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Top Strategies for Increasing Student Enrollment: A Comprehensive Guide

Facing declining student enrollment? Our article offers actionable insights on how to reverse this trend. From leveraging digital marketing and social media to implementing innovative tools, learn how to attract and engage prospective students more effectively.

Monika Krupska
4.09.23


In the bustling world of education, where private schools and universities compete for students, a constant challenge arises: how to attract and keep students engaged. With the rise of online learning and virtual courses, students are increasingly drawn toward new horizons of knowledge. 

Amidst this vibrant scene, the quest for effective strategies to not only invite students in but also to make them an integral part of the learning journey has taken center stage. Crafting these strategies to increase student enrollment is like tending to the heart of a growing academic community, ensuring that progress thrives and the spirit of learning flourishes.

Some Statistical Data and a Bitter Truth 

Did you know that the majority of colleges and universities in the US have reported a decline in student enrollment over the past decade?

Startlingly, close to 60% of schools and universities in the United States have reported a notable, nearly 15%, decrease in student enrollment over the last 10 years (according to the National Center for Education Statistics and McKinsey). This trend underscores the urgency for institutions to take proactive measures in response to the evolving dynamics of the education market.

A similar trend is unfolding in Europe but with a surprising twist. While the admissions process of domestic students in universities has seen a decline, the situation has been rescued to a significant extent by the influx of foreign high school students.

Recent data from a paper by Robert Santa and the 2021 EDUCAUSE Horizon Report reveals that, during the last 10 years, approximately 50% of these institutions have experienced a notable drop in the number of domestic students, while international student enrollment has surged, effectively stabilizing the overall student population.

The changes in enrollment reflect not only demographic decline but also shifting priorities and preferences among students and their family members. Factors such as the rise of online education, changing career landscapes, and the increasing importance of experiential learning have contributed to a transformed educational landscape. Institutions that fail to recognize these shifts and adjust their enrollment strategies accordingly risk becoming outdated and less appealing to prospective students.

As the landscape of education continuously evolves, institutions must adapt and adopt innovative methods to reverse this concerning trend. The traditional approaches that once guaranteed a steady stream of students are no longer sufficient in a dynamic and competitive market. To secure a future and maintain a thriving academic community, institutions must embrace strategies that resonate with the modern generation of students and their changing expectations.

New Approach to Enrollment Process

In the rapidly changing and competitive environment, educational institutions have to differentiate themselves by implementing innovative enrollment strategies.

Leveraging technology, personalization, and engagement are key pillars in addressing this challenge. Social media, digital marketing, interactive online platforms, and streamlined scheduling tools can help institutions create a more seamless and personalized enrollment experience. Also, engaging alumni as ambassadors can play a crucial role in showcasing the tangible benefits and unique value propositions that a higher education institution offers.

#1: Personalized Communication — Fostering Meaningful Connections

The enrollment journey can sometimes be overwhelming, especially for students making significant life decisions. Tailored communication humanizes the process, turning it into a collaborative endeavor where potential college students feel supported and guided.

Future students may harbor doubts or uncertainties that, if left unresolved, could dissuade them from enrolling. By engaging in personalized conversations, a college or university can provide not only immediate answers and alleviate concerns but also build trust and rapport. 

Whether they have questions about academic programs, campus facilities, or financial aid, responding promptly and directly shows your institution's dedication to catering to their specific needs.

Tracking and iteration

Collecting data on communication interactions enables your school to refine its approach continually. By analyzing trends in inquiries, concerns, and engagement, you can make informed decisions to optimize your communication and marketing strategies and thus increase student enrollment. 

Streamline appointment scheduling

Efficiently managing appointment scheduling is a crucial element in the process of attracting and enrolling students. Navigating the complexities of coordinating appointments can be challenging for both institutions and prospective students.

Streamlining this process can significantly enhance the overall experience for more prospective students and increase the likelihood of successful student enrollment. Tools like CallPage Meetings will help you in the process.

User-focused convenience

Prospective students have diverse commitments and obligations. By offering an efficient scheduling process, you empower them to choose appointments that suit their availability. This user-centric approach respects their time and demonstrates your institution's commitment to their needs.

Instant access

Immediate access to appointment scheduling eliminates the need for enrolled students to wait for confirmation or adhere to rigid office hours. They can explore available slots in real time, providing a level of convenience and autonomy that enhances their engagement.

Moreover, a seamless and efficient appointment scheduling experience can positively influence a prospective student's perception of your school. When the process is smooth and user-friendly, they are more inclined to explore further offerings, ultimately contributing to increased engagement and potential college or university enrollment.

Digital integration

Integrating appointment scheduling tools into digital communication channels, such as websites and emails, ensures that new students can access the scheduling platform through familiar platforms or mobile devices. This integration enhances accessibility and engagement.

Data-driven insights

A streamlined appointment scheduling process can provide valuable insights into the preferences and behaviors of prospective students. These insights can guide your school in tailoring communication and engagement strategies to align with their preferences.

Personalized interaction

Efficient appointment scheduling allows institutions to gather essential information from students early in the process. This information can be used to personalize interactions and discussions, creating a more meaningful and relevant experience.

By prioritizing a seamless appointment scheduling process, educational institutions create a positive first impression and a foundation of convenience for prospective students. This user-focused approach streamlines administrative processes and signifies your institution's commitment to a student-centered experience. This can contribute to heightened engagement, better relationships, and ultimately increased student enrollment.

#2: Harness the Power of Social Media — Creating a Digital Campus Community

In today's interconnected world, social media has emerged as a dynamic and influential platform that educational institutions can harness to attract and engage new students. By leveraging the power of the Internet, institutions can establish a strong digital presence, connect with their desired audience, and effectively communicate their unique value proposition. Here's a more detailed exploration of how to utilize social media to increase student enrollment numbers.

Choose the right platforms

Each social media platform caters to different demographics and interests. Research and identify which platforms your target audience frequents the most. For instance, platforms like Instagram, TikTok, and Facebook can be particularly effective for reaching prospective students with digital ads.

Showcase campus life...

Give students a virtual taste of campus life. Share visually appealing content, such as photos and videos, that highlight not only academic aspects but also extracurricular activities, student events, and the overall atmosphere of the school. These glimpses can evoke a sense of excitement and anticipation, and attract students.

...and conduct virtual campus tours

With the advancement of technology, institutions can now offer virtual campus tours. These interactive experiences allow prospective students to explore campus facilities, classrooms, laboratories, and recreational spaces from the comfort of their homes. Virtual tours provide a sense of familiarity and can positively influence enrollment decisions.

Share informative posts

Position your school as an educational leader by sharing informative posts related to the fields of study offered. Feature articles, research findings, and thought leadership pieces that resonate with your audience's academic interests. This positions your school as a hub of knowledge and expertise.

Highlight student success stories

Engage your audience by showcasing real-life success stories of your alumni. Stories of existing students can illustrate how your institution's education has translated into tangible achievements and career opportunities. Authentic testimonials can resonate deeply and serve as social proof of the value your school provides.

Foster engagement

Encourage engagement by asking questions, conducting polls, and responding promptly to comments and messages. Implement solutions like CallPage tools to offer students the chance to clarify doubts and gain insights, fostering a personal connection that increases the likelihood of enrollment.

Use user-generated content

Encourage existing students and alumni to share their own experiences and content. User-generated content adds authenticity to your institution's narrative and can help students visualize themselves as part of your academic community.

Leverage influencers

Collaborate with influencers who align with your institution's values and target audience. These influencers can create content that resonates with their followers, expanding your institution's reach and credibility.

#3: Use the Potential of Digital Marketing to Increase Enrollment Numbers

In the modern educational landscape, a strong online presence is essential for attracting and engaging potential students. The first step in this process is to create a user-friendly and visually appealing website that serves as a digital hub for your institution. Here's a more detailed breakdown of how to leverage digital marketing to increase student enrollment:

Optimize school website

The school website often marks the initial interaction point for potential students and their parents. It's essential to make it well-organized, easy to navigate, and visually captivating. Use striking visuals, incorporate school colors, images, and videos to spotlight campus amenities, classrooms, student life, and other key aspects that make your school stand out and increase student enrollment.

Moreover, with the prevalence of mobile devices, ensure that your website is responsive and functions seamlessly on phones and tablets, enabling easy access for users on the go. This effort to create a user-friendly mobile experience can significantly contribute to attracting new students.

Develop engaging content

Create informative and engaging content that highlights your institution's unique qualities, academic programs, faculty expertise, and success stories. Regularly update your blog with relevant articles that provide insights into current educational trends, career prospects, and other topics of interest to your target audience.

READ ALSO: How to Create a Marketing Strategy for the Education Sector

Utilize search engine optimization (SEO)

Implement Search Engine Optimization (SEO) strategies to ensure that your website ranks well in search engines' results when more and more students search for prospective schools online. Make a comprehensive keyword research and use these keywords throughout your content, meta descriptions, and headers to improve your school website visibility. 

Launch targeted online ad campaigns

Invest in online marketing campaigns, such as Google Ads or social media ads, to reach a broader audience, boost the school's visibility online, and increase student lead generation. These platforms allow you to target specific demographics, such as age, location, interests, and more, ensuring that your ads are shown to individuals who are most likely to be interested in your institution.

READ ALSO: Maximizing Facebook Ads Performance: Your Friendly Guide to Integrating with CallPage

Embrace social media channels

Create and maintain active profiles on social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn. Share regular updates about campus events, student testimonials and achievements, faculty accomplishments, and other engaging content showcasing your institution's vibrant school life, local communities, and academic excellence.

Utilize email marketing strategies for increasing student enrollment

Build an email list of interested students and maintain regular communication. Send out newsletters, updates about upcoming events, and personalized messages that address the specific interests and concerns of potential students.

Implement a strong call-to-action (CTA)

Each page on your website should have a clear and compelling call-to-action that guides visitors toward taking the next steps in the enrollment process. Whether it's scheduling a campus tour, requesting more information, or starting an application process, the CTA should be prominent and easy to find.

Incorporate virtual campus tours for prospective students

Given the prevalence of online learning and remote interactions, virtual campus tours have become an invaluable tool. Use videos and interactive maps to provide virtual visitors with an immersive experience of your campus facilities and school community events, helping them envision themselves as part of your institution.

Besides, when it comes to increasing student enrollment, it's important to look at a few more things. 

First, a thorough competitive analysis of other schools can help you figure out what makes your college or university special. Then, having a detailed Google Business profile gives students a sneak peek into campus life. Online reviews from other students can also play a big role in shaping opinions. Lastly, spreading the word through smart marketing helps the college or university connect with the right students. All these pieces fit together to create a splendid enrollment strategy to attract students and make them excited to be part of the school.

#4: Engage Alumni as Ambassadors

Harnessing the power of alumni as brand advocates can be a highly effective strategy for increasing enrollment in higher education institutions. Alumni possess firsthand experiences, success stories, and cherished memories of their academic journeys that resonate with potential students. This unique combination makes them credible and relatable sources of information, capable of shaping the decisions of those considering higher education.

Integrating alumni testimonials and personal anecdotes within institutional websites, social media platforms, and marketing materials provides an authentic window into the life of the school. These genuine accounts of experiences bridge the gap between the curiosity and commitment of potential students.

Besides, robust and enduring relationships create a sense of belonging and loyalty that lingers long after the mortarboard is tossed.

#5: Revolutionize Student Engagement with Click-to-Call — A Tailored Solution for Education

As we've already mentioned, it's important to personalize communication with potential students and give them a way to easily contact you. This is where CallPage's click-to-call comes into play.

It's a transformative solution designed to elevate student engagement and streamline the enrollment journey. Besides improving communication, it helps you turn website traffic into hot leads, as a marketer would call potential students who are considering joining your organization.

From capturing leads and personalized interactions to providing insightful data, CallPage's click-to-call presents a comprehensive toolkit designed to foster meaningful connections and drive student enrollment. Here are some of the most useful features:

  • Retry Failed Calls: A callback is set if the initial call goes unanswered, ensuring no inquiry is left unattended.
  • Automation and Scheduling: Timing matters in education, and CallPage's automation ensures calls are initiated at the most convenient times.
  • Scoring Rules for Maximizing Performance: CallPage's system of scoring rules lets you precisely determine when the pop-up window will be displayed to a given website visitor. This maximizes the chance they will contact you.
  • Analytics and Insights: Empowered by data, institutions gain access to comprehensive call statistics and collected phone numbers, shaping strategies with actionable insights.
  • Multilingual Outreach: For a global audience, multilingual support ensures connections in preferred languages.

We encourage you to try out CallPage for free during a 14-day trial. You need just a few minutes to set it up on your website, and we don't require a credit card.

#6: Shape the University's Online Learning Landscape

Finally, universities hold the potential to develop robust online learning platforms independently. By crafting their own virtual realms of education, universities can embrace the modern digital landscape and captivate the imaginations of aspiring scholars.

This approach to remote learning attests to an institution's adaptability, resonates with the evolving needs of contemporary learners, and may attract prospective students. As these institutions curate immersive online environments, they extend an invitation that blends convenience, innovation, and intellectual pursuit, thus kindling the desire within students to commence their educational odyssey.

In Conclusion

In a landscape where choices abound, institutions that proactively adapt to student needs and preferences stand out. By embracing a holistic approach that integrates personalized communication, efficient appointment scheduling, digital marketing, and cutting-edge solutions like CallPage's tools, educational institutions pave the way for growth, ensuring a prosperous future and an enriched educational experience for all involved.

Book a demo with one of our representatives to find out more about how CallPage can help you automate and increase student enrollment!

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