Things to consider when choosing a college! Choosing a college or university requires careful consideration, especially as prospective students prepare to embark on a new chapter in their life. This major decision is based on a variety of criteria, ranging from academics and finances to student life and job opportunities—all of which are features of a school that marketers may exploit to differentiate themselves in a crowded market. You may help your school build a competitive advantage and attract new possibilities by studying the top variables students examine when selecting a college.
The college hunt might be intimidating. It’s getting up absurdly early in the morning to tour campuses with far too enthusiastic tour guides, asking a million questions, and attempting to comprehend the huge quantity of information about each institution. Despite all of the miles traveled, there is an unexplainable sense of accomplishment when you can confidently select the college that will be your new home.
Factors to Consider When Choosing College
Here’s a quick rundown of the criteria (things to consider when choosing a college) that matter most to prospects and how you can use them to differentiate your institution.
1. Examining Admissions Requirements Prior to Student Enrollment
Factors to consider when choosing a college… The admissions department serves as a portal to a school, assisting in the clarification of what type of students the school is searching for and selecting prospects who are a good fit. Although this method has the potential to function, it is crucial to highlight that stringent admittance rules can deter prospective students.
Many students check at the admissions requirements to see if they qualify when seeking for a suitable college, university, or program. This is a significant time for a school because it is the point at which prospects decide whether to apply or move on to another institution.
More flexibility in admission processing and standards was one of the top three enrollment considerations mentioned by over 1200 agents in an ICEF Agent Voice survey. As a result, schools with an open admissions policy can more easily persuade students to take the plunge and apply.
Schools that embrace transparency in their admission policies have a better chance of attracting a broader range of applicants. This is especially true given that admissions requirements are a major source of frustration for prospective students during their enrolling process.
2. Engage Prospects in High-Quality Academic Programs
Things to consider when choosing a college… Unsurprisingly, a high-quality academic program is one of the most important motivators for prospective students when selecting a college. Students today desire a curriculum that meets their own requirements and interests, and they frequently assess the academic difficulty and amount of commitment required, as well as the subjects and types of programs available.
Schools that offer a variety of curricula and delivery modalities have an advantage over those that do not, especially as online and hybrid learning choices become more popular. Schools that specialize in a single field or industry, on the other hand, are better positioned to target a niche audience and attract a specific group of prospects. Using inbound marketing to help your school shine will help you appeal to your personas and make your school’s offers more effective with them.
You can differentiate your school from the competition by emphasizing how your programs fill a vacuum in the industry or allow students to widen their horizons through inbound marketing efforts.
3. Emphasize Your Campus
The location of a school is an important factor to consider when selecting one. Some students may be lured to local schools due to their convenience, but others may wish to go and study abroad in order to gain different cultural experiences. Prospects may also be influenced by the growing popularity of online learning and decide to study from home. All of these examples demonstrate the significance of location while selecting a college or institution.
Inbound marketing tactics that stress your location can help you attract prospects as they navigate the decision-making process. This stage can help your school address some of your student personas’ motivations and concerns, ensuring that you appeal to the right prospects with the correct offerings.
Social media is an excellent tool for promoting your college campus, especially since your target demographic is likely to be active on multiple social channels. Prospects may look to social media for advice and insight as they assess which college is best for them. This space can be used by your school to organize virtual tours with student ambassadors, uncover popular campus spots, share vital campus services, and even showcase special facilities or unique perks. This also helps you to generate appealing video content that allows prospects to see themselves living on your campus.
4. Explain Tuition Costs and Financial Aid Options
The cost of tuition is a crucial consideration when choosing a college, just as the location of the school is. Prospective students are looking for a low-cost education. Thus, institutions that provide scholarships, grants, bursaries, and other forms of financial assistance have an advantage. Scholarship offers and financial aid incentives are considered the most essential drivers of student recruiting, according to the same ICEF Agent Voice poll cited earlier, making them top determinants in selecting a college.
Schools that provide financial assistance can more effectively attract students, particularly those concerned about tuition expenses. You can show prospects that you care about their problems and are here to help by designating a page on your school’s website for various financial aid alternatives.
Prospects who are feeling overwhelmed by the cost of their education can feel more prepared with the assistance of these tools. Prospects may assess their alternatives more easily if they are listed properly and linked to, giving them the support they need to enroll confidently at your school. This can not only help you build brand loyalty with prospective students, but it can also help you stand out in the extremely competitive education market.
5. Introduce Interesting Student Activities
Students can readily be drawn to your school through social activities and exciting events. Schools with active student life programs provide engaging student experiences that allow students to explore new things and grow personally. By publicizing your student activities, you can give prospective students a flavor of what it’s like to be a student at your institution.
There are numerous choices to consider as you begin organizing and marketing your events. This includes any festivities, fundraisers, workshops, or lectures, as well as open-day activities and in-person campus visits. You have the option of live-streaming these events or posting about them on social media. This allows you to reap the benefits of hashtags while also better engaging your audience once they decide to enroll.
6. Attract Potential Prospects by Highlighting Your Student Services
When looking for the ideal college, students will prioritize institutions that are a good fit for them—schools that care about their wants and concerns. Students often want to know that they will be supported as they progress through their educational experience. This assistance can take several forms, including dedicated assistance for overseas students, housing, and academics. Your institution may also provide unique campus services or even career help, making it especially appealing to students looking for this type of personalized care and advice.
In your marketing efforts, highlight your student services to attract future students. Prospects can feel confident that your institution will prepare them for success if you demonstrate an established support network.
Career outcomes are the most essential element students evaluate while selecting a college or university. Education is an investment, and prospective students must feel confident that they are making the right decision by enrolling at your school. By emphasizing your career services, you can demonstrate to prospective students that your school is ready to support them as they establish their own careers and move forward with their exciting future.
7. Increase Inquiries by Encouraging Prospects to Contact You
As you are aware, there are numerous aspects that students examine while selecting a university. Schools that are easy to reach and respond quickly to student inquiries have a distinct edge. According to research, prominently displaying live chat signals, phone numbers, and emails—along with financial assistance information—can help drive a prospect to action and convert them into an applicant. According to the same study, simply adding a live chat facility to a program website nearly doubles conversions.
With this in mind, think about making your school more accessible to prospective students. You can accomplish this by making it simple for them to access your contact information, fill out an inquiry form, or interact with your admissions team, current students, or alumni.
Takeaway for factors to consider when choosing a college
Factors to consider when choosing a college! There are quite a few ways to help your college or university stand out but be sure to be as nurturing as possible, and to remind first-year undergraduate (and graduate) students that the future semesters will be unfamiliar to everyone. Instead of coming across as transactional or deceptive, reach out and provide support at a time when prospective students require it the most. Be available to them!