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Filling the Seats: 5 Strategies to Improve Yield

StudentBridge Staff April, 2, 2019

Spring is here, the sun is starting to shine again, and you are ready to get out and take a break from all the intense recruiting you've done throughout application season. But you and I both know that there is no period of rest during the student recruitment lifecycle, especially after acceptance letters have gone out.

Your institution has already convinced a student to apply, but so have a handful of other colleges and universities. It's hard to know if you are a prospective student's first choice or their 10th choice. So instead of leaving it to chance, try a few of these tactics to ensure you stay at the top of students' lists and convince these students that your institution offers the best fit and feel for their college careers.

1. Highlight Student Life on Your Campus

Football games, greek life, academic programs, cultural student interest groups, dining halls, career success centers, dorm rooms, lecture halls, and the rec center are a few of the many interesting things that make your campus unique. These are important factors that play into “fit and feel” and these factors will make a huge impact on a student's final decision to attend your institution. This is where strategies like a video viewbook come into play to highlight all of the best on your campus, within your culture, and through your student body. Continue to communicate with your students after acceptance letters have gone out to keep engagement levels high. Students should be excitedly consuming every piece of content you have to offer to give them a glimpse into the next few years of their lives, so make sure you have a continuous stream of content and engagement across all platforms. Yield solutions such as the Personalized Yield Platform help make these communications easier, personalizing and serving relevant content to individual students.

2. Put Context to Your Content

The biggest change many seniors will go through is moving out of the family home and becoming independent adults. Maybe some of us are a little older, so we don't remember the intensely terrifying feeling of being independent or more so, alone for the first time. Focus your video content strategy on showcasing the campus experience and make it easy for new freshmen to reach out for help. "Day in the life of..." and perspective videos help put more context to life on campus and life as a college student rather than generic descriptions and unending lines of text. Highlight your freshman experience and demonstrate the many programs and resources you have dedicated to freshmen. Put a spotlight on your freshmen's peer leaders and resident assistants to show them that they are not without human resources to depend on.

3. Highlight Financial Aid and Scholarships

The willingness and want to attend your college may be strong, but finances, tuition, and cost of living always play potentially deal-breaking roles when it comes to a student's final decision. Help assuage their fears with follow-up emails introducing them to their individual financial aid counselors, as well as the available resources such as need or merit-based scholarships, grants, and work-study opportunities. Send reminders about deadlines as they near and provide cost calculators to help students easily understand the process and make the right financial decisions for their futures.

4. Touch on the Benefits of Life as a Graduate

Bring the end result to the forefront. Freshmen can get overwhelmed by the gravity of the decision they are about to make; this may be the first major life choice they will have to make. Give them something more to think about such as the results of a successful college career. Offer insight into the types of careers they might pursue and the kind of success they might see with a degree from your program. Highlight famous or notable alumni and prominent individuals in the community that can inspire prospective students to take the final plunge and decide where they want to start their futures.

5. Make Freshman Orientation the Highlight of Their Summer

Freshman and new student orientation is usually a student's first dive into the culture, atmosphere, and environment that you offer on campus. That's why it's important to create a fully immersive and informational orientation program. Your program's orientation leaders, particularly student leaders, will make a lasting impression on prospective students. Don't let your guard down just because these students are attending orientation! There is still time between orientation and the first day of class, so make sure orientation shows these students exactly why they should choose your college or university.

Always remember StudentBridge's mantra when considering your recruitment and retention strategies: Right content on the right device at the right time. Make sure you are serving personalized and relevant content fit for any device throughout the stages of the student lifecycle.

StudentBridge's SMART solutions drive actions that deliver better recruitment for better retention at every stage of the student lifecycle. Contact us today to find out how StudentBridge can help you reach your yield goals.

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