Since 1995, there has been an upward trend in the number of students furthering their education in graduate school. In fact, just from 2000 to 2018, there was a 26% increase in students in postsecondary education. Looking deeper, an increase in the number of applicants from minority students and students from traditionally less educated, southern states. As more and more students are funneling into these systems of higher education, the more and more competitive it grows. So how do you convince these undergraduate students to continue their education at your graduate school? The key is strong graduate school marketing techniques.
Graduate School Student Recruitment Process
When beginning to recruit for your school, it is important to take a look at your process from beginning to end. From when a student first finds your school to when they make the decision to enroll. It starts with identifying your strengths. Make sure that they are clear and present on your website. The site is likely the first glimpse of your school that a student will get. Then, utilizing recruitment representatives from particular programs or the school as a whole can create a more personal link and provide more specialized information to interested students. Once a student applies, the work needs to continue.
It is essential to follow up and keep communicating with the student. Encourage them to commit to your school and enroll. Whether this is having faculty message them and congratulate them on their acceptance or forming a Facebook group to put accepted students into contact with each other. You want to make sure they are thinking about you and thinking about their future with you. While recruiting may appear to simply be getting students to apply to your school, some of the most important work is the work that you put in after they are accepted. Students are looking for a home for the next four years. If you can help them visualize and see themselves on your campus, then you can expect to see signed letters of commitment in your inbox.
Marketing Your Graduate School
In addition to taking a look at and optimizing your full recruitment process, it is also important to consider utilizing print and digital media, as well as in person campaigns. Never overlook the power of postering and flyering around campus. Bulletin boards are found in nearly every building around college campuses. They are flooded with opportunities, and drawing students in with important buzzwords and eye-catching graphics. As well as these in person advertisements, digital media is also a valuable tool that comes in many forms. Depending on your preference, these promotions can come in the form of email blasts, social media, or ad placement on the websites of your choosing.
Traditionally, it made sense to connect with students with in person campaigning, tabling and employing student ambassadors to add that in person touch. This allowed students to ask any questions and learn more about your school without just sitting at their computer. With the current COVID-19 pandemic, in-person meetings are difficult. Some Graduate Universities have turned to social media. Students to post about the benefits of grad school and offer reasons why to enroll that their peers can read.
As the population of graduate students is expanding, take a step back and assess your recruitment process and marketing. Find and recruit high quality students to bring to your campus.