3 admissions trends your institution should prepare for — and how
By: Sarah Holter
The landscape of admissions is rapidly changing.
With the omnipresence of COVID-19, for example, students are choosing less traditional routes. National Student Clearinghouse Research Center reported an eight percent decrease in undergraduate students from fall 2019 to fall 2021 and a 15 percent loss of students for community colleges.
To ensure a healthy enrollment, institutions must adapt and address the wants and needs of today’s prospective students.
Below are three practical strategies to address current trends in higher education admissions.
1. Meet accepted students where they’re at, including mobile and social media
Mailing an acceptance packet home to get the word out makes students wait unnecessarily long to get the good news and can feel impersonal. Not to mention “snail mail” can be costly and unreliable. Most institutions have branched out to email as another means of communication, but — after all the hard work students put in to get to this point — this too can leave much to be desired.
That’s why an increasing number of institutions use Full Measure’s Accepted Student Experience to make the moment truly memorable. Reach accepted students right away with a text message that includes a link to a customized mobile acceptance letter. The solution makes it easy for institutions to send the good news via text message while also empowering students to share their excitement via social media.
Students, especially Gen-Z and Millennials, are all over social media — including Snapchat, TikTok, Instagram, and Facebook. For example, 75 percent of Snapchat users are 13-34 years old and more than 30 percent (31.4%) of US Instagram users are 25-34 years old (followed closely by 25.7% of users 18-24 years old).
Why is this relevant to admissions teams? Social media is a prime way to get accepted students excited about attending your institution and can inspire prospective students.
Custom social lenses, part of the Accepted Student Experience, are a great way to tap into this and can also give your institution authentic content to use (with attribution, of course) on its social media channels to broaden the reach.
2. Gather and share pertinent information
Making sure resources are readily available for prospective students is a great way to ensure information is not just delivered but actually engaged with. As an institution, you can support students by highlighting important resources such as campus housing, financial aid and FAFSA, and points of contact to make their transitions to the higher education space easier.
The Accepted Student Experience not only allows you to share this information with a mobile-first approach, but also gather and analyze engagement to help inform any follow-up.
The solution also gives institutions a meaningful way to understand where students are at in their decision-making process, including any hesitations. According to Inside Higher Ed, In 2021 Only 32% of colleges met the traditional May 1st deadline for filling the following fall’s class. While many institutions attribute this to the closure of campuses limiting direct interactions with potential students, the Accepted Student Experience helps institutions take a deeper dive and get at the root of these hesitations with quick pulse-check surveys, one-to-one messaging, engagement tracking, and more.
3. Engage with family members
Families and other supporters often play a key role in the application, research, and decision-making processes — and their involvement doesn’t stop with the acceptance letter.
Full Measure solutions make it easy to gather parent contact information and provide them with timely, relevant resources with a mobile-first approach. For example, the Accepted Student Experience makes it easy for students to send a text message directly to their parents sharing the good news and launching a custom content card that welcomes them to the institution, shares critical information, and highlights relevant resources like checklists and links (including, for example, where to can buy institution merchandise).
Want to get and stay ahead of current admissions trends? Our latest white paper reveals six practical strategies to prepare for and address 2022 trends. Get my free white paper.
Sarah Holter (she/her/hers) is an enthusiastic, customer-focused, product professional with a taste for action. Holter has a history of working on high priority projects with tight timelines that required scrappiness and creative uses of technology. She holds a BS in Environmental Science and International Studies from American University and an MS in Sustainability Management from the Kogod School of Business. She currently serves as a Product Manager at Full Measure.