Meet Them Where They Are

We have all heard the expression, “Meet them where they are.” So, where are prospective students?

Ruffalo Noel Levitz’ 2014 E-Expectations Report, The Online Preferences of College-Bound High School Seniors and Their Parents, recently confirmed a finding that is well established in the higher education marketing literature: High school seniors and their parents view college websites as the most influential recruitment channel.  

Lipman Hearne and Cappex’ Report on Prospective Students and the College Decision Process from 2013 explored specific advertising methods that leverage the online channel and found that:

  • Advertising impacts enrollment decisions: Nearly 3 in 5 respondents had seen advertisements for one of their preferred colleges.
  • Almost half of the students stated that they had a more favorable impression of their preferred college or university based upon the advertising that they saw.
  • The majority of respondents indicated that institutional advertising “led them to learn more about a college.”

While effective student recruitment should and does include a variety of channels, from highly personalized college fairs and campus-based open houses to email and postal mail-based marketing, the well-documented habits and preferences of today’s prospective students makes it clear where we should be meeting them: online.


What online channels are you using at your institution to communicate with prospective students?
What online channels do you see as effective?

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