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Building Your Transfer Outreach Action Plan


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Recent data from University Business indicates that over half of higher ed administrators anticipate an increase in transfer student enrollment in the coming years. With the continued growth of opportunity comes the increased importance in differentiating your institution.

More and more transfer student recruitment is becoming a critical part to how institutions achieve their enrollment goals. However, traditional practices for finding and engaging transfer students don’t always work.

Leveraging online tools, colleges and universities can save time, save money, and recruit smarter by focusing on three main strategies:

-- Find students actively researching you or are a best fit match based on their profile

-- Leverage retargeting to focus ad impressions on students actively researching you at the height of their interest

-- Utilize mobile and social outreach to build your brand on the specific community college campuses and students you are trying to reach

This presentation uncovers recent research that uncovers how and where prospective transfer students research and prefer to be in contact with the 4-year colleges they are considering.

Published in: Education
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Building Your Transfer Outreach Action Plan

  2. 2. Data Insights Direct Engagement Digital Marketing via Mobile and Custom Audiences For Chegg Partners: •  Continued delivery of all student data and/or digital marketing services •  Opportunity to reach a broader pool of students with data-informed strategies For NRCCUA Partners: •  Continued delivery of all student data, access to DataLab™, Eduventures Research, etc. •  Opportunity to enhance traditional outreach with turn- key digital marketing For Partners of Both: •  All of the above + a single NRCCUA Regional Director to support you Student Data DataLab™ List Building & Outreach Support Role- Based Research Student Insights
  3. 3. Data Insights Direct Engagement Digital Marketing via Mobile and Custom Audiences Student Data DataLab™ List Building & Outreach Support Role- Based Research Student Insights Many vendors can provide leads, digital advertising or research. NRCCUA is your only strategic partner that combines direct-to-student engagement with a turn- key digital marketing solution that is 100% backed by data-driven insights and research. This unique combination ensures you are expanding reach to the right students while lowering cost
  4. 4. Mobile Ad Network Multi- Network Data Targeting Cross- Platform Tracking Sponsored Social Media Content 5-6 Million Annual Student Interactions Market Leading DataLab™ Platform On-Demand Intelligence and Training
  5. 5. Methodology 30%Been enrolled for 1 year Email Survey of 671 community college students who are considering transferring 70%are enrolled full time 65%Have been studying 2 yrs or less 93%will consider transferring to public college 39%will consider transferring to private college 3 in 4 would transferring to a school in same state / different city 1 in 4 would consider transferring to another state 23%Had been enrolled at 4 year school
  6. 6. Here’s what we’re hearing … 7% 64% 24% 5% Nearly 30% of pros believe retention will decrease or stay the same in 2017 Will increase significantly Will increase modestly Will stay the same Will decrease modestly Enrollment growth expectations Source: The latest trends and predictions for higher ed in 2017, University Business, January 2017Source: The latest trends and predictions for higher ed in 2017, University Business, January 2017 60% 50% 35% 32% 10% 22% 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70% Transfers Traditional Undergrads Moderately to Significantly Increase Stay the same Modestly to Significantly Decrease
  8. 8. 92% 58% 15% 10% 10% 8% 7% 5% 5% 2% 2% 3% In order to pursue a 4-year degree I always planned on transferring to another school My school does not offer the major I want to study I am not satisfied with my current school socially I am not satisfied with my current school academically I am not satisfied with my current school's location I recently moved/plan on moving to a new city I just want a change – no particular reason I am not sure what I want to study and want to explore my options I am not satisfied with the living/housing situation I am looking for a less expensive college Other financial considerations Pursuing a 4-year degree is the biggest reason for transferring Which of the following are the reasons you are considering transferring?
  9. 9. 9% 12% 12% 25% 25% 28% 52% 58% 78% 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70% 80% 90% Earn a certificate Fulfill requirements to apply to a graduate program Learn a new skill/trade Fulfill my general interest in learning/continuing education Establish a good GPA (my college GPA was not strong enough) Establish a good GPA (my high school GPA was not strong enough) Complete a BA/BS degree Receive my AA/AS degree Fulfill requirements to transfer to a 4-year college/university Transferring and receiving AA are current goals What are the current goals that you are working toward in school? (check all that apply)
  10. 10. Students are confident about being successful, but concerned that credits won’t transfer 20% 27% 17% 26% 23% 30% 26% 34% 73% 65% 37% 13% 0% 20% 40% 60% 80% 100% I am confident that investing in a four year degree will pay off in the long-term I feel confident that I will be successful at a four year school I felt prepared to attend a four year school after high school but chose to attend a two year school in order to save money I am concerned that my credits won't transfer Completely disagree Somewhat disagree Somewhat agree Completely agree
  11. 11. 72% 40% 39% 32% 22% 11% 9% 6% 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70% 80% Cost Was unsure of my major I wasn't ready for a four year school Wanted to be close to home Fit in with my work schedule I was not accepted to my first choice four year school Program of study AA/AS was end goal Cost is largest reason for transfer Many indicated family or a significant other Why did you choose to attend the school you are currently attending? (select all that apply)
  12. 12. Cost and Class Difficulty are Biggest Concerns 82% 56% 40% 31% 27% 5% 4% 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70% 80% 90% Cost Difficulty of classes Adjusting socially Student/teacher ratio Class size None of these Other What are some of your concerns about transferring to a four-year school?
  13. 13. 51% 48% 39% 21% 16% 15% 5% 2% 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% Financial Aid/ FAFSA I am working and contributing my own income My parents/other family members are contributing Grant (e.g. Pell grant) Scholarship Student loans Work/study program Military benefits Half of students are relying on financial aid How are you currently paying for college? How are you currently paying for college?
  14. 14. Area of study 93% Top 5 factors influencing schools considered for transfer Availability of Scholarships 47% Cost of Tuition 61% Transferrable Credits 47% Availability of Financial Aid 50% 3 out of the top 5 things influencing transfers are financial.
  15. 15. Online degrees Biggest benefits are: •  Flexibility with schedule (45%) •  Offering a specific program that I am interested in (28%) •  Cost (25%) Transfer students would consider finishing a bachelor’s degree online 1 in 3
  16. 16. We focused on intent, defined as … RESPONDENTS WHO ARE LIKELY TO TRANSFER IN THE NEXT 2 YEARS
  17. 17. But we recognize … Source: Signature Report 5: Baccalaureate Attainment: A National View of the Postsecondary Outcomes of Students who Transfer from Two-Year to Four-Year Institutions, National Student Clearing House, August 2013 ⅓ OF TRANSERS WILL NOT GRADUATE WITH A 4-YEAR DEGREE WITHIN 6 YEARS
  18. 18. The Process is Difficult … (6-10 on 10 pt scale) 51% OF TRANSFERS CONSIDER THE TRANSFER PROCESS TO BE CHALLENGING
  19. 19. What students find the most challenging part: There is not a lot of information on college websites dedicated to transfer students. Knowing what school will fit me best academically and socially. Not a lot of resources are devoted to transfer students. It's very hard to find roommates or housing. There's no community or even a Facebook page. It feels a lot like I'm the only transfer student there. It'd be nice if there was some type of group page where people could find roommates or get to know other people before going. “ ” “ ” “ ”
  24. 24. Knows they plan to transfer SO WE ARE DEALING WITH AN AUDIENCE THAT… Do not know where they want to transfer to Plans to keep their list short Are actively researching with plans to do more Are actively or passively staying off of your radar
  25. 25. Resources being used 78% of students use search engines like Google to start their search Student use of college search/review sites outranks use of college fairs by 15 percentage points (note: 53% vs. 38%) Only one third of students get information about possible schools to apply through brochures
  26. 26. Millennial’s Trust Consumer Reviews Source: Pew Research Center, “Online Shopping and E-Commerce”, December 2016 40% 23% 34% 47% 53% 42% 36% 41% 45% 43% 16% 34% 24% 8% 4% TOTAL 65+ 50-64 30-49 18-29 Always/almost always Sometimes Never Source: Pew Research Center, “Online Shopping and E-Commerce”, December 2016 Frequency of use of digital ratings and reviews by age % of respondents in each group
  27. 27. Device Use is Mobile-First, Legacy-Last 15:36 20:26 10:14 4:23 2:41 1:25 22:00 19:05 11:17 6:58 2:58 1:04 0:00 2:24 4:48 7:12 9:36 12:00 14:24 16:48 19:12 21:36 0:00 TV/DVR Apps/Web via Smartphone AM/FM Radio Internet via desktop/laptop Video via desktop/Laptop Video via smartphone 18-24 25-34 Source: Nielsen, “The Total Audience Report: Q4 2016”, April 2017 Weekly Time Spent with Select Media/Devices Among US Consumer by Age (hrs:mins) Source: Nielsen, “The Total Audience Report: Q4 2016”, April 2017
  28. 28. Most important resources 23% 20% 15% 13% 12% 6% 6% 3% 1% 0% 5% 10% 15% 20% 25% Online search engines School specific websites College review sites Visiting the campus Advisor at my current school Friends/Family College fairs Brochures/mail from colleges Social Media Which of the following resource was the most valuable to you as you consider your options for transferring? Notice the difference in online vs. traditional methods. Which of the following was the most valuable resources to you as you consider your options for transferring?
  29. 29. Retargeting Re-Engage visitors once they have left your “.edu”
  30. 30. Retargeting mainly focuses on students who visited you
  31. 31. Retargeting Tips: •  Serve specific ad creative tailored to the transfer process when visitors have been to your transfer section (i.e. avoid “general branding”) •  Ensure ad units include key terms and phrases you know are of concern to the transfer audience (affordability, ease of credit transfer, etc.) •  Leverage frequency capping to stretch your ad impressions further and optimize effectiveness
  32. 32. Location – The Next Generation Cookie Targeting in a mobile-first world Context Demographics Day-part ¤ ¤ ¤ Context Demographics (Implied) Attitudinal ¤ ¤ ¤ Expressed Intent ¤ Social Connections Sharing Behavior Expressed Interests Demographics ¤ ¤ ¤ ¤ Location Context 1st & 3rd Party Data Match Real-world Behavior ¤ ¤ ¤ ¤
  33. 33. Location-Based Mobile Advertising Reach Students On-the-Go, Where They Are
  34. 34. 91% of consumers have their phones within arms reach 24 hours a day The average user checks their phone 150 TIMES / DAY Sources: Study by app Locket, 2014. Under the Cover with College Students. Chegg, 2015. 93% of students own a smartphone
  35. 35. 3 6   Defining Context
  36. 36. 3 7   Defining Context with Location
  37. 37. Dynamic targeting zeros in on the strongest performing locations Standard Geo-fence Chegg’s Geo-fence NRCCUA Geo-fence
  38. 38. 2-Year Schools Corporations, Military Bases ESL Centers & Boarding Schools Target potential students anywhere with location- verified media on their mobile devices High SchoolsHigh School & Transfer Fairs Concerts, Events, Open Houses, Airports, etc.
  39. 39. 86% of time spent on mobile apps > 3 hours per day 14% of time spent on mobile web < 45 minutes per day app mobile app vs. mobile web media use eMarketer, September 2016
  40. 40. 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 In-App (billions) Mobile Web (Billions) Total billions 2014 2015 2016 2017 US Mobile Ad Spending, in-App vs. Mobile Web (2014-2017) Source: eMarketer, October 2016 75% of mobile ad spending will be in-App in 2017
  41. 41. Reach students across 100K apps around the world* Social Entertainment Sports News & Info Interests Local Music * Over 35K apps in the U.S.
  42. 42. CUSTOM INTERACTION CUSTOM LANDING PAGE .EDU SITE Dream Big. Live Limitless. Learn more! Reach students on their favorite apps and drive to your mobile EDU site or a custom landing page/interaction developed by NRCCUA
  43. 43. Landing Page Tips: •  Ensure the page visitors land on is mobile-friendly (you are reaching them on a mobile device, after all!) •  Easily surface content that addresses key concerns (cost/ transfer credit process/community) - Custom interactions are great for this! •  Leverage conversion tracking to measure overall ROI of your campaign.
  44. 44. Track Conversion from the Initial Click…
  45. 45. Track Conversion from the Initial Click… Track Conversion from other devices after the first view
  46. 46. How do we track conversions? Alignment between our ad team and your web team •  We embed code within the ad units themselves •  Tracking code is created for select destinations on your website (home page, admissions section, etc.) •  Our technology identifies devices we are confident are used by the same prospect (ex. Cell phone and laptop in a home) •  We report on actions taken across all devices
  47. 47. Join us tomorrow! Register now at
  48. 48. You’re Invited! Register today at