Use Employment Outcome Data to Combat Prospective Students’ Fears
In our current day and age, many students and their families are terrified of the cost of college and the impending risk of student loan debt. Because of this, prospective college applicants are more concerned than ever with receiving a “return on education.” They are sometimes paying up to $100,000 or more on furthering their education, and they want to know that when they graduate, it will all be worth it because they will be able to find a prosperous job. Many students will choose not to go to their target school when they do the math of how much it would cost them when all is said and done.
One way to combat this apprehension is to flaunt your institution’s positive employment outcomes wherever possible so that prospective students and their families can see the actual data that proves going to your institution is worth it. If you use CSM, you can easily gather and analyze this data from alumni using the First Destination Survey tools. If these numbers end up reflecting well upon your institution, you definitely want to showcase them in the three following ways.
Display Them on Your Website
If your institution has produced employment outcomes that you are proud of, make sure these are posted prominently on your website. Put them on your Career Center page and any type of page with a topic along the lines of “About Our Institution” or “Why Apply.” Perhaps even consider making a new page of your school’s website dedicated solely to “Where Our Graduates End Up.”
Collaborate with your institution’s marketing team, and design team if you have one, to make these numbers into catchy and aesthetically pleasing graphics that will really stand out. When prospective students come to your website, you want these numbers to pop.
Advertise Them Through Social Media
Social media can be an incredibly useful tool for attracting potential applicants, and this is an outlet where you definitely want to show off your school’s employment outcomes.
Connect with the department at your institution that controls your school’s social media accounts and ask them to post the employment outcome stats on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc. Similarly, if your career center runs its own social media pages specific to career services, post these statistics on those pages as well.
Remember that you always have the option to “boost” your social media posts as well, which essentially turns them into paid ads that you can then target to specific demographics of users on that site. This improves the relevance and increases the size of the audience that will see your posts, ensuring that as many prospective students see your employment statistics as possible.
Collaborate With Your Admissions Team
When it comes to prospective students, your admissions team will probably have more contact and opportunities to promote your institution than any other department. Make sure you provide your admissions team with your employment outcome data so they can actively incorporate this into conversations with students, acceptance letters, and recruiting outreach.
Admissions is the first stage of a student’s lifecycle at your institution, and it’s the most critical point in a prospective student’s decision-making process when choosing whether your school is the right fit for them.