Community colleges have a fine tradition of leading the way for innovation in higher education and providing opportunities for those who are financially conscious or want to study closer to home, flexibly or study for niche priority programs.
However, since the peak enrollment in 2010, the total community college enrollment has decreased each fall, declining by more than 1 million students nationally (14.4% ) between 2010 and 2017.
We’ve uncovered the same set of challenges that are impacting enrollment rates and have helped our partners across the States in overcoming them. And we’re going to share that experience with you.
Our student marketing specialists are hosting a live webinar on March 5 to share how the power of creative branding and automation can help you reach and engage the prospective students that matter and save you time and money. We will also be sharing a successful campaign by Jamestown Community College that will leave you inspired for your next student recruitment campaign.
But before then, here’s a sneak peek of what we’ll be covering:
Break free from the “less than” mindset
It's the stories you tell about your brand, through words, pictures and content, that make the most meaningful impact. Most community colleges struggle to articulate their value in a competitive market, and as a result, students and parents are left with a common misconception that perpetuates an inferior view on two-year institutions.
Through creative strategies and concepts, you can create a strong visual identity that conveys your values and build an emotional connection with your prospective students while highlighting the benefits of obtaining an education at your community college.
Check out how impactful this creative is from Lamar Institute of Technology Creative, after applying everything they’ve learned from a creative strategy to their campaign.
Save time and money while providing a personalized and automated nurture strategy
Did you know that personalization has the potential to deliver 8x the ROI on marketing spend and 20x more likely to convert prospective students? One of the great things about incorporating a system that can automate your nurture and conversion emails is that it can save you time and money.
Many community colleges we’ve worked with are initially skeptical of integrating new technology for their recruitment efforts, and the biggest concern with adopting automation is not understanding the process. Student specialists platforms that include automation and personalization features, like Akero, can be easy to implement and improve your conversion rate, while also giving you the ability to measure and track all your advertising spend against every enrollment. Most importantly, it allows for a more streamlined process for prospective students in the recruitment funnel and between marketing and admissions departments.
“10-20 percent of high school seniors who are admitted to college and indicate that they intend to go never make it to the first day of class.”
Understand where your students are coming from and what they value.
For many, the community college student demographic is fragmented. Most institutions recruit from recent high school graduates to working professionals returning to complete a degree or change careers. Over 12 million students – nearly half of all US undergraduates – attend 1,100 community colleges in the US. Therefore, to narrowly identify a shortlist of target audiences and segments, ample resources must be allocated to market research, which can be challenging to achieve when resources are limited.
Outsourcing to a market research company can be a highly beneficial approach to identify ideal students, as they have the methods, strategies, expertise and tools in place to conduct the research efficiently and effectively, producing results your institution can use. Being audience-led in your approach will not only lead to better marketing decisions, but you’ll be more confident in challenging internal perceptions of what students want.
But we’ve only scratched the surface. If this has inspired you, and you’d like to learn more, join us for our webinar on March 5 at 2pm EST. Our community college enrollment and marketing experts will go in-depth on the common challenges community colleges face and share inspiring campaigns.
And if you can’t make it live, we’ll send you a recording afterward. Save your seat here!