Improving Yield Among Domestic & International Students

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The average student applies to 10-12 schools. What can admissions departments do to influence their enrollment decisions? Building on the success of last year's presentation, "Beyond the Data: What Really Influences International Students?," we will reveal the latest research into the expectations of college-bound high school juniors and seniors. Two top universities will share what they're finding to be the most successful engagement strategies for their accepted students. The University of British Columbia will discuss the e-recruitment strategies they're using to stay connected with international students throughout the enrollment process. The University of San Diego will discuss how they're building personal connections with accepted students to improve yield and retention rates.

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Improving Yield Among Domestic & International Students

  1. 1. Improving Yield Among International & Domestic Students
  2. 2. Today’s presenters Marty Bennett CollegeWeekLive Anna Reithmeier University of British Columbia Minh-ha Hoang University of San Diego
  3. 3. Some Findings from the 2nd Annual Study on the Expectations of International Students
  4. 4. Overview • What motivates (and prevents) international students to attend a foreign university? • What interactions influence international students’ choice of university? • Which aspects of the enrollment process do international students need the most help with? • How can admissions capture the attention of international students & their families 2nd Annual Study on the Expectations of International Students
  5. 5. About the respondents More than 2,400 respondents from 164 countries
  6. 6. Institutional brand #1 reason to study abroad 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70% Interested in a particular university Currently attending international high school Private scholarship offered No higher education opportunities in home country Interested in studying with particular professor Government funding Siblings studied abroad No post-high school career opportunities No post-undergrad career oportunities Avoid home country tests and requirements No graduate education opportunties in home country Parents studied abroad What factors influence the decision to attend university outside of the home country?
  7. 7. Yet - most international students do not appear to be locked into one campus 17% 38% 21% 7% 4% 12% 0% 5% 10% 15% 20% 25% 30% 35% 40% 1 - 2 3 - 5 6 - 10 11 - 15 More than 15 Don't know How many colleges do students intend to apply to?
  8. 8. More than ½ of all international students make the decision to attend with their parents 40% 58% 2% 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70% Student makes the decision Joint decision Parents make the decision Who makes the decision on which campus to attend?
  9. 9. Funding & financial assistance are top concerns 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70% Funding Safety in surrounding area Safety on campus No friends or family nearby Language barrier My parents are concerned Cultural differences Other I don't have any concerns What are students' concerns about studying abroad?
  10. 10. Funding & financial assistance are top concerns 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70% Personal/Family U.S. college aid/scholarship Foreign government or university Sponsorship program in the U.S. Sponsorship program in my country Other How do students plan to fund their educations?
  11. 11. Funding & financial assistance are top concerns 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70% 80% Financial decisions Applying for a visa Writing application essay Deciding where to apply Researching colleges Completing applications Moving to campus Traveling to colleges Deciding where to enroll Standardized test prep (ACT/SAT) English language prep (TOEFL/IELTS) Which aspects of the enrollment process do students need help with?
  12. 12. Prospective students highly value conversations with campus representatives & current students 0 0.5 1 1.5 2 2.5 3 3.5 4 4.5 University website College rankings Conversations with reps Student conversations Campus tour College search sites Brochures Guidance counselor Local education/U.S. office Independent counselor University Facebook How influential are the following experiences in the application decision? (1-5 scale, 5=most influential)
  13. 13. Prospective students highly value conversations with campus representatives & current students 0 0.5 1 1.5 2 2.5 3 3.5 4 4.5 5 E-mail Traditional college fairs Live chat (IM) Campus tour Phone Live video Webcast Social media Webcam call Text messaging Interest in using the following resources to communicate with college representatives (1-5 scale, 5=highest interest)
  14. 14. 1/2 of international students will not visit a campus before enrolling; 1 in 5 will not visit a campus at all 0% 5% 10% 15% 20% 25% 30% 35% 40% 45% 50% All schools My top schools Might visit one or more No plans to visit Plans to visit campuses Before applying After acceptance
  15. 15. Recruiting Strategies (based on the findings) • Build your brand in target markets abroad • Adapt your website & communications to mobile devices • Use a variety of communication methods • Build strong relationships early with key international prospects • Involve parents in the communication flow • Offer assistance with campus visits to top prospects • Make funding information easily available
  16. 16. The University of British Columbia Anna Reithmeier Sr. International Student Recruiter/Advisor, eRecruitment
  17. 17. UBC’s International Recruitment Goals 1. Increase international undergraduate student enrollment 2. Increase the diversity of undergraduate students
  18. 18. Most Popular Online Recruitment Practices • Email communication • Recruitment websites Source: Noel-Levitz. (2014). 2014 E-recruiting practices and trends at four-year and two- year institutions. Coralville, Iowa: Author. Retrieved from: www.noellevitz.com/BenchmarkReports
  19. 19. What We Have Considered • Prospective international students want: • To connect with universities that interest them • Information that is relevant to them Source: Noel-Levitz. (2014). Meeting the Expectations of International Undergraduate and Graduate Students. Coralville, Iowa: Author. Retrieved from: www.noellevitz.com/BenchmarkReports
  20. 20. UBC’s Website Engagement • In August 2013, UBC launched a new, unified website for prospective undergraduate students you.ubc.ca • Responsive-design on all pages • The homepage brings in live content from our social media channels • Incorporates the UBC Admissions Blog
  21. 21. UBC’s Admissions Homepage
  22. 22. UBC’s Admissions Homepage
  23. 23. UBC’s Social Media Engagement • All channels are dedicated to prospective undergraduate students only • Instagram: 1350+ followers • Twitter: 5550+ followers • Facebook: 17 000+ likes • YouTube: Includes prospective student video content with up to 30 000 views • Developed prospective student hashtags with a comprehensive communications plan (ex. #askUBC)
  24. 24. UBC’s Social Media Engagement
  25. 25. This year… • We implemented a comprehensive schedule, which schedules the information shared with prospective students and connects: • The web • Social media channels • The Admissions Blog
  26. 26. UBC’s Online Recruitment Activities 2008-2009 • Fall 2008 (August to December) • 4 Online Information Sessions hosted on Wimba Classroom • Investigating CollegeWeek Live • Spring 2009 (January to May) • 7 Online Information Sessions hosted Wimba Classroom Total Participants: 302
  27. 27. Online Recruitment Program Resources • Technical equipment (ie. laptops, webcam, microphones) • Full-time staff person, to coordinate Online Recruitment program • Recruiters / Admissions Advisors, to present and advise during live chats • UBC students, to provide an authentic student voice and experience to online events
  28. 28. UBC’s Fall 2013 Calendar of Events Event Name Activity Date Time (24H) Platform Region "Back to School" on CollegeWeekLive Virtual College Fair Live Chat 8-Aug-13 11:00- 19:00 CollegeWeekLive Africa, Americas, Europe "International Day" on CollegeWeekLive Virtual College Fair Live Chat 21-Aug-13 02:00- 16:00 CollegeWeekLive Africa, Americas, Europe "Virtual UBC Day" on CollegeWeekLive Video Webinar Presentation and Live Q & A 28-Aug-13 15:00- 18:00 CollegeWeekLive Americas "International Universities Day" on CollegeWeekLive Virtual College Fair Live Chat 10-Sep-13 09:00- 17:00 CollegeWeekLive Africa, Americas, Europe "September Fair" on CollegeWeekLive Virtual College Fair Live Chat 19-Sep-13 07:00- 19:00 CollegeWeekLive Worldwide "Always On Live Chat" on CollegeWeekLive Live Chat 25-Sep-13 12:00- 14:00 Always On Africa, Europe, Americas "Always On Live Chat" on CollegeWeekLive Live Chat 2-Oct-13 12:00- 14:00 Always On Africa, Europe, Americas "Always On Live Chat" on CollegeWeekLive Live Chat 16-Oct-13 12:00- 14:00 Always On Africa, Americas, Europe "October Fair" CollegeWeekLive Virtual College Fair Live Chat 24-Oct-13 07:00- 19:00 CollegeWeekLive Worldwide "Always On Live Chat" on CollegeWeekLive Live Chat 30-Oct-13 12:00- 14:00 Always On Africa, Europe, Americas "International Day" on CollegeWeekLive Virtual College Fair Live Chat 13-Nov-13 02:00- 16:00 CollegeWeekLive Worldwide "November Fair" on CollegeWeekLive Virtual College Fair Live Chat 21-Nov-13 07:00- 19:00 CollegeWeekLive Worldwide "December Fair" CollegeWeekLive Virtual College Fair Live Chat 12-Dec-13 07:00- 19:00 CollegeWeekLive Worldwide
  29. 29. UBC’s Spring 2014 Calendar of Events Event Name Activity Date Time (24H) Platform Region "Paying for College" on CollegeWeekLive Virtual College Fair Live Chat 9-Jan-14 08:00- 18:00 CollegeWeekLive Americas – US “Study in Canada Day” on CollegeWeekLive Live chat + Video Presentation 23-Jan-14 11:00- 18:00 CollegeWeekLive Americas "February Fair" on CollegeWeekLive Virtual College Fair Live Chat 13-Feb-14 08:00- 18:00 CollegeWeekLive Americas - US "International Fair" on CollegeWeekLive Virtual College Fair Live Chat 19-Feb-14 05:00- 16:00 CollegeWeekLive Asia, Europe, Middle East, Central and South America UBC Vantage College Recruitment Presentation Video Webinar Presentation and Live Q&A 28-Feb-14 18:00- 20:00 CollegeWeekLive All "International Fair" on CollegeWeekLive Virtual College Fair Live Chat 12-Mar-14 05:00- 12:00 CollegeWeekLive Asia, Europe, Middle East, Central and South America "March Fair" on CollegeWeekLive Virtual College Fair Live Chat 20-Mar-14 08:00- 18:00 CollegeWeekLive Americas- US "April Fair" on CollegeWeekLive Virtual College Fair Live Chat 17-Apr-14 08:00- 18:00 CollegeWeekLive Americas - US “International Fair” on CollegeWeekLive Virtual College Fair Live Chat 7-May-14 05:00- 16:00 CollegeWeekLive Asia, Europe, Middle East, Central and South America “May Fair” on CollegeWeekLive Virtual College Fair Live Chat 22-May-14 08:00- 18:00 CollegeWeekLive Americas – US
  30. 30. UBC At Work
  31. 31. UBC’s Online Recruitment Activities 2013-2014 • Fall 2013 (August to December) • 9 CollegeWeek Live virtual fairs • 4 live chats • 2 live webinar presentations • Spring 2014 (January to June) • 9 CollegeWeek Live virtual fairs • 7 live webinar presentations Total Participants: 14962
  32. 32. UBC’s Online Recruitment Engagement 2013-2014
  33. 33. UBC’s Online Recruitment Engagement 2013-2014 TOP 10 INT’L COUNTRIES (EXCLUDING CANADA and USA) TOTAL STUDENT LEADS INDIA 572 PAKISTAN 368 CHINA 358 NIGERIA 335 VIETNAM 307 BANGLADESH 208 MEXICO 183 EGYPT 162 BRAZIL 155 GHANA 148
  34. 34. UBC’s Future Plans • Develop a more sophisticated communication plan that considers the level of engagement and interest of student leads • Match the themes of online events to the information shared with prospective students in emails and via our other online channels
  35. 35. UBC’s Future Plans Source: www.collegeweeklive.com
  36. 36. UBC’s Future Plans • Research ways to reach out to parents online • This year’s E-Expectations results reinforce the influence parents often have in recruiting traditional- aged college students. Source: Noel-Levitz. (2014). 2014 E-Expectations Report: The Online Preferences of College-Bound Seniors and Their Parents. Coralville, Iowa: Author. Retrieved from: www.noellevitz.com/BenchmarkReports
  37. 37. UBC’s Future Plans • Expand live chat opportunities for prospective international students
  38. 38. UBC’s Online Recruitment Tips • Make a communication strategy and plan • Market/advertise events in advance to drive attendance • Follow up with students who interact with you • Consider the local time-zone of the students you are trying to engage • Provide technology details and advice about how students can access your event on mobile devices • Ask students to submit questions for sessions in advance • Use post-event surveys – implement feedback • Create a live chat (FAQ) cheat sheet for your advisors
  39. 39. Yield Challenges & Solutions
  40. 40. Students Applying to More Colleges Than Ever Before The average student applies to 10-12 schools, vs. 5-6 a few years ago – making yield much more hard-fought
  41. 41. When is it most important to talk to university representatives? Before applying After acceptance After decision 67% 83% 84% 73% 88% 89% Seniors Parents
  42. 42. Yield Challenges (Big) Challenges Students courted by multiple, brand-prominent institutions Accommodating needs of admitted students & influencers from afar Decision-making process longer & more complicated (especially for int’l students ) Navigating I-20, obtaining F-1 visa, and high TOEFL score, etc University of Notre Dame online yield event Solution Engage w/accepted students online: • Student & campus life • Housing & student services • Financial aid • I-20 & visa process • Cultural preparation
  43. 43. Increasing Student Retention Challenge Low retention rates - especially among international students ‘Outside of the classroom, (int’l) students struggled with their language skills as well as their limited knowledge of the American culture.’ - NAFSA Int’l Student Retention Report Solution Build retention before students get to your campus Engage with current int’l students & faculty Live, online access to services Programming on navigating process & culture
  44. 44. Late Funnel Communications Tactics to Improve Yield, Retention Focus on swaying decision Prepare students for the transition Q&A with Bard College Leadership University of Notre Dame online yield event
  45. 45. Building personal connections with accepted students to improve yield and retention rates Minh-Ha Hoang Director of Admissions
  46. 46. Increasing yield and retention through: 1. Improving the admissions experience for prospective students 2. Having meaningful conversations at the right time 3. Expanding our reach (international students) 4. Providing greater access (shaping our class)
  47. 47. Where does yield start? Prospects- Virtual Open House Applicants- On-line Chats Deposits- Summer Webcasts Enrolled Admits- Themed Chats
  48. 48. On-campus vs. Virtual Open House On-Campus Open House Attendance: 87% from California Ethnic Diversity: Primarily Caucasian Cost: $18,900 Staff time: 3 months • Virtual Open House Attendance: More out of state & international students Ethnic Diversity: greater increase Cost: $1,290 Staff time: 3 weeks 194 Registrants from USD Outreach 1,132 new leads
  49. 49. Virtual vs. On-campus Open House • Virtual Open House: Attendance: 45 states and 104 countries Northeast 11.0% Southeast 6.5% Midwest 9.8% Southwest 8.0% West (includes AK & HI) 34.8% Non-U.S. 29.8%
  50. 50. Virtual vs. On-campus Open House • Virtual Open House: Attendance White or Caucasian 29% Puerto Rican 2% Other 7% Native American 0% Multicultural 9% Mexican / Mexican American 8% Hispanic / Latino 10% Asian / Pacific Islander 24% African American / Black 13%
  51. 51. Moving to On-line: Challenges and Opportunities What do we lose by moving to on-line? Creative solutions and opportunities for going virtual
  52. 52. On-line Opportunities: Applicants and Admits • Applicants: Chats with counseling staff • Admits: Theme Chats with Staff and Students Honors students Out of state Torero Life Academics & Undergraduate Research University Ministry Changemaking
  53. 53. On-line Opportunities: Deposits • Summer Orientation: Webcasts & using always on chats 4 Webcasts from May-August: Get Classes: Registration with Dean’s Office and Faculty Advisors Get Down to Business: Paying your Bill, Getting Your Financial Aid & Avoiding Long Lines with Financial Aid, One Stop and Student Accounts Get Ready: Parent Webinar on Supporting Your Student During the College Transition with Parent Relations and Student Wellness Center Get Excited: Countdown to Arrival with Student
  54. 54. Results from Using Webcasts  Get Classes: Registration: Prior to using webcast: Registration dragged out for 2 months Current: 63% completed registration within 2 weeks of webcast 97% completed registration within one month  Get Down to Business: Prior to using webcast: long lines during orientation Current: 41% attended live webcast  Get Excited: Countdown to Arrival:  60% viewed webcast in 2013
  55. 55. Our success We increased yield by 2% from Fall 2012 We enrolled second largest class in USD’s history for Fall 2013 Our yield rate continues to go up for Fall 2014 class
  56. 56. Thank you! Q&A Marty Bennett CollegeWeekLive Anna Reithmeier University of British Columbia Minh-ha Hoang University of San Diego

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