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Boundless: Engaging International Students Virtually Throughout the Admissions Cycle

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This slide deck is a summary of the 4 NAFSA regional presentations I did this October-November with Utah State, Sam Houston State, Miami of Ohio, and University of Michigan-Flint. The presentations focused on the results of the 3rd International E-Expectations Report, and how colleges and universities can apply those student behavior trends to their virtual recruitment strategies.

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Boundless: Engaging International Students Virtually Throughout the Admissions Cycle

  1. 1. Boundless: Engaging International Students Virtually Throughout the Admissions Cycle NAFSA Regional Conferences (II, III, V, & VI), October – November 2015
  2. 2. Agenda Agenda • Introductions • Ruffalo Noel-Levitz Survey • key demographics • Poll the audience – interactive poll questions • Survey highlights • Case studies from Sam Houston State University recruiting international students • Major takeaways • Questions
  3. 3. What We Do – Marty – CollegeWeekLive Enable online, live, and interactive student engagement throughout the enrollment process
  4. 4. CollegeWeekLive Clients Abilene Christian University American University Azusa Pacific University Ball State University Boston Architectural College Broward College Butler Community College Caldwell University Centennial College Christopher Newport University College of DuPage Columbia College Cornell University CUNY, College of Staten Island Daemen College Design Institute of San Diego Durham College East Tennessee State University Eastern Illinois University Emory University Florida International University Full Sail University Gannon University Grambling State University Hilbert College Illinois College Illinois Institute of Technology Lakeland College Manhattanville College Marquette University Miami Dade College Miami University of Ohio New York University North Carolina State University North Dakota State University Nova Southeastern University Oregon State University Otero Junior College Pace University Pittsburg State University Purdue Calumet Roger Williams University Rowan University Saint John’s University, NY Saint Louis University Sam Houston State University St. Thomas University Stevens Institute of Technology Suffolk University SUNY, Binghamton University SUNY, Potsdam SUNY, University at Albany Texas Tech University The University of Arizona University of Bridgeport University of British Columbia University of California, Davis University of Colorado, Denver University of Florida University of Houston University of Idaho University of Illinois at Chicago University of Michigan, Flint University of Nevada, Reno University of Notre Dame University of Portland University of San Diego University of Tampa University of Texas, Arlington University of Wisconsin-Stout Utah State University Valencia College Virginia Tech Washington State University West Chester University …and more… 250+ college and university clients
  5. 5. CollegeWeekLive Partners
  6. 6. Survey Results 3rd annual International E-Expectations Survey • In cooperation with Ruffalo Noel-Levitz • 2700+ student respondents • Representing 164 countries • 47% seeking undergraduate studies, 53% seeking graduate studies
  7. 7. Global Representation 2714 respondents from 160 countries Top countries of origin 31% 7%3% 2% 15% Undergraduate Students Senior Junior Sophomore Freshman Transfer 17% 23% Graduate Students Currently in college Not in college Regional Breakdown
  8. 8. Poll Questions https://www.polleverywhere.com/survey/BzahARTav 1. Which of the following factors most influenced undergraduate students’ decisions to attend a college/university outside of their home country? 2. What do students see as the biggest obstacle to study outside their home country? 3. What percentage of international students have looked at a college/university website on a mobile device?
  9. 9. Survey Highlights
  10. 10. Motivations for Studying Abroad 59% 21% 19% 16% 12% 0% 20% 40% 60% 80% 100% Interested in a particular college/university Private scholarship offered Government funding Interested in studying with a particular professor No higher education opportunities in home country Graduate Students 62% 24% 17% 14% 13% 0% 20% 40% 60% 80% 100% Interested in a particular college/university Currently attending an internation high school Private scholarship offered Government funding No higher education opportunities in home country Undergraduate Students
  11. 11. 70+% will apply to 3 or more schools! # of Applications Undergraduate Graduate 1 to 2 17% 19% 3 to 5 46% 47% 6 to 10 19% 16% 11 to 15 5% 3% More than 15 3% 4% Unknown 10% 11%
  12. 12. Top Concerns for Studying Abroad 77% 38% 24% 23% 18% 0% 20% 40% 60% 80% 100% Financial requirements Visa requirements Safety in surrounding area Safety on campus Language barrier Graduate Students 77% 31% 28% 27% 26% 0% 20% 40% 60% 80% 100% Financial requirements No friends or family nearby Visa requirements Safety in surrounding area Safety on campus Undergraduate Students After money – main concern for prospective undergraduates – friends & family nearby Prospective graduate students most concerned about the visa requirements (after money)
  13. 13. Top 6 Most Influential Resources How international student-friendly is your website? 4.22 4.12 3.89 3.56 3.4 3.1 1 2 3 4 5 College website College rankings College search websites College brochures College social media posts EducationUSA office Undergraduate Students 4.32 4.26 3.93 3.67 3.49 3.31 1 2 3 4 5 College website College rankings College search websites College brochures College social media posts EducationUSA office Graduate Students Very influential Not at all influential Very influential Not at all influential
  14. 14. Top 5 Viewed Content Areas On College Websites The bottom 3 areas for both undergrad & grad prospects (under 25%): Calendar of Events, Athletic programs, and Campus Visit Details 89% 87% 87% 69% 62% Academic program listing/majors Cost Financial aid Enrollment/admissions info Applications 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70% 80% 90% 100% Undergraduate Students 89% 88% 82% 70% 68% Academic program listing/majors Financial aid Cost International student services Enrollment/admissions info 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70% 80% 90% 100% Graduate Students
  15. 15. View college websites on a mobile device Google mobile-friendly website checker: https://www.google.com/webmasters/tools/mobile-friendly/ 69% 31% Graduate Students Yes No 78% 22% Undergraduate Students Yes No NB: Access the web most often from desktop/laptop (57%), but 38% use mobile most (up from 17% 2 years ago) NB: 61% of grad prospects use desktop/laptop most, 35% use mobile most (up from 28% in 2014)
  16. 16. Importance of Communication Throughout the Recruitment Process 4.23 4.3 4.77 4.23 4.39 4.4 4.4 4.35 1 2 3 4 5 Before applying During the application process (2015 only) After getting accepted After deciding to enroll (during orientation) Undergraduate Students Graduate Students Very important Not at all important
  17. 17. Top Areas of Support Needed During the Enrollment Process 73% 51% 47% 47% 43% 41% 0% 20% 40% 60% 80% 100% Financial Decisions Writing an application essay Deciding where to apply Applying for a visa Researching colleges Moving to campus Undergraduate Students 72% 58% 55% 49% 48% 44% 0% 20% 40% 60% 80% 100% Financial Decisions Applying for a visa Researching colleges Writing an application essay Deciding where to apply English language prep Graduate Students
  18. 18. With who do students most want to interact? 62% 56% 52% 50% 45% 45% 54% 59% 66% 66% 74% 74% 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70% 80% 90% 100% Alumni Current international student Professors ISS representative Admissions representative Financial aid representative Graduate Students In-person Virtual 56% 53% 47% 44% 38% 36% 59% 61% 68% 70% 79% 81% 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70% 80% 90% Alumni Current international student ISS representative Professors Financial aid representative Admissions representative Undergraduate Students In-person Virtual
  19. 19. Plans to Visit Campus 10% 12% 20% 58% 16% 31% 26% 26% 0% 20% 40% 60% 80% 100% All schools I am considering My top schools One or two schools No plans to visit Graduate Students Befor Applying After Accepted 9% 12% 20% 59% 15% 30% 25% 30% 0% 20% 40% 60% 80% 100% All schools I am considering My top schools One or two schools No plans to visit Undergraduate Students Before Applying After Accepted
  20. 20. Parents Influence on Student’s Decision Prospective undergrads are increasingly more dependent on parents on their decisions! 61% 37% 2% 58% 40% 2% 56% 42% 2% 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70% Joint decision with parents Student makes the decision Parents make the decision Undergraduate Students 2013 2014 2015 52% 47% 1% 50% 49% 1% 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% Student makes the decision Joint decision with parents Parents make the decision Graduate Students 2014 2015
  21. 21. Top 5 Preferred Communication Channels FYI: lowest rated is texting, but growing fast! 4.48 4.2 3.84 3.66 3.62 1 2 3 4 5 Send an email Meet reps at in- person college fairs Instant messaging (live chat) Meet reps at virtual college fairs Live interaction during a video presentation Undergraduate Students 4.59 4.09 4.02 3.83 3.82 1 2 3 4 5 Send an email Meet reps at in- person college fairs Instant messaging (live chat) Live interaction during a video presentation Meet reps at virtual college fairs Graduate Students Very influential Not at all influential Very influential Not at all influential
  22. 22. Interest in Virtual Contact with Colleges 21% 59% 19% 23% 61% 15% 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70% 80% 90% 100% Yes, and have met virtually Yes, but haven't had an opportunity Not interested in meeting virtually Interest in Virtual Meetings Undergraduate Graduate 80% of international undergrads & 84% of grads want virtual meetings with you!
  23. 23. Eduventures Going International: Key findings from international students admitted to U.S. institutions
  24. 24. Reasons for not enrolling in US university in fall 2015 23% of students didn’t know enough about the university to enroll 65% 33% 23% 16% 9% 9% 7% 5% I cannot afford it I might attend one in another year, just not this fall I didn't know enough about the universities where I was accepted to make a good decision Too far from my home country I'm concerned about fitting into the culture My family didn't want me to leave my country I'm concerend that language would be a barrier to my learning The universities where I was accepted didn't have strong reputation
  25. 25. Visited campus before decision to enroll in current institution 56% of students didn’t visit the institution they ultimately enrolled in Alternative ways students examined their school from a distance: • 7.0 average social media visits • 4.4 visits to online college sites 56% 26% 15% 4% No, I did not visit in person or virtually Yes, virtually Yes, in person I do not recall
  26. 26. University of Michigan-Flint • Founded: 1956 • Network: University of Michigan • Number of students: 8,470 – International Total: 721 – 399 UG; 322 Grad • Number of countries represented: 50+ • Number of majors offered: 100+ • Degrees offered: Bachelor, Master, PhD • International Center responsibilities: – Recruitment (all levels) – UG & ELP applications processing & review – Immigration prep (all levels) – Education Abroad – Programming Quick Facts
  27. 27. University of Michigan-Flint Tool: Traditional Lead Generation Applicant Conversion Yield Anti-Melt Fairs & HS Visits x x Counselor Events x x Print: Recruitment & Admissions Pieces x x Name Buys x Email: Search, Comm Flow, Yield, Pre-Arrival x x x x Agent Representatives x x x x Recruitment & Enrollment Tools
  28. 28. University of Michigan-Flint Tool: On-line Lead Generation Applicant Conversion Yield Anti-Melt CWL AlwaysOn Chats x x x x CWL Live Webinars x x x x Social Media x x x x Skype Chats x x x x On-line Profiles x x On-line Advertisements x Virtual Fairs x x Recruitment & Enrollment Tools
  29. 29. University of Michigan-Flint Recruitment Budget by Region & Sub-Region
  30. 30. Founded in 1809, Miami University is a mid-sized public university located in the college town of Oxford, Ohio. Miami’s enrollment on the Oxford campus is 15,460 undergraduates and 2,260 graduate students. Included in these numbers are 1,670 international students from 77 different countries. Undergraduate students represent 85.5% of the international students that are enrolled. Miami’s Office of Admission processes over 5,000 international undergraduate applications each year. The Office of Admission is responsible for recruitment, application review and issuing initial I-20s for new international undergraduate-level students.
  31. 31. Tool: Traditional Lead Generation Applicant Conversion Yield Anti-Melt Fairs and HS Visits X X Receptions and Programs: Off- Campus X X On-Campus Visits X X X Counselor Events: On and Off-Campus X X Print: Recruitment and Admission Pieces X X X Search/Name Purchases X Email: Search, Comm Flow, Yield, Pre-Arrival X X X Tools for International Recruitment and Enrollment
  32. 32. Tool: On-Line Lead Generation Applicant Conversion Yield Anti-Melt Skype Calls: Group and Individual X X On-Line Profiles and Advertising X Virtual Fairs X X X X Social Media X X X CollegeWeekLive: HS Connect X X CollegeWeekLive: Int’l Open House X CollegeWeekLive: AlwaysON and Weekly Chats X X X CollegeWeekLive: Private Events X X Tools for International Recruitment and Enrollment (Continued)
  33. 33. Utah State University A Research University in a small, safe town About USU • Medium-sized, public university with a variety of high-quality academic programs • 18,000 students, decreasing international (top senders: China, Korea) • Programs of note: Business, Engineering, Agriculture About International Admissions • New initiative in Undergraduate Admissions to address declining population • Recruitment in Admissions—App review in Office of Global Engagement • Recruitment strategies include travel, new CRM and online tools
  34. 34. Utah State University Online Tools for Recruitment and Conversion Online Tool Lead Generation Prospect/Applicant Conversion Admit Conversion/Yield Activities Undergraduate Admissions Facebook, Ambassador staffed channels    CollegeWeekLive: Always On   CollegeWeekLive: All Access    CollegeWeekLive: Int’l Fair Events   CollegeWeekLive: HS Connect   ACT/SAT Name Purchases  Virtual meetings with EdUSA, schools
  35. 35. Sam Houston State University A Doctoral Research University in a Rural Setting About SHSU • Medium-sized, public university with a variety of high-quality academic programs • 20,180 students, 2% international (top senders: India &China) • Programs of note: Business, Criminal Justice, Agriculture, Medical Professions About International Programs • Recruit for ELI, undergraduate, and graduate • Applications managed by undergraduate and graduate admissions • Recruitment strategies include travel, agents, and online tools
  36. 36. Sam Houston State University Online Tools for Recruitment and Conversion Online Tool Lead Generation Prospect/Applicant Conversion Admit Conversion/Yield Activities Undergraduate Admissions Facebook, Other Social Media    CollegeWeekLive: Always On   CollegeWeekLive: All Access    CollegeWeekLive: Int’l Fair Events   CollegeWeekLive: HS Connect   ACT/SAT Name Purchases  Profile pages on recruting sites  Graduate Admissions Facebook, Other Social Media    CollegeWeekLive: Always On   CollegeWeekLive: Int’l Fair Events   GRE Name Purchases  CollegeWeekLive: Private Events  
  37. 37. University of Colorado Denver A Comprehensive Public University in an Urban Setting About CU Denver • Medium-sized, comprehensive public university with health sciences specialization • 14,500 students, 8% international (top senders: India, Saudi Arabia, China) • Programs of note: ESL, Business, Engineering, Architecture, Arts & Media, Medical About International Admissions • Recruit for ESL, undergraduate, and graduate; manage undergrad applications • Recruitment strategies include travel, agents in addition to online tools • Part of larger Office of International Affairs
  38. 38. University of Colorado Denver Online Tools for Recruitment and Conversion ( = Planned Future Tools) Online Tool Lead Generation Prospect/Applicant Conversion Admit Conversion/ Yield Activities Facebook, Other Social Media    CollegeWeekLive: Always On    CollegeWeekLive: Int’l Fair Events  SAT/TOEFL/GRE Name Purchases  iOpinion iPad App  OIA Messaging Platform   Royall: Applicant Messages   Application Fee Waiver Events  ESL Skype Interviews  CollegeWeekLive: HS Connect  CollegeWeekLive: Private Events  
  39. 39. Takeaways How do international students act? How can you respond accordingly? • Students remain flexible in terms of where they apply. • Institutional website content is the most important source for students. • Students view your site on their mobile phones. • Online interactions with institutions are important influencers as to where students apply. • Parents need to be considered in outreach strategies. • Don’t count on students visiting campus to win them over. • Students expect communication throughout the enrollment process.
  40. 40. Questions
  41. 41. Thank You! Presentation available online – via NAFSA mobile app & on Slideshare at: http://www.slideshare.net/martybennett/

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