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3 strategies to achieve your enrollment goals this year

StudentBridge Staff August, 23, 2023

Is your college or university looking to move the needle on enrollment? These 3 strategies will help you increase enrollment and achieve more.


At colleges and universities across the nation, competition is up, internal resources are down, and enrollment is paying the price. The good news? There are practical strategies you can take action on to realize or even surpass your enrollment goals — without overtaxing your team.  

Below, you’ll find 3 strategies to help achieve your enrollment goals this year — along with some bonus strategies for those looking to achieve even more.


1. Prioritize personalized mobile-first communication to attract Gen Z students

Reality check: Students want to receive text messages during the enrollment process. Studies show that 9 out of 10 high school students are open to receiving text messages during the enrollment process, and that text messages are influential in students’ decision-making processes. This is a great way to reach students quickly — where they already are — and inspire timely action. 

But personalization is critical to making the most of this communication channel. Seventy-three percent of high school seniors graduating in 2022 said personalized and relevant outreach was influential or very influential in their decision-making, yet only 44 percent said the outreach they received from colleges was very personal and specific to their interests

So if you’re looking to stand out during the admissions cycle and stay top-of-mind for students, personalized mobile communications are an absolute must. 

To meaningfully personalize communications: 

  • Include students’ names (this also helps you not get flagged as spam)
  • Provide timely, relevant information specific to students’ unique interests, goals, and needs
  • Give students a way to reach out 1:1 with questions
  • Align messages to where students are at in the college search and decision-making processes

Those looking to really achieve more this year should also communicate with parents and other key supporters, which StudentBridge can help you do even if you don’t have parents’ contact information.


2. Increase the access and impact of your campus visits

Campus visits are a powerful engagement opportunity, but not all students can complete a guided visit before (or even after) enrolling. In fact, 19 percent of high school seniors graduating in 2022 reported not visiting any college campuses prior to enrolling — which presents a real dilemma for institutions that rely on campus visits to stand out from the competition and sway students’ decisions to apply and enroll. 

To broaden the reach and impact of your campus visits, it’s vital to have strong virtual and self-guided visit options in place. These offerings need to be comparable to your guided visits, bring your institution to life for those not on campus, and inspire students to take the next step.

These 7 questions can help you being to evaluate the effectiveness of existing virtual and self-guided visits. From there, take a discerning look at your offerings to ensure: 

  • Visitors have a memorable way to explore your institution anytime, from anywhere — without requiring downloads or using a paper map
  • There’s a way for students to personalize their visit experience based on their unique interests and needs
  • Your visits meet the needs of various key audiences, such as transfer, first-gen, or international students or parents (to name a few)
  • They highlight authentic student voices and experiences
  • It’s easy for prospective students to take action — like submit an inquiry or ask a follow-up question 

If you’re honest in your assessment of your existing visit offerings, you’ll likely identify a few meaningful opportunities to level up your campus visits which will help drive enrollment this cycle and beyond.


3. Use video to provide an authentic view of your institution

Are you doing enough to capture students’ attention and keep them engaged? If your answer is ‘no’ or if you’re unsure, authentic videos can be the solution you’re looking for.

Research shows that a strong majority of students find videos to be helpful, and 71 percent of Gen Zers watch over 3 hours of video per day. And when you consider how you only have 8 seconds to capture and maintain a Gen Z’s student attention, videos are your best bet for attracting and engaging students. 

For impactful videos that engage students and drive enrollment: 

  1. Elevate student voices because students want to hear from peers (not just administrators or figureheads). Let current students and young alumni talk about class sizes, opportunities, social fit, and the campus community. ‘Day in the Life’ content can also be particularly valuable here, helping provide a relatable and authentic view of student life. 
  2. Talk about navigating the “new” that is college life. Many students are leaving what’s familiar to go to college, and videos that can reassure and excite them are a powerful way to build trust, affinity, and community. Leverage empathy and honesty by allowing students to talk about their experiences as first-gen, transfer, international, out-of-state, or adult students.
  3. Show, don’t tell, students about your campus. Show off your facilities like where students live, do research, exercise, and explore. Record video walk-throughs of the spaces when students are using them — which is especially helpful for locations like labs or dorms that may not be open to walk through during an on-campus visit.


More strategies to boost enrollment at your college or university

The above strategies are a great starting point for those looking to drive enrollment, but they aren’t the only ones you can employ to achieve more. Watch our on-demand virtual learning session Make Your Enrollment a Smash Hit to reveal 8 strategies to achieve your most ambitious enrollment goals this cycle and beyond


Ready to drive enrollment and achieve more this year? 

StudentBridge can help. Schedule a free, no-obligation conversation to learn more.

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