Students are making college decisions earlier, so Lindenwood is including high school undergraduates in its recruiting efforts, said Joe Parisi, vice president of enrollment management.
“As they learn through high school what college choices are out there and what opportunities are available, we’re making sure we present Lindenwood in the best possible light that we can at the earliest possible time that we can,” he said.
Parisi cited the competitive marketplace as one of the reasons for students deciding on colleges at an earlier time.
“Just because you have a degree nowadays doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re going to have a job,” he said. “So the preparation that takes place for high school students includes thinking about an earlier awareness.”
The ways of marketing to these students vary by group. Those who attended community colleges before coming to Lindenwood will receive different messages than those coming straight out of high school.
“One of the most important things to transfer students is how are my credits going to transfer?” said Scott Queen, executive director of marketing and communications. “That’s very important to them. Another is how much will this apply toward my major and how much of this are you going to count toward electives credit?”
The methods of recruiting students have also changed over time. The digital age has pushed Lindenwood to adopt a social media-heavy recruitment platform. Last week, more than 20 applications came in over social media, Parisi said.
“So in essence, we’re communicating with them through social media, and they’re applying through social media,” he said. “So that’s different and new and enhanced.”
The school’s revamped website is an attention-grabber for prospective students, he said, and the administration keeps close tabs on the site to see how long students are staying on certain pages and how many click-throughs are taking place.
“All that information is great data for us to say, ‘What’s important to you?’” Parisi said. “What’s important to the student? What’s important in terms of navigation of the website, and what’s important to the content of the website?”
According to a recent Gallup poll, 74 percent of Lindenwood graduates from 2000 to 2015 are working full time, which exceeds the national average of 70 percent of college graduates. The statistics also showed that Lindenwood graduates are more engaged in the workplace.
“It’s not just about recruiting a freshman or recruiting a transfer; it’s about talking to a prospective student or a transfer and helping them understand not only the end result, but what does a lifetime experience with the institution mean,” Parisi said.