According to NCES, around 9% of Americans have a graduate degree, and that percentage continues to climb. With this shift in clientele and revenue, proactive graduate student recruitment continues to become more important to universities. To understand this growing trend in graduate learning, let’s get inside the motivators for graduate enrollment.
So what is the student decision journey for a graduate student? I was thinking about this and began to access my son’s entertainment options as examples. So, to make this more fun, let’s use some of my otherwise useless cartoon references. #toddlerparenting
- The Backyardigans – students who just graduated from your undergraduate institution. They’re in your backyard (hopefully not annoyingly singing) and will likely stay in your backyard, again.
- Doc McStuffins – students who are seeking a professional degree, perhaps in business or law, or in the case of Dottie McStuffins, medicine.
- Mickey Mouse Clubhouse – students looking to change or advance their career. Similar to when Mickey calls for “Oh Toodles” to give him a tool to fix a situation. These students view advanced education as their next tool in life.
- Alvin and The Chipmunks – Like Alvin, not so much the Chipmunks, these students are habitual learners – often serial degreed scholars and intellectuals.
Thank you for bearing with the cartoon analogy – the point is that graduate seeking students can have differing paths and motivators. Not everyone is required to take the GMAT or LSAT. And much like how all of these cartoons appear on TV, the common denominator is each of these future graduate students appear online, on their prospective institution’s website.
Case in point, Bellarmine University – to grow their graduate student recruitment program they utilize Capture Behavioral Engagement (CBE) to track individual visitors and motivate actions through marketing automation. Progressive Identification is one of the techniques CBE uses to identify prospective students online.
Bellarmine served Progressive Identification forms to 20,636 unique individuals on their website across undergraduate, transfer, graduate and adult populations.
Here were the results:
- 624 (3%) submitted the form.
- 471 of the 624 (75%) of visitors were new organic leads across all populations.
- 275 indicated that they were interested in Graduate Studies and 259 (94.2%!) of those were new organic graduate prospects!
My excitement here is that these names are great prospects in that they 1) opted-in to learn more and 2) were already ON THEIR SITE gathering information on their own! Interested names are hard to come by in graduate recruitment, so we’re big believers in using marketing automation to help identify and communicate with this population.
In the end, the most proactive institutions meet and communicate with potential students where they are: online.
Contact us to learn more!
By Amanda Scott, Senior Director of Advisory Services, Capture Higher Ed