Nearly half (46 percent) of the parents surveyed by Gallup would prefer if their children didn’t start a four-year college immediately after high school. Add a plummeting birth rate and the belief by some Americans that colleges are negatively impacting the country (skewed by party affiliation), and you have a shrinking pool of prospective college students. This competition for students has put increasing pressure on higher education institutions to operate, market, and communicate more effectively.
Unified Communications Maximize Outreach Budgets
The declining interest in higher education challenges these institutions to convince young adults that there is a meaningful return on investment (ROI) if they attend college. As a result, the amount of money dedicated to recruiting prospective students is increasing; in fact, a recent study by SimpsonScarborough found that educational institutions spend between $429 and $623 on each enrolled student every year. While this may not seem like much, when you multiply those numbers by thousands of enrolled students, the total quickly climbs to several million.
To maximize marketing budgets, colleges have turned to unified communications as a service (UCaaS), which enables them to quickly reach interested students on their preferred platforms.
A UCaaS solution like Broadvoice b-hive can take outreach efforts to the next level in the following ways:
- Advanced call routing enables students to quickly reach the department they need, allowing timely, purposeful conversations and preventing student inquiries from being stuck in voicemail “jail.”
- Video conferencing and screen sharing with prospective students allows for the visual communication that younger generations prefer.
- Mass communications using a business texting add-on like Broadvoice Bubble enables administrators to execute simple, scheduled follow-ups with students.
- Inbound texts from students are routed to contact center agents for a quick resolution.
- One-on-one text messaging from staff’s business numbers can provide a personal touch, increasing enrollment.
Responding to Decreasing International Enrollment Rates with UCaaS
Because of the pandemic, the number of international students attending U.S. universities (virtually or in person) declined by 15 percent during the 2020-2021 school year. With distance, language, and cultural barriers impacting international recruiting efforts, colleges need to employ a feature-rich communications solution to facilitate and enhance every interaction.
Here’s an example of how college administrators who are recruiting international students can use UCaaS systems to connect with prospective students:
- Collaboration tools enable staff and students to communicate anytime, anywhere, which is essential when working across international time zones.
- Unlimited international calling allows staff to use a cloud PBX to reach more than 200 countries without overage charges.
- Mass international communications using a business texting add-on like Broadvoice Bubble enables simple, scheduled follow-up messages to groups of people.
- One-on-one text messages between staff and students ensure international prospects stay engaged and receive dedicated attention.
- Bubble and b-hive SMS both provide in-language support for select languages.
- Video conferencing and screen sharing supports personal, in-language interactions. It’s also an excellent option for teaching students who can’t travel to the U.S.
- Advanced call routing to the correct department means international students benefit from a personalized experience with every call.
With shifting attitudes about the benefits of higher education and declining enrollment statistics, academic institutions must maximize every interaction by providing personalized and customized communications with prospective students.
Contact us to learn how to boost college admissions by adopting the Broadvoice b-hive all-in-one communications platform.