Recruiting Underrepresented Students: Understanding the Influences Behind the College Search and Enrollment Decisions
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Recruiting Underrepresented Students: Understanding the Influences Behind the College Search and Enrollment Decisions



Technological and social changes have spawned new opportunities for effective...

Technological and social changes have spawned new opportunities for effective
outreach to demographics that have historically been underrepresented at colleges, including African American, Native American, Hispanic, first generation and low-income students. This
session shares findings from a nationwide study of underrepresented students currently
navigating the college admissions process, as well as college freshman reflecting on their
experiences. The research reveals the most significant frustrations and influences in their search
and decision making process. We will take an in depth look at how mobile communication,
online media, friends, community-based organizations, student life, and family are influencing
their decisions. The research includes data and recorded video from thousands of students who
participated in surveys, focus groups and in-depth interviews. Session attendees will hear directly
from the students themselves and learn the best ways to inform and engage these groups that all
too often get lost in the frenzy.



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Recruiting Underrepresented Students: Understanding the Influences Behind the College Search and Enrollment Decisions Recruiting Underrepresented Students: Understanding the Influences Behind the College Search and Enrollment Decisions Presentation Transcript

  • I am more than a test score. Gil Rogers 860-990-2745
  • today’s|focus• Recruitment is a SMALLpart of a larger conversation•First gen, diverse & lowincome students•Outreach during the collegesearch, application and yieldprocess•Interact and Share: Anyideas, questions orsuggestions are encouraged
  • the|reason“In  2009,  28%  of  Americans  25  and  older  had  at  least  four-year degrees.But the rate for Black Americans was just 17%, and for Hispanic Americansonly  13%.”  Census report, as reported in The Chronicle of Higher Ed, January 2011
  • zinch|project3 surveys conducted over 1 yearFocus groups in CA (3), NY, MI, & VA3,000 respondents- 90% online; 10% paper surveys49% from diverse backgrounds, 28% first generation, 64% low income studentsJuniors in High School to upper classmen in College from all 50 states
  • section|oneFinding and connecting with under-represented students
  • key|influencersWho has been most influential in your decision to go college?
  • key|influencers How influential were the following people in22% your decision to attend college?17%12% African American7% Hispanics All Other Minorities2% White
  • key|influencers22% How influential were the following people regarding where you applied or enrolled?17%12% African American Hispanics7% All Other Minorities White2%
  • contacting|students How do you prefer to hear from colleges interested in recruiting you? Prefer Text Messages 17.8%90% 85%80% 70%70%60%50% 7.9%40% 32%30%20% 14% 11%10% 4% 0% African All Other American/Hispanic
  • contacting|students
  • online|access Where do you search for or receive information from Colleges? Home ComputerPersonal Laptop ComputerMobile Phone School Library or Internet Lab Shared Public Computer Other (please specify) 0% 20% 40% 60% 80%
  • engaging|students How helpful were the following during your college search and decision process? College Campus Visit 22%In-person Interaction w Students 15% Official College Websites 14% Match making Websites 10% Online College Reviews 8% College Fairs 7% Campus Life Videos 7% College Brochures 6% Books 4% Online Interaction w Students 4% Online Fairs 2%
  • search|sitesWhat websites have been most helpful to you in your college search process?
  • social|media Have you ever searched for a college on Facebook?70%60%50%40%30%20%10%0% Jan, 2009 Oct, 2009 Mar, 2010 Feb, 2011
  • social|mediaFacebook Stats (eMarketer Research Group) : •More than 50% of all US internet users visit Facebook at least once a month •42% of the entire US population has used Facebook at least once this month •200 Million active users accessing Facebook through their mobile device
  • section|twoHelping them navigate the admissions process
  • biggest|frustrations
  • biggest|frustrations What was the most challenging during the college admission process? Finding Scholarships & Financial Aid 22%Writing Essays & Personal Statements 14% Standardized Tests 13% Paying College App Fees 11% Financial Aid Forms 11% Knowing Where to Apply 9% Meeting Deadlines 7% College Applications 6%Finding Someone to Answer Questions 6% *Largest  discrepancy  between  student  groups  was  “paying  college   application  fees”  was  rated  VERY  FRUSTRATING  by  many  more  African   American and Hispanic Students than the general population
  • counsel|first“We  see  ourselves  as  counselors first, enabling prospectivestudents and their families to make informed decisions abouttheir  futures.”Ed Escalet, Coordinator of Multicultural Recruitment and Outreach, Penn State University,
  • always|educate1. Clearly define confusing terms: First Gen, Student to Faculty Ratio, Early Decision, Waitlist, Yield, Rolling Admissions, etc.2. Parents, parents, parents!! (See next slide)3. Personal Approach “Although  you  are  interacting  with  hundreds   of possible candidates, each student appreciates feeling as if you personally want them to go to your school and that theyd be a perfect fit.”     -High School Senior
  • parent|outreach 60% 50% 40% Not At All 30% Somewhat 20% Very Involved 10% 0% Hispanic Black White“Trust and support are key to any successful admissions strategy and especiallywhen  dealing  with  under  represented  and  first  generation  families.” Ed Escalet, Coordinator of Multicultural Recruitment and Outreach, Penn State University
  • admission|counselors Which qualities are most helpful when working with an admissions counselor at your top choice universities?Personal emails, meetings or phone calls 27% over time Attended the college were discussing 24% Same educational interests 20%Close to me in age(i.e under 30 years old) 12% Same gender as me 6% Same religious background 6% Same ethnicity as me 5%
  • more|ideasCreate contentandcommunicationchannelsspecifically forunder-representedstudents.
  • have|funCharta Squad
  • section|threeFactors thatimpact their enrollment decision
  • Important|factors12% White10% African8% American6% Hispanic4% All Other2% Minorities0%
  • Important|factorsTop Ten Factors: Key Takeaways or differences 1. “School  Rank”  was less important to1. Academics or Majors Offered African American or Hispanic/Latino students.2. Financial Aid or Scholarships Offered 2. “Campus  setting”  was more important to3. Campus feel that is welcoming to students African American and Hispanic students than other student groups.4. Career placement for graduates 3. African American and Hispanic/Latino5. Campus life and social activities students ranked “expected  salary” higher than other student groups.6. Rank or reputation of the college 4. African American and Hispanic/Latino7. Location of the college students ranked “students  support   services”  higher than other student8. Campus setting groups .9. Student services offered 5. “Diversity  of  the  campus    &  community”   ranked significantly higher among10. Expected salary upon graduation minority students than Caucasian students
  • Campus|tours Financial concerns prevented me from the following? 70% 60% 50% 40% Visiting More Applying To Applying To Applying To College More Colleges More Out-Of-State Campuses Prestigious Colleges Colleges• 75% of current college students said they had visited the campus before enrolling• 70% of students said they visited between 1-4 schools•When  asked  what  you  would  do  differently,  77%  of  students  said,  “Visit  more  schools”
  • Campus|tours
  • current|students Involve current students as much as possible “To  have  more  students  from  the  college  explain  student  life  at  the  college,  the  finances  and  extra activities that can be done. When on a campus tour, non-virtual or virtual, walk through a students day at the college. I would like to be able to read or hear from students currently attending  that  specific  college.”
  • section|four KeyTakeawaysand Action Items
  • Final|takeaways1. Outreach to all. (Students, parents, teachers, counselors)2. Join and participate in local access groups, establish or set up local satellites outreach offices.3. Email  is  preferred,  but  Mobile,  Text  and  Social    Media  can’t  be  ignored.4. College search sites impact students decision on where to apply/enroll.5. Students are frustrated the most by financial aid and scholarships. Make this easy and accessible and consider in person or online trainings to students and parents.6. Counsel first and always be personal and approachable.7. Campus tours are crucial, do what you can to support students in this effort., especially low income students. Consider virtual options as well.8. Involve current students as much as possible.
  • big|thanksEd Escalet, Coordinator of Multicultural Recruitment and Outreach, Penn StateUniversityTroy Onink, Forbers College Crossroads Blog Krywosa, Suffolk University, @jesskryPosse Foundation, Squad, Art Samuels, Director of College Guidance, Willamsburg CharterHigh School, Brooklyn, NY
  • survey|whitepaper .Gil RogersDirector of Marketing and Outreachgil@zinch.com860-990-2745
  • other|statsPresentation Appendix
  • student|demographics Education Level 11% 5% High School Junior 5% High School Senior22% College Freshman 57% College Sophomore, Junior, or Senior Other
  • student|demographics 2% Background 5% Caucasian or White 7% Black or African American Hispanic or Latino14% Asian 54% Mixed Race 18% Native American Pacific Islander
  • student|demographicsAre you the first in your family to attend a College or Income Levels University? < 20,000 Yes 14% 5% 15% 20,000 - 28% 50,000 72% 17% 31% 50,000 - 70,000 18% 70,000 - No 100,000 100,000 - 150,000
  • student|demographics What Type Of School Do You Plan on Attending?80%60%40%20%0% 4 Year Public 4 Year Private 2 Year Or College College Community College