GPRS Higher Education Marketing Agency


GPRS Higher Education Marketing Agency

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Insights from the Higher Ed Experts

BY Anthony Campisi | March 30th, 2023

Storytelling: Help Your School Connect Better with Prospects

Storytelling: Help Your School Connect Better with ProspectsBy now, you’ve heard the buzz about how storytelling can impact your brand. For years, marketers have been using stories to show consumers how a product or service can improve their lives or solve a problem. But it wasn’t until recently that the advent of new social platforms and influencer marketing brought real stories to the forefront. While standard testimonials are one form of conveying outcomes, the true power of storytelling provides a face, a persona, and an authentic connection that people can relate to.

So how can your school use stories to reach prospects and encourage them to apply to your program? Here, we’ve compiled some of our favorite tips on bringing your brand to life through the use of stories.

Leveraging storytelling

When creating your storytelling strategy, be sure to select the right representatives of your brand so they can accurately convey your key messages. Although anyone can be a storyteller, it’s important to lean on your marketing and admissions department to identify which stories need to be told and by whom. Your greatest impact can be found with authentic, original content that conveys realistic perspectives and often vulnerability.

Regardless of how you construct your stories, there are multiple ways to showcase your final product. You can post them on your website, utilize them on social media or include them on your blog. You can also include snippets in email campaigns and marketing materials. Learn more about leveraging storytelling to enhance your school’s digital online presence.

Alumni stories

Prospects want to see real people that they can relate to and stats that predict desirable future outcomes. This is where the stories of students who have benefited from your program and have gone on to do great things can help. Using alumni at large recognizable corporations with notable titles is great. People who have won awards contributed to significant industry innovations and are in the news are other good candidates. However, you do not have to use famous alumni to make an impact. And in fact, having the right mix of alumni is important to reduce the risk of intimidating prospects. Try profiling those with inspiring stories, career-switchers, or even students who have made significant contributions to their communities. Learn more about leveraging alumni stories to boost your digital strategy.

Blogs to tell your story

Your website is a formal space to highlight your programs, benefits, outcomes, and faculty. But no matter how inviting your content is, there is no substitute for the informal conversation that invites questions and exploration. What’s the real story? How will I really feel when I’m on campus? Will I fit in? Will I get the job? Will it be worth it? With a blog, you can address these concerns and barriers in an honest way and in a format that lends itself better to real talk. Not to mention, blogging boosts your site’s SEO value, increasing the chances you will be found through searches that relate to the keywords prospects are targeting. Learn more about using blogs to tell your school’s story and increase traffic.

While these are just a few ways to tell your story, the sky is the limit when it comes to how you market your stories. You can utilize podcasts, videos, photos, articles, and testimonials in a variety of ways like social media, in email campaigns, and on your website. Regardless of which method you choose, your stories will lend credibility and create a more personal feel for your prospects.

If you need tips on creating a storytelling roadmap to elevate your school’s brand, GPRS can help. We’ve consulted with over 70 institutions on crafting the right messages to meet prospective students where they are in their journey and remove barriers to decision-making. Contact us today to start the conversation.


Insights from the Higher Ed Experts

BY Anthony Campisi | March 16th, 2023

How well are you communicating about financial aid?

How well are you communicating about financial aid?Financial aid. It’s a critical piece of the admissions process and a key deciding factor for many, if not most, students. Learners today—both undergrads and post-graduate degree seekers—are looking for solid information upfront about the cost of attendance and financing options before they commit to exploring a school. They have less time for complications and a strong desire to chart a path that will lead to accomplishing their goals with less debt.

Our team visited 10 different college and university websites searching for information on financial aid, just like a prospective student might do. Here, we’re including some trends and tips about how your school can craft useful content and a clear communication strategy around financial aid to help create more accessibility for your prospects.

Make it easy to find

Ensure that financial aid is housed within 2 clicks from the homepage. Many schools include this information under the Admissions menu. It is critical that students can easily access both the cost of attendance and ways to pay for their college experience so they can reference this information during their decision-making process.

Differentiate aid sources

Although it may be second nature for many admissions professionals who are well-versed in financial aid, it can be confusing for students, especially if this is their first time navigating the complex web of information. Be sure that you include a brief explanation about the differences between financial aid, merit-based aid, loans, grants, scholarships, and additional sources like military veteran benefits. Include as much eligibility information as possible to combat assumptions and clearly outline your school’s unique offerings.

Eliminate too many external links

While some links like FAFSA may be required, try to eliminate the number of links away from your site. Ideally, your informational page should serve as a one-stop shop for anyone seeking financial information so they can bookmark it for future use.

Provide a step-by-step guide including clear deadlines

For many students, financial aid can be overwhelming. The more information you can provide in a simplified step-by-step guide, the better. This reassures students that their education can be affordable and accessible while reducing their frustration during the research process.

Provide detailed tuition information

In today’s economy and society, transparency is key. Make sure that you provide the clearest possible picture for your students about the cost of attendance. This includes tuition and all additional fees. And while you may not have specifics about variable items like lodging, food, and the cost of travel for residencies, it’s great to provide a checklist so they can see the full view of their anticipated financial responsibility.

Communicating about financial aid is not only critical on your website, but it’s also important to include in your admissions materials and emails. Encourage conversations with the recruiting team and make financial aid an easy topic to discuss by offering support and resources.

If you need tips on creating a web presence and targeted communications surrounding financial aid at your school, GPRS can help. We’ve consulted with over 70 institutions on crafting the right messages to meet prospective students where they are in their journey and remove barriers to decision-making. Contact us today to start the conversation.



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For over two decades, GPRS has been a trusted higher education marketing agency, offering custom solutions to institutions of all sizes and degree types. Admissions directors, marketing directors, deans, and presidents rely on GPRS to provide a depth of services, including strategy, lead generation, digital marketing, nurture communications, recruiting, and analytics.

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