The fall semester is starting for most universities any day now, and many community colleges may be feeling like they fell short of enrollment goals. We know that over the past two years, community college enrollment has fallen, with an 11.3% decline being reported in 2021. But don’t give up on your enrollment numbers just yet. Consider the following tips on how to increase enrollment in community colleges as you make a last push for fall numbers or look towards the spring semester.
Tip #1: Incentivize Enrollment
With inflation eating into students’ budgets, they may feel like they can’t keep up with enrollment costs over time, even if they could afford a semester or two. Consider incentivizing enrollment today by offering grants that would cover tuition costs for one or two courses during a semester down the road. For example, students at Alamo Colleges District who complete 18 or 24 credits in the academic year receive one to two courses, respectively, tuition-free in the summer. This model could help offer under-enrolled students set aggressive goals and stay on pace toward graduation.
Tip #2: Refine Your Value Proposition for Students
At a time when students may be questioning the value of a degree, it’s important for them to understand how their education would apply to real-world success. When marketing to college students in 2022, be sure to communicate how their path will lead to a brighter future. Some ways to communicate this could be through sharing alumni stories on social media, posting articles that speak to student successes and using hard data to back up any messaging about your programs and degrees.
Tip #3: Optimize Your School’s Content Marketing Strategy & Website
Even though teens prefer consuming video content on social media, you can’t underestimate the power of a strong content marketing strategy. In fact, 64% of college prospects would rather consume content through text and articles on college websites.
Be sure to consider SEO when posting content or articles on your website—optimizing for local searches can be a powerful way to attract students that are more likely to enroll soon. With your website, you should also make sure it’s intuitive, easy to navigate and optimized for mobile.
And finally, another area to consider in your marketing mix is SMS—they have a staggering 98% open rate. Once a prospective student opts in, a well-timed message might be just the thing to help them take the next step.
Tip #4: Improve Conversions with Responsive Chatbots
Responsiveness to student inquires can be paramount to keeping a prospect engaged. Students are eager to hear back when they engage with a university, and according to recent a study, colleges and universities are actually 10 times more likely not to reconnect with a student if they fail to respond within five minutes. To ensure you get back to students in a timely manner, consider a chatbot that would be able to reply to frequently asked questions or escalate the question to a representative.
If you’re looking for more ideas on how to connect with prospective students, Push is here to help with years of experience building enrollment campaigns for two- and four-year colleges and universities. View our work and contact us to see how we can help take your marketing efforts to the next level.
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