What moves a prospective student from engaged to enrolled? Often, it’s a frictionless application and admissions process that boosts a prospective student’s interest in one particular school.
Look at it from your prospect’s point of view: Application and admissions processes vary significantly from school to school. Usually, there’s no clear picture of what they can expect as they navigate these processes.
What if all that information was clear and easily available? Your school would stand out from all those that make prospects jump through myriad hoops. Developing a cache of resources that help them understand and smoothly navigate the road ahead can help you increase admissions. Here are some ideas to consider.
4 Resources That Will Assist Your Applicants
- On-Demand Admissions Advice: Hearing directly from someone who understands your school’s application and admissions processes can make all the difference in whether your prospect moves forward with confidence or gives up in frustration. How can you accomplish that when time and staff are in shorter supply? Consider webinars or videos featuring admissions staff or even current students that clearly explain your processes step by step. Advice from a current student or alum, delivered in a way that gives prospects a bit of a peek behind the scenes, can make the message more relatable and the process seem less overwhelming.
- Personalized Emails or Calls: Don’t downplay the value of personal connection. An email or phone call from someone on your admissions team after a prospect takes the first step or two toward application can make the applicant feel that people at your school are in their corner, eager for them to follow through. This early connection shows the applicant what they could expect as an enrolled student when it comes to support in other areas – such as academic advising, career counseling, mentoring, and more – that may factor strongly into their final decision.
- Interactive Admissions Events: At this point, your faculty and staff are probably experts in conducting successful virtual events, workshops, and courses. Consider offering some application- and admission-specific events on a variety of days and times to accommodate prospects’ schedules, during which participants can ask questions live as your counselors, faculty, or students explain the process.
- Downloadable Documents and a List of Links: Strive for as much transparency as possible. Consider including an easily locatable list of documents that explain all the details prospects need to know about applying to your college or university. Include items like testing requirements and timelines, examples of essays and personal statements, a schedule of virtual and/or in-person admissions events, each requirement for admission (transcripts, test scores, activity lists, recommendation letters, etc.) and the dates each are due. Provide a list of links that will guide prospects toward reputable resources for everything they need during this process, like test preparation, financial aid forms, and scholarship opportunities. In addition, make sure those links provide access to positive stories about your students and programs and even recreational highlights on and around your campus. Those will be appreciated by any applicant.
Building Your Resource Repository: Best Practices
Creating these resources is not a once-and-done proposition. You will also need to put a maintenance plan in place that ensures information in videos, contact lists, event schedules, documents, and links are always current.
In addition to avoiding out-of-date information, you’ll also want to add new resources fairly regularly. This keeps your content fresh and helps establish your college or university as a trusted source of information and support – a school that truly cares about the students who seek an education there. Make sure your videos feature current faculty and staff and current students or recent graduates to give prospects an accurate picture of what applying to and attending your school are like right now.
Finally, remember to follow up with prospects who engage via emails, calls, or interactive events so that your interest in getting them to the admissions finish line is clear.
Need some support building a strategic resource repository to engage with promising prospects? LIGHTSTREAM can help. Contact us today.