Although the education landscape has shifted dramatically over the course of this past year, the need to reach today’s students has remained the same. At CALEM 2021, Carol Aslanian presented the opening keynote session “Reaching Today’s Students,” which discussed valuable information from three of EducationDynamics recent reports: 2020 and Beyond, the Online College Students Report and the Underserved Populations Report.
Before we begin our marketing and communication efforts, we must understand who makes up this important and growing population of modern students. Today’s post-traditional students have an average age of 31 for undergraduates and 33 for graduates. These students are likely to be attracted to courses in business, health and computer & IT which ultimately correspond with their desired career after graduation. It is to no surprise that approximately 25% of students begin school because of a new financial or career situation. These same students want to earn their degree as quickly as possible and enter the job market.
Reaching today’s students requires focusing communication on the three factors most important to today’s adult and online students: cost, enrollment factors and selecting a degree. Cost is one of the most significant factors when students are seeking a degree. 46% of undergraduates had cost in their top 3 decision factors while 51% of graduates had it in their top 3. How do you make courses worthwhile to pay the money? While cost continues to be at the top of the list for student enrollment factors, there are a few other determining elements at play. School reputation and the length of time needed to complete a degree are incredibly important to today’s students. How can you make your school best stand out with a great reputation and what will it take to earn a degree from your school in the shortest amount of time possible?
Finally, students want to a select a degree from a reputable school that they are interested in. 52% of students that were looking at taking an online course at a college or university that did not offer it said they would turn to an entirely different school to find the courses they were looking for. Take the opportunity to look at your degree programs both in person and online and make sure they are attractive to your targeted audience of students.
Ultimately, the question is: how are you currently attracting students to your institution in today’s highly competitive marketplace – can you make this more attractive? And, what support are you giving students to go through the process to admit them – can you provide extra resources to help ensure that they are fully admitted?
Looking to better understand the current higher ed market and help identify your needs? At EducationDynamics we specialize in services and solutions that touch the entire student lifecycle, from inquiry generation to enrollment management, marketing, branding, contact center services, and more. Ready to grow your enrollments? Get in touch with EducationDynamics today.