How 4 higher education institutions are taking innovative approaches to enhance admitted student events and drive enrollment.
By: Kyle Freelander
'Tis the season for admitted student events! These events are prime engagement opportunities — and a great way to stand out from the competition.
Especially when you consider that students often get accepted to multiple institutions. Recent research shows almost half (43%) of high school students graduating in 2022 got accepted into 5+ institutions, 12 percent got accepted to 4 institutions, and 14 percent got accepted to 3 institutions. That means over half of these students are directly comparing your institution to at least three other education options. Not to mention the over 40 percent that is choosing between at least five institutions.
So how can you maximize this engagement opportunity, stand out from other institutions, and really wow students and their families?
Below, we share 3 proven strategies for using technology to elevate your admitted student events — including real examples from 4 institutions taking innovative approaches.
1. Use mobile-first messaging to invite students and families to admitted student events
Looking to drive attendance at admitted student events? Take a mobile-first approach to the invitations.
Research shows almost all (98%) of text messages get opened, which is more than three times the open rate for emails. Plus, it’s often the quickest way to reach someone. More than half (58.7%) of text messages are opened within five minutes of being received.
More importantly, studies show that students want to receive text messages from colleges and universities during the admissions process. Nine out of 10 high school students are open to receiving texts during the enrollment process, and 82 percent of high school seniors graduating in 2022 said they want to receive text messages from colleges.
Wondering how to make the most of your mobile-first invitations? See how Goucher College uses text messages and dynamic personalized content to invite students to their admitted student event.
Mobile-first invitations for Gopher Day at Goucher College
Using Full Measure’s Accepted Student Experience, Goucher College is able to design and send targeted mobile messages and dynamic content to accepted students. Ahead of Gopher Day for admitted students, the institution texted accepted students to invite them to register for and learn more about the event. The message includes a link to interactive content that helps build excitement, highlight key features of the event, and make it easy for students to take action.
2. Make event-specific tours
It’s peak tour season! What does that mean? An influx of students (especially newly admitted ones) and their families are visiting your campus in person and virtually.
In fact, a 2023 Niche survey found 29 percent of high school seniors wait to visit colleges until they are accepted and 22 percent make their enrollment decision before visiting.
Factor in how 85 percent of students consider a campus visit to be of considerable importance to their college search process and 41 percent said the look and feel of campus factored into their decision to enroll, and the importance of getting this engagement opportunity right becomes increasingly obvious.
Creating an Accepted Student Day tour can meaningfully enhance your admitted student events and give families a chance to explore areas of your campus that the event may not cover.
See how two institutions used the Campus Visit Experience from Full Measure to easily create memorable tours for their admitted student events:
The University of California, Santa Cruz - Banana Slug Day 2023
Enhance in-person experiences with a tour designed specifically for your event. The University of California, Santa Cruz did this with its Banana Slug Day 2023 tour, which includes information on parking, registration, presentation locations, food, and more!
Cal Poly Pomona’s #BroncoBound - Open House Campus Tour Scavenger Hunt
A fun twist on tours, Cal Poly Pomona’s #BroncoBound - Open House Campus Tour Scavenger Hunt gives accepted students a fun way to explore their new home and hear from current students with user-generated content (UGC).
3. Ace follow-up communications
We’ll let you in on a secret: Your admitted student engagement opportunity doesn’t end with the event itself. The reality is some students will still be undecided after attending an admitted student event, especially if they are considering multiple institutions.
This is a great opportunity to continue engaging them with personalized mobile-first content that seeks their input, builds their excitement, and drives them to take the next steps. Looking for inspiration? See how Maryville University follows up after their admitted student event.
Maryville University’s follow-up strategy for its admitted student event and tours
At on-campus events, using a QR code or text-in keyword is a great way to collect feedback like what students and families liked about the tour (or didn’t!) and highlight important next steps. This input can also help inform additional personalized communications that move the needle.
At Maryville University, the team uses the Full Measure platform to follow up after their All Saints Day with a feedback survey, next steps, and helpful resources. Talk about a great way to keep them informed and engaged!
Ready to use technology to elevate your admitted student events?
Full Measure can help. Check out our Accepted Student Experience and Campus Visit Experience to learn more and sign up for a free, no-obligation demo.
Kyle Freelander (she/her/hers) is a passionate writer, former educator, and lifelong learner. She has taught English literature and writing courses in higher education, writing workshops in K-12 schools, and English and ESOL courses as a private tutor for students pre-K and up. She holds an MFA in Creative Writing from George Mason University and a BA in English (minor in Linguistics) from the University of Mary Washington. She currently serves as the Head of Content at Full Measure Education.