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Highlighting Campus Life is a Valuable Recruitment Strategy

StudentBridge Staff July, 5, 2022

Campus life shapes a university student's experience and lifestyle throughout their education. "Campus life" extends far beyond the academic offerings and programs a university offers to include social events, residence hall life, clubs and activities, and off-campus activities. Prospective students are hungry for insider knowledge about campus life; it is a major consideration as they research and evaluate schools. Their criteria go well beyond majors and minors; most often, academic offerings are one factor among many that potential applicants consider. These potential students seek both an education and a lifestyle for the duration of their time at your institution.

Video content is a concrete way your admissions department can give prospective students authentic insight into the campus life that awaits them at your school. Depictions of current students experiencing the unique campus life that exists at your institution are powerful tools for student recruitment. StudentBridge's video viewbook provides the technology that makes this kind of student recruitment possible. By including Video Viewbook in your toolkit of recruitment strategies, you can give prospective students direct access to one of your university's most appealing assets—its unique campus life.

1. Feature criteria that prospective students are searching for

To draw prospective students to your campus, your admissions team must highlight the unique academic programs and opportunities your university offers. But the unique life that grows up around and within a campus can be just as important a draw for many students. Well-made video content that prospective students access throughout their search process can give them precisely the insights they need about the non-academic aspects of life at your university. Here are several things your admissions team can do to highlight the strengths of your school, beyond its academic programs:

2. Depict diversity in the social life of your university.

For many students, college is their first opportunity to socialize with people from other backgrounds and geographical locations. This is also one of the most appealing aspects of leaving home to attend a university. Highlight this aspect of student life on your campus!

Video content that highlights opportunities to meet a wide variety of other students can be a powerful recruitment tool. This could include footage of social events sponsored by international, minority, and other student groups in which students from different backgrounds have an opportunity to socialize. Including students from a variety of demographics as video ambassadors is also a way your university can showcase the student diversity a prospective student will encounter on your campus.

3. Highlight the unique aspects of your geographic location

Your campus is the only one that exists precisely in its location. Use this to your advantage. Many students have a strong desire to live in a specific kind of place. Some students want to leave home for a big city; others want to live near the mountains or the ocean. By including these elements in your video content, you deepen a potential applicant's knowledge about the lifestyle they can pursue while attending your institution. Whether it is access to live theater or the ski slopes that draws students in, this kind of information can strongly influence a student's decision about whether to apply to your institution. Include it in your toolkit of recruitment strategies.

4. Showcase clubs and activities

When looking back, many graduates see time spent on an intramural sports team, in the Black Student Union, or an acapella singing group, as integral to their college experience. These activities added value to their time at school, and facilitated the development of lifelong relationships. Participation in these events is often unique to the college years and creates lasting memories. Highlighting these clubs and activities in your video recruitment content lets you show prospective students that a well-rounded college experience is available to them at your school. Potential students want to pursue friendships and new experiences; your university's unique clubs and activities will allow them to do so. So offer video content that showcases them.

5. Depict residence hall life

Students who live in residence halls on campus tend to be retained at much higher levels than students who live off-campus. Your residence halls are a crucial contributor to the overall character of your institution, and students often gain a sense of community when living in them. Video content is especially well suited to providing insight into life in your school's residence halls. Prospective students want to know what their day-to-day routine might look like, what and where they would eat their meals, and who they might run into in the residence hall lounges and hallways. Immersive video technology allows your admissions department to not only tell potential applicants about what life is like in your residence halls, but to show them. Your student ambassadors who live on campus are excellent resources for content that can showcase the benefits of residence hall life, and they are likely able to make videos that highlight exactly what potential applicants are looking for.

6. Educate potential students about mental health resources

Coming out of the last few years of distanced learning and COVID-19 lockdowns, college-aged students are more vulnerable than ever to mental health challenges. Both they and their parents will be looking to ensure that students have access to mental health support and resources on campus. A Video Viewbook allows your admissions team to inform students and their families about these resources. Virtual tours of your university's health center, interviews with residence hall RAs, and interviews with peer support providers will assure that students' mental health needs are being addressed. Video content that features current students speaking on mental health topics is a powerful way to provide insight into the ways your university's mental health policies support real students.

7. Embrace technology that enhances students' experience

When most institutions converted to remote learning during the height of the Covid-19 pandemic, we learned about valuable technological platforms like Zoom and Google Classroom. While these technologies are still likely to play a large role in the school life of students, other technologies can further enhance their learning and engagement. Consider building a proprietary online platform. You can customize this to your institution, and use it to build online classroom spaces or virtual social hubs for your students. Your admissions team can offer prospective students a peek at these technologies in your school's Video Viewbook. In this way, you can show potential applicants how your school is using technology to better serve students.

Current Students are Effective Recruiters

What prospective students want is an insider's view of all the aspects of campus life. Your university is full of people who can provide it – current students. The more visible these students' experiences are to potential applicants, the more these applicants know about your campus. Creating a Video Viewbook that includes authentic depictions of current students and their experiences makes it possible for your admissions department to highlight campus life in a way that a tour or information session never could.

The high school students you want to recruit spend nine hours a day on their digital devices. Almost half of teens report that they're online almost constantly. Because students and their friends rely on social media and technology for information in all aspects of their lives, your university's video content can reach even those students not yet ready to apply. College freshmen are friends with high school students, who then become aware of your institution as a result. By creating compelling video content that is readily available for current students, you create the best possible impression of your university and highlight the aspects of campus life that your school is most proud of. A well-made Video Viewbook creates an immersive picture of your institution that can be among your most effective student recruitment strategies.

At StudentBridge, we have over 20 years of digital storytelling expertise that we have extended into creating award-winning, virtual experiences for educational institutions. Our solutions are powered by a robust, technology platform supporting personalization, content management, analytics, security and compliance and systems integration. Connect with StudentBridge today and see how we can help.

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