How to Overcome Your Student Recruitment Headache
We’ve been helping the college sector with their student recruitment for a number of years now. During those years, we’ve written blogs and articles about common problems being faced by the sector, with helpful tips to overcome them.
The latest we are hearing from within the colleges is that there is a student recruitment problem. This problem is occurring due to a decreasing number of children approaching college age. Needless to say, fewer students to recruit means decreased revenue for the colleges. How, then, do colleges survive, since they are still expected to deliver high quality education?
A number of colleges have merged with their closest rivals, in order to widen their catchment area. There is an initial decrease in overheads, sure, though sustainability in the longer term remains an issue. There’s the upkeep and maintenance of buildings, not to mention retention of staff, particularly in far flung areas. At the end of the day, student recruitment remains key to the sustenance of modern day colleges.
We’ve heard of a whole host of revenue-generating ideas being adopted throughout the sector. These include holding adult evening classes, hosting business networking events for local businesses, promoting vocational courses for employees wanting to further their careers, as well as helping the unemployed to improve their chances of employment through re-training.
However, whilst all these ideas are great when “Up and running”, the same problem of how to recruit students onto these courses in the first place still exists.
Student Recruitment Through Advertising
Colleges use lots of different ways of making their presence known. Banners tend to grab people’s attention when placed strategically. Advertisements within the local areas, perhaps adverts on local buses and at bus stops, free publications and even radio ads are also a favoured tool. However, whilst these methods have their place, fewer methods have as quantifiable a Return On Investment as using a targeted marketing list.
Accurate Targeting is Key to Student Recruitment
Colleges are looking to us for data to help them with student recruitment, both in the traditional sense and in these new diverse ways. Here’s what we are supplying to assist:
Parents of Teenagers – We can identify parents of children of any given age (i.e. 14 – 17 year olds), to promote open events, taster days and open days
NEETs – We can identify NEETS (16 – 24 Year Olds, “Not in Education, Employment or Training”), to promote college courses
Unemployed – We can identify unemployed people, to promote vocational courses and re-training
Plus according to recent DMA research, people below 30 years of age are more responsive to direct mail, as it’s such a new medium to them.
Many employees want to prepare for a career change or to up-skill existing qualities. Similarly, unemployed people want to learn new skills to better their chances of gaining employment. Whether they wish to study on an evening course, via day release or distance learning, we can help. We can target people by their age, location, occupation and income.
We can also identify businesses by industry, size and geography. Armed with such lists, you can promote your courses to relevant local businesses to recruit students for day release, evening courses or distance learning. Not only does this allow the college to build stronger alliances within your local business community, it has three clear benefits:
You’re helping the businesses to achieve their goals by providing their employees with greater skills
You’re helping the employees to better themselves and their career progression prospects
You’re helping the college to hit its recruitment targets
You Create the Artwork, We’ll Do the Rest!
We have been working with a printer and mailing house for a number of years now. They specialise in college work and can print anything from A5 postcards through to full college brochures and prospectuses. They can then mail it out to your ideal audience, PLUS they get preferential rates with Royal Mail, meaning you could save up to 50% off your usual postage bill! You still get to agree the proofs beforehand, plus we can send copies to you too, if you wish.
Many of our college clients have found this “All under one roof” solution a real blessing. Recruitment time is stressful for colleges, so when there is an opportunity to outsource an element, they’re grabbing the opportunity.
Why not let us help you too – call us now on 01274 965411 and have a chat.