Attracting and retaining students significantly impacts the reputation and ranking of higher education institutions. The good news is that there are more prospective students than ever: Forbes reported that the number of first-year students applying to colleges for the 2023–2024 school year is up 12 percent compared to the 2019–2020 school year. The bad news is that the number of competing institutions is increasing too.
As online education becomes more mainstream, there are an increasing number of higher education institutions to choose from, and colleges and universities have had to enhance their recruitment efforts. To become the school of choice, academic institutions must engage prospective students sooner, more frequently, and more meaningfully.
Extended Enrollment Deadlines Complicate Recruiting Efforts
Recruiting and enrolling students has become even more challenging with recent developments in educational governance. The National Association for College Admission Counseling (NACAC), the governing body for admissions counselors, has extended the deadline for students to make admissions decisions beyond the traditional May 1 date. While this decision gives students more choices, it also makes it difficult for institutions to predict fall enrollment numbers. As a result, admissions teams are scrambling to implement more robust recruitment strategies and campaigns to delight students before they even set foot on campus.
Higher education institutions can nurture relationships with potential students with the help of upgraded communications technology that allows targeted communications and personalized interactions throughout the enrollment cycle. A modern, easy-to-use cloud contact center solution like GoContact can be implemented quickly and affordably as a subscription service, making it easier for colleges and universities to connect with potential students earlier and more often. Omnichannel capabilities also allow recruiters to connect with prospective students on their preferred channels — voice, email, chat, social media, etc. — while tracking each interaction and communication on a single platform.
Relieve Overburdened Admissions Teams
The pressure on admissions teams to hit enrollment numbers is increasing. Before the NACAC changes, admissions teams shifted their focus away from recruiting once the May 1 deadline passed. Now, they must continue their recruiting campaigns into the summer, which significantly increases their workloads. Not only are admissions teams expected to continue producing outbound campaigns, but they also must be available to answer inbound communications from prospective students on various platforms such as phone, email, social media, chat, and more.
An omnichannel contact center like GoContact can help manage these student touchpoints and take the load off admissions teams. Features like Agent Assist, GoContact’s custom script-building tool, can help provide on-the-job training so personnel can stay up-to-date in every interaction. Advanced call routing and automated dialing features make inbound and outbound calls more manageable, personalized, and effective.
A Contact Center Solution Can Help Recruit Prospective Students
If we’ve learned anything since 2020, it’s that we can quickly adapt to minimize threats and maximize opportunities with the right mindset and the right tools. With a cloud contact center, higher education institutions can meet students where they are and win them over long before they step foot on campus.
Contact us to learn how GoContact can upgrade student outreach and recruitment efforts.