High School Summer Session Students via The University of Chicago
Today, enrollment marketers in higher education face an uphill battle to attract, recruit, and retain new students. Years of deep cuts in state funding for public colleges and universities, combined with increased operational costs, have created barriers to growing a healthy pipeline of prospective tuition-paying students.
According to this report from the Center on Budget Policy & Priorities, in total, after adjusting for inflation, funding for public two- and four-year colleges is nearly $10 billion below what it was just prior to the recession.
One possible answer for closing that funding gap happens to be right under enrollment marketers’ and school administrators’ noses: summer session. By increasing summer session enrollment, a college or university can increase its revenue stream and restore some of that lost funding.
Marketing your university’s summer programs can be difficult. Students may be hesitant to stay near campus and hit the books while their peers are off enjoying the summer or making money with a seasonal job.
To help prepare a college enrollment marketing strategy, institutions must first understand the types of students who might want to take summer session classes. In no particular order, these prospective students could include international students, high school graduates looking to get a feel for your school, undergrads looking to complete major or general studies requirements, alumni, and older adult learners in your community.
Once you have identified your prospective student base, you should then concentrate on making sure your enrollment marketing message is on point and speaks to the needs of each category of students. A common mistake institutions make in promoting their summer session classes is to design advertising that is too focused on the curriculum. Instead, try to create student marketing messages that highlight your campus attributes, local city attractions, and the benefits of summer classes for each prospective student persona. By tailoring your marketing message, you will attract more student leads and increase engagement.
The next step in building a quality summer session marketing strategy is to decide how you will promote your great institution. Picking the right advertising channels to reach college students can be a daunting task. Thankfully, there are a handful of options that, with the right messaging, can be a home run in delivering your student marketing message on time and on budget.
Please download “10 Advertising Channels for Marketing Summer Session Enrollment” to learn what successful colleges and universities are already using to attract students.