Whether you are at a campus that feels like a ghost town in the summer or at one with a thriving summer enrollment, now is a great time to extend the reach of the enrollment department by partnering with your colleagues across campus.
Before they leave campus in May, make sure that you have spent time talking with your faculty to see where they may be traveling in the summer or in a virtual COVID world, participating in virtual events. Make sure those faculty have the resources (brochures, weblinks, PowerPoint presentations, etc.) and that you have talked with them about opportunities for them to assist your office in recruitment.
In the performing arts and science areas, you may have faculty judging competitions and/or attending camps or offsite auditions. Coordinate your efforts, so you are working as a team to get the information needed to successfully recruit the students.
While international travel may be limited this year, faculty may spend their summer where they grew up or researching in another town that could open up opportunities to interact with college-bound students.
Like faculty, coaches are active in their field in the summer attending tournaments or hosting summer camps. Make sure when they are traveling to tournaments, they are collecting information on the students and passing it to your office, as well as taking brochures that may interest the parents in the stands.
If your coaches are hosting summer camps, ask if you can send an admission counselor to talk to the campers at least once each week. No need to talk for an hour or even 30 minutes. A 5-15 minute talk and a brochure in their camp bags is sure to drive some interest to some of the young people at camp.
Consider adding some short opportunities to visit campus in the summer. Some campuses are lovely in the evening. Consider adding an evening tour option where families can tour and meet with an admission counselor once a month. For many campuses, this provides a cooler part of the day for tours in the summer and also an opportunity for families from out of town or those whose parents can’t get off work during the day.
Another event idea is to host a monthly summer tour in the afternoon along with an information session where students make various stops to take photos. Use a hashtag for the event to spread your reach on social media. Handout sunglasses, fanny packs, and cool treats.
Camps and Conferences
Outside of athletic camps, your campus might host other camps and conferences. These may include church groups, Boys or Girls State, or STEM camps. Talk with the camps and conferences area to make sure you are in the loop with all external events coming to campus to determine if there are opportunities for soft recruiting.
Finally, consider how digital marketing can play a part in your summer recruitment. You may want to consider geofencing around events such as tournaments, summer festivals, or events that bring in large amounts of people in target recruitment areas. Along with that, you could tag devices on your campus and deliver ads following the event.
Regardless of your strategy, don’t miss these opportunities to grow your reach over the summer.
About the Author
Michelle is a seasoned enrollment leader who believes in collaboration to meet campus goals. During her seventeen-year career in higher education, Michelle has implemented strategies to increase overall enrollment as well as led initiatives to expand diversity and to increase the number of transfer students, out-of-state students, online, and graduate students. She has developed and implemented recruitment plans for new program growth at both the undergraduate and at the graduate level to increase revenue as well as campus-wide retention plans and financial aid leveraging strategies.
After starting her career at Avila University, Michelle held positions as the Vice President for Enrollment Management at the University of Mount Union, Director of Enrollment for the School of Professional and Extended Studies at American University, and Senior Director of Admissions at Oklahoma City University. She has also worked for Student Search firms in other support roles, helping colleges and universities with campaigns, branding, marketing, communication planning, application generation, organizational structure, funnel analysis, and market expansion. Michelle enjoys sharing her knowledge through conference presentations and has served in several positions on the GPACAC board, including President.
Michelle and her husband, Craig, reside in the suburbs of Columbus, Ohio, along with their children Henry and Violet. A self-proclaimed foodie, you can find Michelle trying new recipes or restaurants and exploring the city with her family in her free time.