Insights from the Higher Ed Experts

BY Anthony Campisi | May 17th, 2022

Do you really know why students pick your program? Ask them.

Do you really know why students pick your program? Ask them.Your school’s marketing materials are made up of a carefully curated and balanced mix of messages that highlight your brand promise and program attributes. When your recruiting and marketing teams work together, they can create powerful messaging that connects with prospects on their journey and helps them make the decision to enroll in your program.

Once you’ve seated your class, you can breathe a sigh of relief knowing that your admissions process worked its magic. But before quickly moving on to recruiting for the next class, you may want to take one additional step with your brand new class. Ask why students pick your program.

Here’s why.

You might learn something new

Over the past couple of years, the higher ed industry has shifted dramatically. What prospects are seeking in a program has changed, along with their career aspirations and work and family situations. What used to be considered strengths of your program may not be anymore, and innovations you made to quickly adapt may now be the norm. It’s important to find out if your messages are still resonating with your prospect pool and if the perception of your school has changed. Start by going directly to the source — your current students!

You can use their insights in future marketing materials

When you are marketing your program, one of the most impactful strategies you can employ is helping prospects see themselves at your school. You can do this by presenting real stories of real students who chose your program. When prospects see their culture, background, aspirations, and even challenges represented in your materials, they are much more likely to feel included.

Regardless of how you collect the information — survey, email, informal interview, podcast, video, etc. — be sure to integrate as many real quotes from students in their own words for authenticity. You can use these insights on your website, in print materials, on social media, in videos, and in blogs to show diversity, inclusion, and a variety of stories.

You can build connections

The next time you’re talking with an undecided prospect, wouldn’t it be great to be able to connect them with a current student that faced the same struggles? The more you learn about your current students’ unique backgrounds and what factors went into making their decision to attend your program, the better you can match them up with prospects who need an extra boost of confidence. For example:

Is one of your prospects switching careers and wondering how your program can help in the transition? Connect them to a student that had those same questions and is currently making a shift.

Is another prospect a new mom who is wondering if this is the right time to start the program? Connect her to other parents who are navigating similar challenges.

Gleaning insights from your current students can help you shape (and reshape) your brand narrative, improve your marketing and recruiting strategy, and connect prospects to your program in an authentic way.

As you consider how to collect and utilize this invaluable information, GPRS can help. With years of experience working in the higher education industry, we are skilled at customizing your message for your unique audience to increase enrollment. Contact us today to start the conversation.