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Articles: Marketing

Academics

The mantra of “if you build it, they will come” has a bit of truth when recruiting international students to community colleges.

“The most fundamental thing that we do is make sure we’re providing quality programs, because the best way to attract new students is through word of mouth,” says Denise Kinsella, interim dean of the International Education Center at Santa Monica College in California.

Before an international student can receive an F-1 visa to study in the United States, the student must apply to the U.S. consulate in their home country with an I-20 Certificate of Eligibility.

It is the higher education institution’s responsibility to ensure that accepted international students have all of the necessary admission requirements prior to the designated school official issuing the I-20 certificate.

Each country has different lengths of time in which students wait for a visa to come to the United States.

What do you see as the biggest barrier to community colleges enrolling more international students?

“Community colleges need to focus not just on recruiting international students but retaining the ones already enrolled. Understanding who these students are and proactively engaging with them creates a stronger reputation and will ultimately attract more international students to that community college.”

—Peter Bruynzeel, vice president, Millennium Software Solutions

Here are five actions two-year institutions can take to recruit international students.

Marc C. Whitt is director of philanthropy communications at University of Kentucky Philanthropy. Follow him on LinkedIn (linkedin.com/in/marcwhitt) or Twitter (@marcwhitt). 

The marketing strategy “one size fits most” no longer works for higher ed philanthropy thanks to the seismic sociological changes that a multigenerational America is now experiencing.

Instagram’s strategy of copying most feature introduced by Snapchat has resulted in several schools pausing efforts with the latter and redirecting them to the former.

Admissions at the University of Mississippi recently began incorporating language about landscaping services' many accomplishments in mailers to prospective students.

For example, they now mention various awards that the department has earned over the years, such as most beautiful campus by USA Today.

Others include "You had me at Hotty Toddy," an Ole Miss expression that people now relate to the five national championships that the university's landscaping services have won.

Here are some ways to cut through the clutter and close the deal with a certain type of prospective students who are fondly called “stealth” applicants.

It’s extremely challenging and costly to build an in-house mobile donation platform, not only because of the technology, but also because of privacy and compliance issues.

That’s why most universities choose to work with providers that have it all figured out, says Caryn Stein, vice president of  marketing at higher ed consulting firm Ruffalo Noel Levitz.

When vetting a vendor, keep these questions in mind:

What are the biggest roadblocks institutions face when it comes to adding/enhancing mobile donation options?

“Nothing is more frustrating than getting to the end of a payment process only to have it fail. This experience could cause a donor to give up and schools to lose valuable dollars. Advancement offices need a secure and reliable platform that allows them to raise funds anywhere, anytime, via any channel.”

—Heather Richmond, senior director of product management and marketing, TouchNet

Led by admissions offices, higher ed institutions are enticing accepted students to officially enroll by using innovative communication approaches, developing peer connections and making students feel as if they are already part of the family.

Aim: To boost enrollment of the top 1 percent of high school students who qualify for Oregon State’s Presidential Scholarship, admissions officers treat academic standouts like blue-chip athletes.

The program began three years ago.


Link to main story: Colleges should always woo would-be students


In the box

Richard Edwards is the mayor of Bowling Green, Ohio, and former public relations executive at Bowling Green State University. Mary Ellen Mazey is president emeritus of Bowling Green State University.

As the newly elected mayor and the newly appointed university president, we recognized that working together on important initiatives would build the university’s and the city’s futures.

Scenario: Small college wants to increase its national visibility and recognition.

Process: Matt Spencer, associate vice president for university advancement, zeros in on alumni with an affinity for the university, identifies their interests and plans visits—using a tool that analyzes social media reactions, comments and event responses of 235,000 digital alumni interactions.

In an effort to comply with the impending regulations, Indiana University Bloomington appointed a lawyer to work with various departments that the regulations will most likely affect, including registrars, admissions, HR, facilities and its international office. The university's legal council asked registrars, for instance, to come up with scenarios.

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