acknowledge their uncertainty and remind them that you understand and extend the deadline where possible.
Also realize that although some elite schools see increases there will also be a number of rejected applicants. Communicate to those and ensure you demonstrate your value.
4. That brings us to the point of marketing your USPs, i.e. Unique Selling Points. Know what those are and communicate them effectively via authentic and engaging success stories. We noticed Webinars are a great way to do so and engage with the potential students.
Are you interested to find out more or learn how we can help with these? Check out our services-overview, see a testimonial or request a demo here!