For younger generations, especially those recently graduated from high school, continuing education has become less of an option and more of a necessity. As of 2014, there were 20.21 million students in the United States enrolled in higher education. While the number of students enrolled in college continues to grow, this growth needs to be supplemented with additional professors, housing, and other student welfare needs – which, of course, affects tuition rates. The cost of tuition is a huge factor affecting where a student will choose to continue his/her education, but there are ways colleges can allow people to see past all of the dollar signs and enter them into their world of learning.
So what helps higher education institutions stand out from the competition? We discuss four trends that are helping schools increase enrollment:
According to a survey by the Pew Research Center, 68% of Americans own a smartphone. 41% of Gen Zers – the generation that is currently entering or early in their college years – spend 1-5 hours on their phone a day. It is essential for universities who are targeting this generation to get on the mobile bandwagon. Is your website mobile-friendly? Find out.
Send an email
It’s a simple tactic, and since most of the population has a smartphone, sending out an email is an easy way to reach out. Most people do not let their phone leave their side so it is a good chance your email will be noticed and opened that same day. Despite email’s long tenure in the tech world, students don’t see it as old-fashioned. In a study done by Ruffalo Noel Levitz, students were asked how they preferred to be first reached by an institution—49% said email.
Get very social
I am sure you have heard a million-and-one times that having an impactful social media presence is a huge way to attract millennials. Well, I am here to tell you for the million-and-second time that this is not something you can escape.
In the previously mentioned study, nearly half the students surveyed said they used social media to research intuitions. So, make an Instagram account, a Facebook page, a Twitter account, and even a LinkedIn. But in order to attract people to these pages there are two things you need to do:
- Keep your social media updated and post on a regular basis, and keep the content friendly and natural. It might be in your best interest to have someone who can write content that attracts Millennials and Gen Z solely in charge of your social media accounts.
- Promote your social media accounts. (Need help with this? Check out our article “Join the Social Media Party” for tips on how to encourage interaction without getting too brazenly promotional.)
Tell your story through video
Videos are the future of marketing. By 2020, three-fourths of the world’s mobile data traffic will be video. There are many reasons video is taking over, one is simply because videos enable people to absorb a large amount of information at a fast rate with little effort.
The 2015 Perceptions and Preferences Report found that 61% had viewed online videos as part of their college search. Two types of videos were by far the top rated among the group: student testimonials and campus tours. This does not mean you should not post videos of athletic events or polished video introductions targeting prospective students; it just means that you should definitely promote videos of student testimonials and campus tours.