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How much does social media really matter when recruiting prospective undergraduates? An open question, perhaps, but colleges and universities intuitively know social media recruiting strategies are increasing in importance every year.
See our analysis of the Women’s Bracket right here.
We have a winner! The Minnesota Golden Gophers take the NCAA title! The fifth seed out of the south region won the tournament by knocking out number one seeded North Carolina along the way. Surprising? Only if you are focused on basketball. We’re focused on student success.
Let’s make what could be a generous assumption about your college or university: you’ve done all the hard work. You’ve created a leadership structure and an institutional culture that is ready to collaboratively tackle student success. Your institution knows itself and is ready to act. Now what?
We’re all grateful that Thanksgiving is here, if only because we can turn from one heated discussion that divides America to another equally controversial but seemingly less consequential dinner table topic. Let’s talk NCAA College Football Playoff Rankings.
At your Thanksgiving table, someone—brother or sister, aunt or uncle, grandma or grandpa—will have a vehement opinion about how well the playoff rankings represent, or do not represent, the true competitive position of each team. You know how the argument goes: some conferences are stronger than others, some team schedules are tougher, and some teams are untested or underrated.
It’s that time of year again. With new classes safely on campus, enrollment managers now turn to deconstructing the prior year’s recruitment cycle. They review their efforts and fine tune their outreach, communications, and financial aid strategy for the next cycle. They pore over data in an effort to understand the mercurial 18-year-old mind and the equally mercurial undergraduate college enrollment decision.
For the last decade, millennial students have captured the attention of higher education. We’ve studied them, learned about their perspectives on the world, and sought to serve them well through our educational system. Now the stream of millennial-minded students is maturing; they are no longer our traditional-aged prospects. They are currently enrolled as undergraduates. They are our young alumni. They are becoming graduate students. They are our adult non-traditional students. That means it’s time to focus on the next generation.
In June, legions of graduates feel the momentary joy of accomplishment just before the reality of becoming a responsible adult sets in. It’s also when Eduventures pays tribute to the institutions that best help their students navigate to graduation through our annual retention ratings. This year, we’ve also learned and grown and have graduated to a more comprehensive rating system that accounts for both retention and completion. It’s certainly not a complete definition, but these two metrics are some of the first indicators of student success.
The Obama administration’s impending changes in overtime rules come with serious challenges for staffing admissions. Many exempt admissions staff earn less than the $47,000 threshold proposed in the rule change, especially at schools in parts of the country with a low cost of living. What will become of the road warrior admission counselor or the reader who logs 70-hour weeks poring over applications? The rule change certainly presents a challenge for budget-constrained colleges and universities, for which there is not an obvious approach to remaining budget neutral while paying overtime during peak periods.
Additionally, converting lower-level admissions staff to hourly workers could put the professionalism of admissions as an occupation at risk. Young, enthusiastic admissions staff benefit from the responsibility and flexibility of a salaried position. An institution can certainly convert lower level admissions positions to hourly status, but that feels like demotion. How can institutions manage the rules change without blowing the budget, psychologically damaging and demoting staff, and de-professionalizing the field?
Tell us what you think in the comments.
For marketing and communications specialists focused on recruiting students to colleges and universities, social media has always been a conundrum. The meteoric rise in its use over the last decade has created an increasingly complex climate. According to the Pew Research Center for Internet, Science, and Technology, 12% of 18-29 year olds used social media networks in 2005, compared to 90% in 2015. That’s a sea change.
By now, institutions are beyond the initial shock of figuring out how to work with social media, but the exploding landscape of social networking opportunities complicates their approach. In 2011, Practical Ecommerce listed 74 major social media platforms. The list’s 2015 update includes 91 platforms. Certainly, some of these are more appropriate for higher education recruiting than others. Still, institutions must strike the difficult balance between being in tried-and-true places and finding new social media opportunities.
At Eduventures Summit 2015, keynote speaker Dr. Linda Hill told us that innovators who are game changers can’t just close the “performance gap”— they need to close the “opportunity gap.” In other words, it’s important to understand where we are now relative to where we think we should be, but effective change management will only come from understanding where we could be.