Admissions deadlines are extremely important to colleges and universities. Without a solid deadline in place, you'll have to deal with a ton of hassle when it comes to getting students registered for classes. Not having a strict admissions deadline also wreaks hacoc on your process for assigning students to on-campus resident halls, sorting through scholarship applications, and entering information for library cards and dining plans. It is crucial to have a deadline in place that you don't move around or tinker with. Here's a few tips to help you avoid pushing back your admissions deadlines:
1. Evaluate current admissions level
The first step in solidifying your admissions deadline is to evaluate your current admissions level. Take a look at how many students are currently admitted and enrolled, and determine how many more you need to admit before the start of the school year.
2. Set Goals
After evaluating your current admissions level, set goals in regards to your admissions needs. Determine the number of admissions you need before the beginning of the new semester, and set a realistic, achievable goal. Write down marketing and recruitment strategies you'd like to focus your time on.
When setting your goals, don't just set them in your head. Write them down or type them on a document, and post this throughout your office, in your car, or any other place you'll frequently see them. Seeing your goals written out is one of the best ways to stay on track and motivated to reach these goals. Share your goals with your Admissions Department colleagues so everyone can work together to reach the goals.
3. Know Your Leads!
With marketing a recruitment at the forefront of reaching your admissions goals and having a solid deadline in place, it is absolutely crucial that you know your leads. What marketing and recruitment strategies are working for you? What can you leverage to reach your admissions goals in time?
If you haven't already, consider completing a content audit. Content audits show you exactly which pieces of content work, and which don't. Determine the content and platforms that draw the most interest to your institution, and make them work for you. Use the best content you have, make adjustments to other content to make it better, and avoid content that just doesn't work in order to reach your admissions goals by a specific deadline.
4. Determine your Date
Once you've set your goals and decided what content, platforms, and strategies to use, it's time to determine the latest date you can set for your admissions deadline. Use data to figure this out, don't just throw darts at a calendar and decide from there.
Take a look back at your past years' admissions. What dates has your school used in the past, and were they harmful or beneficial to your admissions numbers? Could your school have handled a later deadline, or was the last one too late? Remember what comes with admissions: there are classes to fill, forms to sign, scholarships to award, etc. Using the information available to you, determine the absolute latest date that still allows your school to have everything in place for students by the start of the school year.
5. Market, Market, Market!
Now that you've set your goals, determined your strategies, and decided on your deadline, it's time to hit the ground running and start marketing. Use every resource available to you to reach every prospective student you can. Use video content, virtual campus experiences, social media, and any other marketing strategy that works for you to reach your admissions goal without having to push back your admissions deadline.
Setting an admissions deadline for your institution is crucial to having a smooth transition into the new school year. When setting your deadline, keep your goals in mind and your strategies and content working for you. For more great tips and tricks on improving your school's admissions, recruitment, and marketing strategies, follow the StudentBridge blog today!