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Five Tips for Increasing For-Profit College Enrollment

By Hank Cohen on May 12, 2016

The very public collapse of the University of Phoenix, combined with the looming specter of greater federal regulation, has many in the for-profit college sector worried. For-profit
college enrollment is down significantly along with the number of for-profit institutions.

Rather than being worried about for-profit college enrollment numbers as a whole, leaders should seize the opportunity to drive differentiation in a field that finally leaves  unconventional tech schools and other institutions with more breathing room.

Speaking of breathing, take a deep breath and implement these five tips:

  1. Capitalize on Job Outcomes
    Specialty schools that make an investment in career coaching or job placement programs now will be positioned to leverage emerging market trends. Students will be more focused on their post-schooling career plans than ever, so meet them where they are with new resources.
  2. Build a Human Connection
    65% of U.S. adults use social media, and now they’ll be out there looking for the latest word on your institution. Proactively manage your brand reputation by monitoring major social media and funneling prospective students
    into informal conversations with satisfied students or reps.
  3. Stand Tall at College Fairs
    The government and others are trying to make for-profit colleges look “different” and “unsafe.” Call their bluff by demonstrating a confident, collegiate image where it counts! Millions of high school students still use college fairs to get information, so take your message to them.
  4. Drive Better Outcomes With Mentoring
    Many nontraditional students have social, economic, or other pressures that may keep them from achieving their educational goals. If they’re allowed to slip through the cracks, they may never graduate. Partnering students with a mentor and cohort early in the admissions process can motivate them.
  5. Modernize Technology to Use Mobile
    64% of American adults own a cell phone and 42% have a tablet computer. It’s no longer safe to assume all students have regular access to a traditional desktop computer. Give students the option to connect with registration and enrollment materials on the go: They’re more likely to take action.

Above all: Don’t panic! Change is coming to the industry, but with it comes a chance for growth. By taking a close look at your marketing, advertising, and operations, you can perform the organizational jiu jitsu to transform crisis into opportunity. Want to learn more about succeeding in a world of declining for-profit college enrollment?

Call or email WindStar Media today.

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