Spring is upon us and you’re cautiously optimistic that all of the hard recruitment work these past several months will lead to the enrollment of accepted students. At times, it can feel as though your admissions office is a contestant on a reality show competition. Will I be the lone survivor on the island? Will I get picked at the final rose ceremony? Can I stay on tune, move to the next round, and ultimately get that record deal?
You may have read the recent blog post by my colleague Wes Butterfield on “Turning incomplete college applications into completed ones.” By now, you’ve hopefully been successful in developing a solid accepted-student pool. You are now tasked with helping these students navigate the college decision process with the intention of them picking your institution as their top choice. Beyond your work and the efforts of the admission team, there are also multiple influencers who have a stake in this important decision.
According to the 2013 E-Expectations survey of more than 2,000 college-bound high school juniors and seniors, a large majority rated their parents or guardians as influential while scoring high school counselors, friends or relatives, and faculty important as well. Consider these folks the host, the judges, and the voting audience. All can determine the outcome of your enrollment reality show finale and cannot be overlooked.
Additionally, the 2012 Cooperative Institutional Research Program Freshman Survey found that students listed having a good academic reputation, graduating students who get good jobs, and being offered financial assistance as the top three factors influencing their decision to attend a particular school.