More and more experts are recommending that grad schools implement strategies found in undergraduate admission offices and the business world to update and reform outmoded and ineffective graduate recruiting structures and marketing approaches.
What does this mean? Technology, technology and … yeah, technology.
Findings from studies across the last decade indicate that a majority of colleges and universities regard graduate recruiting, admissions and enrollment management as a pressing issue and technology is frequently acknowledged as the solution.
Specific emerging strategies include strategic enrollment management, social media marketing and marketing automation. As institutions are finding with undergraduate prospects, using the best tools — marketing automation, big data, AI, digital display targeting — to increase engagement with best‐fit, or mission-fit, graduate school prospects is crucial, according to studies.
And like with undergraduates, the use of social media is an increasingly popular strategy for graduate student marketing. Experts say, a deliberate and thoughtful social media presence is an important piece of graduate student enrollment.
A recent survey showed that, while graduate schools remained skeptical of social media’s effectiveness, its use is high among aspiring grad school students. Social media was viewed as the third‐least effective marketing practice by public graduate institutions.
A report by Hanover Research in 2014 examined best practices in graduate student recruitment, profiling graduate enrollment practices at the University of Texas at Austin, University of Georgia, University of Alabama and University of Oklahoma. The report showed in one instance how Alabama, responding to declining enrollments, restructured its graduate recruitment efforts with a renewed focus on technology.
That was three years ago, and the need for emerging technologies in the enrollment management space has only increased. As one CEO of a prominent higher ed CRM pointed out, it often requires a dramatic shift in culture, “where Higher Ed realizes that ‘sales’ is not a dirty word and admissions offices need to be run like a business.”
By Kevin Hyde, Senior Content Writer, Capture Higher Ed