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Student Recruitment & Information

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Blazing a New Trail in Communications and Marketing
Article,  Community College News Article Doug Wotherspoon was looking into the future…and he didn’t like what he was seeing.

CD-ROM / DVD / Video


Ads for Recruitment

Online Recruitment
Online Communications

Copy and Share Everything
CURRENTS Article A time portal that allows prospective students to glimpse their future at the U.K.'s University of Huddersfield drives this entertaining yet informative five-minute video; the University of Chicago's Short List email newsletter offers one-stop shopping for news, job listings, events, and stories ranging from the enlightening to the offbeat; and Towson's Presidential Ambassadors expanded their mission of educating peers about the importance of philanthropy by creating the university's first student-giving campaign.

Reaching Prospective Students
CURRENTS Article Reaching potential students is tough in this digital age. How can your institution stand out? Be student-centric, not school-centric. "Every time you put students at the center of a strategy, you have up to a 50 percent higher response rate," says Emily Bauer, managing director of program marketing for Royall & Company, which recently conducted a study on enrollment engagement practices. Here are three ways to engage your next potential class.

Copy and Share Everything
CURRENTS Article Lawrence University aims to entice potential applicants is with a 10-page square mailer, which gives students a taste of life at the Wisconsin institution as well as an idea of what life might look like after graduation; a charming and authoritative third-grader leads "Today's Lesson: The Pennfield Fund," a five-minute video set up as a class about the importance of the Rhode Island independent school's annual fund; and during Alumni Weekend 2015, Imperial College London reveled in its graduates' proclivity for pranks.

Copy and Share Everything
CURRENTS Article Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary helps prospective students envision their place at the Kentucky institution; the University of Melbourne's advancement staff members create short, informal messages to prompt alumni recipients to update their contact information; and Miami University's Snapchat newsletter releases a Snapchat story filled with images of event fliers and details for activities happening on the Ohio campus each day.

Grand Gold Rush
CURRENTS Article Inspired design, storytelling, ingenuity, humor, and brevity were hallmarks of this year's CASE Circle of Excellence Awards Grand Gold winners, the highest prize bestowed by the program. Whether attracting international applicants with an ambitious contest, sharing advice through campus fun facts and pride points, demonstrating that campus quirks will garner attention and gifts, or redesigning a magazine in a way that makes class notes inviting and (gasp!) readable, institutions relied on research, knowledge, and creative skill to push boundaries and deliver inspired work—much of it produced in-house.

Copy And Share Everything
CURRENTS Article The messaging behind the "Because This Is Auburn" campaign's print fundraising materials moved donors' hearts and minds enough to help the Alabama institution reach its $1 billion goal one year early. And: In October 2015, University of Sydney faculty members took to different bars to simultaneously discuss provocative topics to attract the interest of prospective graduate students and generate media attention.

Copy And Share Everything
CURRENTS Article Bow Valley College's regional advertising campaign; the University of Leicester's video to raise awareness for its participation in the United Nations' HeForShe campaign for gender equality; and the University of Missouri creative team's helpful and entertaining online news article "Emailing Your Professor: You're Doing It Wrong."

6 Mantras of Content Strategy
Article,  BriefCASE Article Content strategy, at its core, centers around one key concept: don't be a car just like the other cars, says a strategy expert.

By the Numbers: Post Modern
CURRENTS Article How do you connect thoroughly wired students to an ancient art form? With technology, of course. Located within the Coast Salish Nation, the British Columbia Institute of Technology commissioned a totem-like house post for the atrium of its Gateway building. The house post is a tribute to the Coast Salish people and part of an effort to recruit more aboriginal students, who make up just 7 percent of the student body. An etched copper QR code is attached to the post, which is a stop on campus tours. Scanning the QR code—one of only a few forms of technology that can be handmade to connect to digital space—opens a website that serves as digital storytelling for prospective students.

Copy And Share Everything
CURRENTS Article Ideas we love from institutions everywhere. This issue: Swarthmore College's viewbook; University of Richmond Magazine's winning cover; students helping students through a philanthropy campaign at the University of California, Davis.

Using Data to Maximize Marketing Budgets
Article,  Community College News Article Like many community colleges, Tallahassee Community College was looking to grow its enrollment, but instead of simply spending more on advertising and marketing, the college took a step back—and decided to take a different approach to its marketing strategy.

A Star Graduates
CURRENTS Article Alyssa Levenberg isn't just a student at the State University of New York at Oswego: She's a video star. As the producer, editor, and host of the popular campus series Alyssa Explains It All, this video blogger—or vlogger—chats about navigating college life, covering topics such as interacting with roommates and professors to coping with dining hall food and stress. Her 50-plus episodes, primarily geared toward prospective and incoming students, have racked up more than 40,000 views on YouTube alone. CURRENTS spoke with Levenberg, who will graduate in May 2016, and Tim Nekritz, associate director of communications and marketing and director of digital communications at SUNY Oswego. They talked about what they've learned from producing the series—and how it all started in 2012 with a tweet from the then-freshman offering to make videos.

Embracing Disruption
CURRENTS Article During the Great Recession, Bill Campbell became fascinated with marketing in fields experiencing disruption. He left his position as a vice president and brand strategy director at an agency to work for a university—in a higher education marketplace that has become profoundly destabilized. Crazy? No. Savvy marketing professionals should view obstacles as opportunities. They offer the potential to move in different directions as well as the prospect of leading an important conversation about marketing's place in higher education and its effect on the future viability of our institutions.

Why—Even in a Digital World—Campus Visits Matter
Article,  BriefCASE Article Today, prospective students can instantly learn volumes about—and make key enrollment decisions based on—your institution's online presence. Consider this: a third of students surveyed for the 2016 "The Digital Search for Education" study reported that they follow prospective schools on social media. Another third reported that bad website navigation can turn them off to an institution entirely.

Marketing Your Institution Abroad—Where to Start
Article,  BriefCASE Article As the global higher education market expands, international institutions must make strategic decisions to be competitive, says a higher education marketing specialist.

Snap Into Snapchat
CURRENTS Article Princeton University started a Snapchat account in April 2014 to share photos, text, and video in story form and to reach current and prospective students. Is the app right for your institution?

Save Prospective Applicants from Hitting a Wall
CURRENTS Article How a website looks and functions affects how people perceive and interact with businesses and organizations. User experience matters. Here's how Friends' Central School in Pennsylvania became more responsive to prospective families' needs by focusing on how those families interacted with the school's website.

2015 Circle of Excellence Grand Gold Winners
CURRENTS Article Emotion and connection were major themes among 2015's CASE Circle of Excellence Awards Grand Gold winners. Whether communicating about a deadly virus, cultivating entrepreneurs, engaging alumni with advanced degrees, or sharing the inspiring story of a college student whose life was cut short by illness, institutions dug deeply into their creative toolboxes-though not necessarily into their budgets. They also had fun courting prospective students and welcoming new admits to the family.

Live from Campus
CURRENTS Article Video drives engagement and can help institutions reach key populations. Colleges and universities are using Google Hang­outs, which can be archived on their YouTube channels, to broadcast everything from Q&A sessions for prospective students to discussions of newsworthy issues that highlight faculty members' expertise.

Running the Place
CURRENTS Article Since September 2014, the University of Oregon has offered a 3.7-mile running tour that gives prospective students a runner's perspective of campus and the city of Eugene. The tour concludes with a victory lap around OU's Hayward Field, site of the U.S. Olympic Track and Field Trials.

Show Your Worth
CURRENTS Article With growing concerns over student debt, rising tuition, and the perceived high costs of higher education, prospective students and their families are clamoring for evidence. It's a reality that's forcing institutions, long accustomed to touting their academic strengths, to emphasize career preparation, job placement, value, and return on investment.

Adopt Unique Strategy for International Student Recruitment
Article,  BriefCASE Article An institution’s recruitment marketing strategy for students outside of its home country should differ from its strategy for domestic students, says an institutional marketer.

International Student Recruitment Marketing Strategies
Podcast The University of Liverpool's Claire Brown discusses how marketing professionals should determine what areas of the world to target for potential students.

Student Recruitment Videos
Sample Collection The Library maintains this collection of student recruitment samples for all members. The collection includes recruitment viewbooks, videos, publications packages, brochures and assorted other materials.

Student Recruitment Viewbooks
Sample Collection The Library maintains this collection of student recruitment samples for all members. The collection includes recruitment viewbooks, videos, publications packages, brochures and assorted other materials.

Student Recruitment Samples
Sample Collection The Library maintains this collection of student recruitment materials including viewbooks, videos, publications packages, brochures and assorted other materials. The pages linked below are arranged by sample type, then alphabetically by institution.

Student Recruitment Packages
Sample Collection The Library maintains this collection of student recruitment samples for all members. The collection includes recruitment viewbooks, videos, publications packages, brochures and assorted other materials.

Student Recruitment
Good Question Do you have resources about student recruitment communications and marketing tactics? Samples from other institutions would also be helpful.

What Works? Communications Practice to Aid Student Retention and Success
White Paper 22 UK higher education institutions studied alternative approaches to improving student retention and success between 2008 and 2011. One key finding is that fostering a strong sense of belonging early in college life is essential to retaining students. This white paper details how communication strategies can play a vital role in creating a sense of belonging for students and thereby boost student retention and success.

Does your marketing deliver?
CURRENTS Article Rob Moore has worked in higher education marketing for three decades, but his daughter's college selection process gave him a new perspective. He shares his insights on what marketers are doing right (and wrong) and how they can improve everything from websites to acceptance letters.

Dropping Pearls
CURRENTS Article This short story provides information about the University of Nebraska-Lincoln's social media campaign called "Harvey's Perls of Knowledge," which features UNL's Chancellor Harvey Perlman in 17 videos that target prospective and current students.

Building Community Five Minutes at a Time
CURRENTS Article Students, alumni, faculty, even parents, at Viewpoint School in California come together at lunch a few times each year to present TED-style talks—known as 5Ups—with the goal of inspiring, igniting, and informing the community. The talks, which are recorded and made available on the school's YouTube channel, are intended to demonstrate Viewpoint's values, vision, and commitment to lifelong learning.

Going for Gold
CURRENTS Article The story profiles eight of the 2012 CASE Circle of Excellence Award grand gold and gold award winners.

Study: Institutions Spending Less on Traditional Media, More on Social Media
Article,  BriefCASE Article Institutions are increasing funding for social media recruitment initiatives and decreasing spending on traditional media, such as print and radio ads, according to a new study.

Websites Playing Increasing Role in Students’ Choice of College, University
Article,  BriefCASE Article A new study of college-bound juniors and seniors finds that 50 percent of surveyed students say the web plays an extremely important or significant role in their evaluation of a campus.

Did You See That?
CURRENTS Article Part art and part science, a good video can be an incredibly powerful tool to connect with your audiences.

Atrévete a Ser el Primero [Dare to Be First]
CURRENTS Article The University of Delaware launched a website in Spanish in November 2011. This online foray into another language is an important step in the institution's continuing globalization and its goal to develop a more diverse campus community.

Odds and Ends: Big Man on Campus
CURRENTS Article Ernie G, a spokesperson for the Hispanic College Fund, delivers jokes across the United States to inspire current and prospective Latino college students.

Sample Collection The Library maintains this collection of education institutions' infographics and data visualizations used to convey advancement-related data and stories.

Good Question Does CASE have resources that discuss best practices for designing infographics? What about examples of infographics created for advancement purposes?

"Live Conversations" Ranked Most Influential in College Selection
Article,  BriefCASE Article A new survey reveals that conversations with campus representatives can be the “most influential experience” for many students and their parents when selecting a college or university.

The Move to Mobile
CURRENTS Article It’s clear that students, not to mention higher education’s other audiences, are in the mobile space. So now what? This article explores how colleges and universities are forging ahead with mobile strategies and learning from one another.

Upending a Negative
CURRENTS Article Brock University in Canada got creative with a student recruitment video that confronts head-on a longstanding saying about the institution and realized benefits in terms of goodwill and increased applications.

Study: For Prospective Students, the More Social Networks, the Better
Article,  BriefCASE Article More than a fifth of prospective students say an institution’s social media presence made them more interested in applying, according to a new survey.

All Together Now
CURRENTS Article This article looks at how the public affairs department and admissions office at the College of the Holy Cross collaborated to overhaul and update the college's admissions recruitment materials, print and online, and how the process not only improved the products but also improved the working relationship between the departments and set an example for the campus. The authors discuss the lessons they learned from the process and the importance of some of the choices they made along the way.

Use Them … or Lose Them?
CURRENTS Article This short feature article offers a point-counterpoint view on using quick-response codes, known as QR codes. Chuck Cunningham of the University of Guelph in Canada advocates for using them, citing his institution's positive experience including them in Guelph's viewbook and other admissions marketing materials. Meanwhile, Cassie Dull of Park Tudor School in Indiana argues that QR codes are more of a trend than a useful marketing innovation, suggesting that those who use them may be suffering from shiny object syndrome.

Does Your Website Need Work? You Might be Off the List
Article,  BriefCASE Article A new survey reports that nearly 50 percent of students say a bad institutional website experience would have a negative effect on their perception of a school—and one in five students says a bad website would cause them to remove a school from consideration.

Hacer contacto
CURRENTS Article Este artículo habla sobre cómo las instituciones están utilizando, mensajes de texto, video, correos electrónicos, blogs, foros de discusión en línea, redes sociales y aplicaciones para el teléfono celular como medios de mercadotecnia para alcanzar a futuros y actuales estudiantes que consideran que el correo electrónico es un medio lento y pasado de moda.

Influencing the Influencers
CURRENTS Article This article discusses the growing trend of U.S. four-year institutions collecting e-mail addresses from parents of applicants. Some institutions are using this information as a marketing tool to involve parents in the college selection and decision-making process.

Making Contact
CURRENTS Article This article discusses how institutions are using texting, video e-mail, marketing techniques, student blogs, private social networks, mobile applications, and more to try to reach prospective and currents students at a time when e-mail is viewed as old-fashioned and slow.

Students Rank Fees, Courses as Top Content on University, College Websites
Article,  BriefCASE Article When it comes to the content on college and university websites, 54 percent of college-bound high school students rank academic-related information as the most valuable with 30 percent saying cost-related content is the most valuable.

Acting Their Age
CURRENTS Article Adult students are becoming a target audience for many institutions. But reaching them can be difficult---they have different goals and different reasons why they are going back to school. Find out how your institution can target its communications to this untraditional cohort.

Advance Work: Viva la Vida
CURRENTS Article Mexico's Universidad Anáhuac produces a monthly magazine aimed at prospective students. The magazine features photos of secondary students at their own schools as well as at university events and helps the teenagers feel connected to the university before they have even applied.

More Institutions Go Online to Reach Students
Article,  BriefCASE Article More colleges and universities are using YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and other social media tools to recruit and connect with prospective students.

Outlook: Beyond the Digital Divide
CURRENTS Article New research shows that black and Hispanic students use digital tools in the college search process just as much, if not more, than white students do. Institutions should employ multiple technological tools to recruit a diverse class.

UK Universities Marketing Forum
The Universities’ Marketing Forum is a voluntary association of University Directors of UK Marketing and Recruitment. The Executive Director of CASE Europe acts as Secretary to this committee.

Effective Use of Social Media can Positively Impact Student Recruitment
Article,  BriefCASE Article Navigating social networking can be tricky, but presenters at a recent CASE Online Speaker Series say institutions that follow certain ground rules and aren’t afraid to make mistakes can positively impact student recruitment and retention rates.

Advance Work: Old-School Intelligence Gathering
CURRENTS Article Survey shows that vast majority of high school seniors aren't using social networking sites to find out more about prospective colleges.

Virtually Yours
CURRENTS Article A new survey reveals what works and what doesn't when creating a virtual tour. Find out the do's and don'ts in this new way of marketing to potential students.

Canadian Institutions Look Abroad to Slow Growth at Home
Article,  BriefCASE Article Faced with declining undergraduate enrollment, more universities in Canada are stepping up marketing and communications initiatives and expanding recruitment efforts abroad.

Proactive Marketing Helps Draw Grad Students to Canada
Article,  BriefCASE Article Targeted marketing campaigns have helped boost the number of Iranian graduate students to Canadian universities.

Social Media Continues to Grow in College Admissions
Article,  BriefCASE Article In a related article, two new studies report that admissions offices in colleges and universities are increasingly using blogs, Facebook, Twitter and other social media to communicate with students.

Advance Work: Stealthy Students
CURRENTS Article A recent survey shows that high school students are checking out colleges at ever-younger ages.

Advance Work: Off to College, Via Reality TV
CURRENTS Article Five U.K. universities offer full-ride scholarships via an unusual reality TV program.

Advance Work: A Techy Tour
CURRENTS Article Prospective students at California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo, can take a tour of the campus using a GPS device.

Student Recruitment Publications Packages: North Shore Country Day School - Bronze Award
Best Practice North Shore Country Day School's 2007-08 admissions publications included a lower school viewbook, middle school viewbook, upper school viewbook, upper school prospectus and Acorn, the school's magazine.

Student Recruitment Publications Packages: The Winsor School - Gold Award
Best Practice Don't we already have an award-winning viewbook? Do we really need to design a new one? Do we even need a viewbook? The Windsor School communications and admission directors wrestled with those questions with an ad-hoc group of trustee advisors before embarking on a project that resulted in the "Her Education Means the World to Me" and "This is My School" admissions booklets.

Publications Program Improvement: North Shore Country Day School - Silver Award
Best Practice North Shore Country Day School redesigned its admissions publications in 2007.

Publications Program Improvement: Fairfield College Preparatory School - Bronze Award
Best Practice Fairfield College Preparatory School undertook a project to redesign its admissions marketing materials in 2006-2007. The project included a redesigned viewbook, search brochure and advertising poster; partially redesigned admissions application forms; and a new information bulletin.

Recruitment Features: St. Christopher's School - Silver Award
Best Practice St. Christopher's School created a short recruitment video for the web--"Get Here!"--that built on that fact that once families visit the campus, they nearly always submit an application. The piece was posted online during summer 2007 and used to kickoff open house programs in the fall.

Recruitment Features: Northfield Mount Hermon School - Bronze Award
Best Practice Northfield Mount Hermon School produced a recruitment DVD for 2006-2007 that featured four videos that embodied the educational and student life experience through immersive stories of four or five students.

Creative Use of Technology and New Media: Edge Hill University - Gold Award
Best Practice Edge Hill University developed Hi, a portal comprising innovative online tools to encourage applicants to accept places for its Faculty of Arts & Sciences. This contributed to a 32% improvement in conversion, had a positive impact on student community building and, surprisingly, crisis management.

Talking Points: From Dog Tags to Degrees
CURRENTS Article This column discusses the 2008 Veterans Education Assistance Act, which expands the original GI Bill, and points out ways in which institutions can best serve student veterans.

Advance Work: Timing is Everything
CURRENTS Article Davidson College took advantage of its unanticipated success in NCAA men's basketball tournament to pitch itself to prospective students.

Advance Work: Hometown Heroes
CURRENTS Article Wilkes University is featuring prospective students in ads on pizza boxes, billboards, gas pumps, and cable channels and at movie theaters and malls.

Power of Profiling
CURRENTS Article Public four-year colleges and universities have joined a voluntary effort to provide more consistent, comparable, and transparent information on the undergraduate student experience to prospective students and their families. Through the Web reporting template called College Portrait, students now have access to common data on institutional characteristics and campus life.

Advance Work: Bugged About Recruiting
CURRENTS Article A welding rodeo is not your common campus event, but it is the perfect recruitment and community building tool for one technical college in Washington.

Postcard from St. Petersburg
CURRENTS Article The British Council reaches out to potential students in Russia.

Advertising Campaigns: University of Alaska-Statewide - Gold Medal
Best Practice The University of Alaska-Statewide-s fall advertising campaign consisted of a series of seven short videos, three print ads, and three cinema slides that advertised students and their experiences. Advertising pointed interested parties to the university’s Web site.

Advertising Campaigns: Alverno College - Gold Medal
Best Practice Launched in summer 2006, the primary objective of Alverno College's "The Alverno Art Campaign" was to generate interest, inquiries and ultimately applications.

General Information Features: Louisiana State University - Bronze Medal
Best Practice Louisiana State University created "Welcome to LSU" -- a video to make new students feel welcome and good about having chosen LSU. The video was shown on a large screen in the Assembly Center to freshmen and other incoming new students, as well as during the Chancellor’s Welcome Convocation in September.

Recruitment Features: California State University, San Bernardino - Silver Medal
Best Practice The purpose of the recruitment video was to reach high school juniors and seniors (and their parents), as well as community college students, with the message that college can be a reality, and that Cal State San Bernardino is the college for them to be able to fulfill their education dreams.

Recruitment Features: Fountain Valley School of Colorado - Gold Medal
Best Practice In 2006, the Fountain Valley School of Colorado engaged in an institutional branding exercise and subsequently developed a marketing plan that called for the creation of the school's first DVD. The FVS strategy was to differentiate the school by its location (the Western region of the United States), opportunities, community and through genuine stories of students and faculty.

Recruitment Features: Reconstructionist Rabbinical College - Gold Medal
Best Practice The Reconstructionist Rabbinical College in Wyncote, PA, is a fully accredited private graduate institution founded to serve the Jewish people and the Reconstructionist branch of Judaism. Its primary mission is to train rabbis and cantors. The college's primary academic offering is a rigorous five- to six-year professional program leading to a master of arts in Hebrew letters and the title of rabbi. The objectives of the college's recruitment video were to increase interest in the rabbinate and increase the pool of applicants.

PSAs and Commercial Spots: University of Alaska-Statewide - Silver Medal
Best Practice The University of Alaska’s fall 2006 advertising campaign included a series of seven short videos of students and their experiences at UA. Three spots, in rotation in Alaska as TV ads, pointed viewers to a site with four more videos and bios of featured students. The campaign also included print, radio, social networking site advertising and cinema slides. It was focused on a target audience of primarily 16-24 year-old prospective students in Alaska.

PSAs and Commercial Spots: University of Alberta - Gold Medal
Best Practice University of Alberta’s new president, Dr. Indira Samarasekera asked for a national television advertising campaign that highlighted the university as embodying the Olympic ideal in its new “Dare to Discover” ethos (i.e., striving for personal best and serving peace, friendship, and understanding in the world). It was important that the ad make a connection between institutional pride and Canadian patriotism.

Student Recruitment Publications Packages: Goldsmiths, University of London - Silver Medal
Best Practice Goldsmiths is one of the major colleges of the University of London and has a growing reputation for creativity and innovation. Voted one of the UK’s “coolest” brands, it maintains its roots in a diverse community with only 12 percent coming from outside the European Union. This package was produced while Goldsmith’s new corporate identity was in progress and so the design needed to be flexible enough to easily be adapted in subsequent years.

Student Recruitment Publications Packages: Noble and Greenough School - Silver Medal
Best Practice The Viewbook Suite created by Noble and Greenough School was very strategic, conveying accurate information in a vibrant way and making it an enjoyable experience for a prospective student. It included an "Insider’s Guide"--a collection of students' candid perspectives. The materials were well-received by prospective students, their families and the internal community.

Student Recruitment Publications Packages: Landon School - Gold Medal
Best Practice Landon School has long used the tagline "Landon Knows Boys" on an informal basis but decided to take advantage of the message and expand it to reflect the school's greatest strengths. The "Landon Knows Boys" materials were well-received and staff felt they clearly defined Landon as distinct from other schools.

Publications Program Improvement: Berkeley Carroll School - Gold Medal
Best Practice After an audit of Berkeley Carroll School's marketing and communications materials, the school redesigned all of its print and electronic publications as a part of a revised marketing and communications strategy to attract parents and students.

Print External Audience Tabloids and Newsletters: Bryant University - Bronze Medal
Best Practice UpClose is a quarterly undergraduate admissions publication that is mailed to 41,000 prospective students.

Individual Sub-Web Sites: University of Colorado at Boulder - Gold Medal
Best Practice ChooseCU from the University of Colorado at Boulder is a secure tool for admitted undergraduates that provides one place to find what they need to know between admission and arrival on campus. Information is personalized to the individual student and allows them to explore academic opportunities, read targeted announcements, apply for housing, accept financial aid, make a visit reservation, keep track of what needs to be done before the semester begins, and much more.

Individual Sub-Web Sites: Xavier University - Gold Medal
Best Practice The Road to Xavier is a dynamic, data-driven, password-protected Web site that focuses on user needs while providing actionable information to move families to enroll at Xavier University.

Individual Sub-Web Sites: Trinity University - Silver Medal
Best Practice Trinity University's virtual tour was developed to communicate with prospective students during the traditionally inactive period of time between a request for information and freshman matriculation. The microsite was part of a larger marketing campaign to increase out-of-state enrollment at Trinity.

Web-Based or Electronic HTML External Audience Tabloids and Newsletters: Southern Methodist University - Gold Medal
Best Practice Southern Methodist University's e-newsletter What’s New at SMU was created to keep prospective students informed of new developments in academics, campus life, and the admissions process.

Individual Public Relations and Community Relations Projects: California State University Chancellor's Office - Silver Medal
Best Practice California State University has produced the "How to Get to College" poster program since 1999. It is one component of CSU's comprehensive outreach/retention strategies to help students, parents, teachers, and administrators better understand what is required to prepare for and succeed in college. The poster is available in English, Spanish, Chinese, Korean and Vietnamese. A companion Web site is available in English and Spanish.

Student Recruitment Publications Packages: New York University - Bronze Medal
Best Practice The overall goal of the Undergraduate Admissions Package was to introduce prospective students to New York University, its seven undergraduate colleges and its more than 160 academic programs/majors. Publications targeted high school students in the top five percent of their class who were interested in attending college in an urban environment.

Student Recruitment Publications Packages: Oral Roberts University - Bronze Medal
Best Practice The materials in Oral Roberts University's undergraduate admissions package were completely revamped to match the new branding initiative at the university.

Student Recruitment Publications Packages: Simon’s Rock College of Bard - Grand Gold Medal
Best Practice The primary objective for this campaign was to recruit high school students to apply after they finished tenth or eleventh grades--an early college option offered at Simon's Rock College of Bard. Using newly redesigned materials, the college saw an 80 percent increase in applications compared to the number received by the same date in the previous year.

Student Recruitment Publications Packages: Saint Anselm College - Bronze Medal
Best Practice The "Bright Ethical Leaders for a New Generation" admissions communication sequence was developed to position Saint Anselm College in such a way that would enable it to identify and own an important place in the world of higher education. The aim was to clarify the value and relevance of a Saint Anselm education, so it could be easily understood and embraced by all of the college’s constituents.

Student Recruitment Publications Packages: Wellington School - Silver Medal
Best Practice "We are Wellington" materials are the flagship pieces of the Wellington School brand. The look and voice that started with them now permeate all outreach efforts--from the website to the magazine to capital campaign materials. Embedded in the materials are consistent key messages that reflect Wellington's philosophy, "proof points" that give evidence of how these goals are realized, and real-time photographs. This authenticity is the result of two years of collaboration among marketing professionals and Wellington stakeholders; the messages were mined through extensive research and review.

Individual Public Relations and Community Relations Projects: University of Washington, Tacoma - Gold Medal
Best Practice In April 2005, the governor signed legislation making the University of Washington, Tacoma, a four-year school. Advancement staff had only 18 months until the first day of class and about five months until prime application season. High schoolers didn't know they could enter as freshmen, and other institutions had been communicating with potential students for a year or longer. UW Tacoma's objective was to create a marketing program to fill 140 seats with qualified freshmen for fall 2006, while establishing a brand that emphasized its strengths and minimized its weaknesses.

Advance Work: Woman to Woman
CURRENTS Article In an effort to increase female enrollment, MIT Sloan School of Management asked 20 female students to collaborate and tell their stories in a 12-page booklet for prospective students.

Dispelling the Millennial Myth
CURRENTS Article In this article, the authors take a closer look at Millennial theory as described by Neil Howe and William Strauss. Their books, Millennials Rising and Millennials Go to College, are primary resources for information about Millennials--students born in or after 1982--including characteristics, traits, etc. Much of this has become common knowledge and accepted as fact, but the authors of this article caution campus communicators against relying solely on Howe and Strauss’ descriptions of students for their marketing efforts. They don’t completely disagree with Howe and Strauss, but they expose Howe and Strauss research/data as somewhat flawed and offer alternative sources of more longitudinal data that offer a more accurate portrait of students today. They also offer a point/counterpoint perspective on what Howe and Strauss say and some alternative ideas that are likely more relevant.

Viewbook 2.0
CURRENTS Article Today’s prospective students are a different breed when it comes to the way they conduct their college search. And yet, while much has been made of the “stealth applicant,” the essential role of the Web, and the significance of third-party Web sites including social networking sites, institutions continue with the same basic student recruitment publications order they have been requesting for years. This article examines how the thinking and strategy about viewbooks has changed—in light of the Web, considering how much students have changed, how much the admissions process and timing has changed, and in light of fully integrated communications and marketing efforts.

Soul Story
CURRENTS Article This article looks at how spirituality has become an important factor for campuses to consider when marketing to and communicating with prospective students. The article points out that it’s not necessarily religion that students are looking for, but help in finding meaning in their lives and support and help in developing their values and ideals and beliefs. Religion and faith may or may not be a part of it, but students are looking to college to help them in ways that go beyond academics, and, the author argues, it’s the job of campus marketers to be keenly aware of this market, to understand how their motivations intersect with what their campuses offer, and to learn to talk about these intersections in compelling ways. The article is based in large part on data and the premise of a UCLA/Higher Education Research Institute project/study, “Spirituality in Higher Education: A National Study of College Students’ Search for Meaning and Purpose.”

Advance Work: The Future's in the Palm of Their Hands
CURRENTS Article To show that it understands how today's students like to get their news and information, Fitchburg State College is using podcast technology to send its acceptance letters. But mom and dad can still expect to receive the old-fashioned paper version in the mail.

Advance Work: Virtual Security Blanket
CURRENTS Article Eckerd College launched an online community to help incoming students get to know each other--and the college--before they arrive on campus. Eckerd was looking for an inexpensive way to reach out to admitted students and reduce the number who send in a deposit but don’t end up attending the institution.

Message Mavens
CURRENTS Article Based on insight from admissions deans, this article offers a preview of tomorrow’s students, alumni, and donors, based on applicants’ essays, e-mails, and interviews. Some of their insights bear out Millennial trends--a generation of kids who like and admire their parents and see them as very much a part of their undergraduate lives, as well as a service-minded streak. But another picture emerges of this up-and-coming generation. It is a picture of a “message savvy” generation that would make branding gurus proud. This article gives an overview of students today and explores the traits that make the current crop of prospective students a message-savvy group who market themselves and their ideas.

Advance Work: A Touch of Humor
CURRENTS Article How does a higher education institution catch the attention of the busy, no-time-for-school working stiff? Daniel Webster College might have found the answer. The college recently kicked off a series of ads aimed at attracting working adults to its accelerated undergraduate and graduate business-degree programs.

The Real World
CURRENTS Article Blogs began as something quite different than what they are now, and although they’ve lost some of their grassroots quality as more mainstream outlets embrace them, they are becoming a vital communications tool. They enable organizations of all kinds--including education institutions--to reach out to constituents in a simple and direct way. And as institutions continue to fine tune their marketing efforts, blogs can become an important and effective communications tool, particularly for student recruitment. This article explores important issues for campus communications professionals to consider, including the pros and cons of blogging, authenticity, and control.

Clear It Up
CURRENTS Article Constituents increasingly want and expect the admissions process to be open. They want answers, guidance, explanations when applicants don't get in, and so on. This article explores the issues surrounding admissions with which campus communicators find themselves grappling, including how to communicate policies to various audiences, including prospective students, parents, high school counselors, legislators, the media, and the public; what kinds of information to provide; and how much information to provide.

AdvanceWork: Charitable Applications
CURRENTS Article Many institutions charge application fees, but Bryn Mawr College has waived them for students who prefer to use the money to support a worthy cause. According to Dean of Admissions and Financial Aid Jennifer Rickard, the option helps the college “convey part of who we are to the world.” Nearly a quarter of Bryn Mawr applicants have chosen to redirect their application fee, generating more than $22,000 in charitable giving.

A Separate Piece
CURRENTS Article Parents have become increasingly important as a campus constituency, a change driven by both financial and generational factors. Their increased involvement--from recruitment to commencement--demands an organized communications effort that strikes a balance between information and involvement, and many campuses have responded by adding programming and dedicated staff. This article outlines essential strategies for communicating with parents, including creating separate experiences for them.

AdvanceWork: Baltimore Ravings
CURRENTS Article, a CASE 2004 Circle of Excellence award winner, helps Baltimore-area college students acclimate to their new surroundings. The site features an events calendar and dining, shopping, and entertainment recommendations. Some of the 15 participating campuses also use it as a recruiting tool.

Who Says They Matter?
CURRENTS Article Campus communicators should consider how parents and students use the popular guides in their decision-making processes. The author, a guidance counselor, offers an on-the-ground perspective based on her own experiences and interviews with other counselors, parents, and students. A companion piece to "A Thin Line Between Love and Hate."

AdvanceWork: Seeing Is Believing
CURRENTS Article Today’s college-bound students are more inclined to read unsolicited e-mails from colleges and universities if those messages are personalized, according to Stamats’ recent “2004 TeensTalk Study.” Among the findings: One-third of college-bound students read all unsolicited e-mails from colleges and universities; another third read the “from” and “subject” lines to see if they are interested in reading further. Less than 3 percent delete the e-mails outright.

AdvanceWork: The One They'll Want
CURRENTS Article Tech-savvy prospective students appreciate cutting-edge tools that allow them to experience a campus in new ways, but they quickly become bored by tools that are obsolete. James Madison University sidestepped these problems by combining the strengths of a CD-ROM and the Internet into a single tool: the JMUOneDisc.

Two Perspectives on Legacy Admissions
CURRENTS Article The college admissions process and media coverage of it has reached fever pitch in recent years. The controversy over legacy admissions is a particular point of contention among academics and constituents alike. Two campus administrators examine both sides of the legacy issue in this pro/con article.

Stand Out in a Crowd
CURRENTS Article Branding is challenging for colleges and universities, whose brands are diffuse and complex and whose faculty, alumni, students, and advancement and admission officers send diverse messages. This article describes a proposed market taxonomy for postsecondary education based on brand characteristics and discusses market research, positioning, and the fundamentals of brand management. Includes brief case studies from Trinity University in San Antonio and Ohio University. This article is of interest to marketers who deal with branding and student recruitment as well as marketing and communications managers.

AdvanceWork: CD or not CD?
CURRENTS Article Specialists in student recruitment marketing are still debating the value of CD-ROMs vs. Web vs. paper publications. Interviews with four marketers reveal that two use Web and paper methods only; the other two like the increased capacity of CDs plus online plus paper. This Advancework item is of interest to marketers and PR people who deal with student recruitment.

AdvanceWork: Ads with Bite
CURRENTS Article Problem/Solution: Disarming promotions from the College of New Rochelle catch listeners' and readers' attention.

Talking Points: The Lure of Early Admission
CURRENTS Article Increasingly students use early action and early admission to improve their chances of getting accepted to a college or university. Critics charge that these programs benefit the institutions more than the students, however, because they raise yield numbers, which affect rankings, and they prevent students from comparing financial aid packages when choosing a campus.

AdvanceWork: Natural Networkers
CURRENTS Article Home-schooled students are a viable recruitment niche

Building E-cruiting Machines
CURRENTS Article Institutions are experimenting with new techniques for recruiting students online. This article examines innovative methods such as publicizing the campus Web site via direct mail, collecting data on prospects through online forms, and customizing home pages based on each prospect’s interests. Data on prospects and their online habits can guide admissions officers in fine-tuning the campus Web site and focusing other marketing efforts.

AdvanceWork: New Cues on Hues
CURRENTS Article To appeal to today’s youth, campuses need to expand their color repertoire in recruitment and marketing publications. Creative use of vibrant hues can attract attention and breathe new life into print materials. To spot current color trends, a design consultant recommends looking at teen fashions and cosmetics, designer paints, and MTV.

AdvanceWork: Cooperation Beats Competition
CURRENTS Article Marketing professionals at 11 colleges and universities in Nova Scotia, Canada, have joined forces to promote their institutions to international students.

AdvanceWork: Student E-Recruitment
CURRENTS Article Rather than sorting through their snail mail when they arrive home, most high school students immediately log on to the family computer and check their e-mail.

Closing Remarks: Staying Grounded
CURRENTS Article The hype surrounding the Internet can obscure the ongoing value of old media for attracting students. College guidebooks, traditional class instruction, and print and broadcast advertising all remain important marketing tools.

Getting Personal
CURRENTS Article To serve an increasingly Web-sophisticated generation of prospective students, institutions need to adopt interactive design and individualized service features that students are accustomed to seeing on the Web. Institutions should re-evaluate their Web sites with prospective students in mind, make their interfaces more engaging, simplify their navigation systems, and improve their content. They should also consider adopting techniques for interactive contact, mass-customization, and personalization that are increasingly common on commercial sites. Includes examples from University of Colorado, University at Buffalo, UCLA, and Gettysburg College.

AdvanceWork: Fruitful Marketing
CURRENTS Article Last year, Silicon Valley community-college administrators became concerned that the region's four-year institutions were attracting potential community-college students by incorrectly implying that community-college courses take longer to complete and are less relevant to the job market. Administrators needed to get the word out fast that their campuses offer convenient, online, weekend, and evening classes and cutting-edge programs for Internet-related careers. This article describes a collaborative public-service campaign to solve the communication problem.

Tech Support: This Brochure's for You
CURRENTS Article Customize your recruitment publications with print-on-demand

Focusing on Minority Recruitment
CURRENTS Article Campuses use creative measures to promote diversity amid anti-affirmative action movements

Virtual Campus Tours
CURRENTS Article The Web-based campus tour is now so essential to students making enrollment decisions that not having one can negatively affect an institution's recruitment goals. Admissions officers say that virtual tours do not seem to reduce interest in personal visits, but rather encourage and supplement live contact. To develop a tour, make use of students' creativity and expertise. After you have gathered copy, audio, and visuals, follow these tips in combining them: 1) keep it simple to be compatible with a wide range of computer systems; 2) add personality, including photos and narratives from real students; 3) keep the focus on visuals; 4) be creative. Additional features might include movies, live Webcams, building tours, and interactive frames.

A Jury of Their Peers
CURRENTS Article A focus group of college-bound high school students can offer insights about the effectiveness of recruitment publications. Benson, publications director at Washington University in St. Louis, has found that students prefer straightforward messages over slick copy or catchy slogans; they want photographs to depict the campus honestly; they will notice if photos of people aren't current; and they want to locate relevant information easily. She offers these tips: 1) conduct your focus group with a partner; 2) establish relationships with high school counselors and teachers; 3) realize you can't please everyone; and 4) streamline your discussions. Benson discusses when to hire a market research firm and how to present your findings. A sidebar answers frequently asked questions about focus groups.

Mind over Market
CURRENTS Article The author discusses a strategy of student recruitment called competitive positioning. The first step in this process is to research where your institution stands at the present time. It is essential to define a target audience and region, determine what positions the target students value, and define your present position. The second step is to plan a competitive positioning program specifically for your institution. Step three is to execute the strategy and hopefully reposition your institution to attract those students in your target audience.

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