How Colleges Can Attract More Students and Boost Enrollment

How Colleges Can Attract More Students and Boost Enrollment
  • Opening Intro -

    Recruitment is vital for all universities and educational institutions and the competition to attract new students is only getting more and more fierce.


These days potential students are thinking very carefully about where they want to study and many are also more savvy to the influence of advertising compared to previous generations. Plus, they are often more au fait with digital technology than university marketers are!

All of this means that some colleges are at risk of declining enrollment and the financial issues this can bring, particularly smaller institutions. To prevent this, top quality marketing and recruitment strategies are necessary, whether your college is looking to attract high school leavers, mature students or international students. Here are some ideas for options you could try:

Make a personal connection

Students want to be more than just a number. They want to feel a close bond with their college and know that there will be support networks in place to help them throughout their educational journey.

Simple tactics like using names in all email campaigns can make a big difference to the impression potential recruits get from an institution.

Similarly, having the same member of staff deal with all interactions from an individual student can build a feeling of consistency and reliability.

Having testimonials from current students and alumni is another useful strategy, as their word is likely to be seen as less biased.

Call in the professionals

Higher education marketing can be a tricky thing, and you may not have the time and budget to try out lots of different options to see what works and what doesn’t. In that case you might want to consider working with the experts.

A company like Sextant Marketing ( can help devise a coordinated approach and tailored solutions to address your college’s specific needs and challenges.

Lean on your USPs

Have a think about what makes your college special and unique. What makes it stand out from everywhere else? That’s what you should be highlighting.

Whether you have a particularly beautiful campus, a strong arts or sports heritage, a fascinating history, or high academic credentials in specific subjects, lean into your strong points and use them to attract students who will genuinely enjoy studying at your institution. Videos can be a fantastic way to do this, and can then be shared far and wide. 

Be student-focused

In all of your marketing you should be thinking about the students first. Think about the information that they want and need, and provide it in an easily understandable and accessible way.

other valuable tips:

Make all your messaging student-focused to help them imagine what it would be like for them to study with you. Also consider how today’s students get their information.

Your social media presence is important, and your website should be mobile-optimized as smartphones are one of the most common ways students search for information. This also offers a lot of opportunity for innovative marketing on platforms such as Instagram and Twitter, and building a solid, instantly-recognizable brand image.

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