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Prevailing Trends: How to Engage International Students in Admissions

Hundreds of universities are competing to recruit international students. Yet there’s little known about what drives the decisions of these students. In this session, attendees will gain insights gleaned from three consecutive years of research on the motivations of these students, and will hear firsthand from universities successfully engaging online with students throughout the admissions cycle.

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Prevailing Trends:
How To Engage International
Students in Admissions
NAFSA National Conference, May 28, 2015
Presenters
Marty Bennett
Manager, International
Partnerships
Mitchell Chavez
Associate Director of
International Admissions
Clayton Harmon
International Recruitment
& Admissions Coordinator
Agenda
Agenda
• Introductions
• Ruffalo Noel-Levitz Survey
• key demographics
• Poll the audience – interactive poll questions
• Survey highlights
• Case studies from public & private universities recruiting ESL,
undergrad and graduate international students
• Major takeaways
• Questions
What We Do – Marty – CollegeWeekLive
Enable online, live, and interactive
student engagement throughout the
enrollment process
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
CollegeWeekLive Partners

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Prevailing Trends: How to Engage International Students in Admissions

  • 1. Prevailing Trends: How To Engage International Students in Admissions NAFSA National Conference, May 28, 2015
  • 2. Presenters Marty Bennett Manager, International Partnerships Mitchell Chavez Associate Director of International Admissions Clayton Harmon International Recruitment & Admissions Coordinator
  • 3. Agenda Agenda • Introductions • Ruffalo Noel-Levitz Survey • key demographics • Poll the audience – interactive poll questions • Survey highlights • Case studies from public & private universities recruiting ESL, undergrad and graduate international students • Major takeaways • Questions
  • 4. What We Do – Marty – CollegeWeekLive Enable online, live, and interactive student engagement throughout the enrollment process
  • 5. 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
  • 7. 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
  • 8. 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
  • 9. 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?
  • 14. 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
  • 15. 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%
  • 16. 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)
  • 17. 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
  • 18. 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
  • 19. 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)
  • 20. 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
  • 21. 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
  • 22. Very influential Not at all influential Online Interactions Influencing Where Students Apply 4.09 3.98 3.61 3.56 3.54 3.53 3.4 3.35 4.19 4.07 3.67 3.74 3.56 3.52 3.54 3.48 1 1.5 2 2.5 3 3.5 4 4.5 5 Meet with admissions representative Meet with college representative College video presentation Meet with school counselor Virtual open house Virtual campus tour Meet with independent counselor/agent Virtual college fair Undergraduate Students Graduate Students Influential Somewhat influential Not very influential
  • 23. 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
  • 24. In-person Interactions with Top Choice College For Undergrads: 44% no in- person contact vs. 14% no online contact with top choice. 54% with 3 or more online contacts with top choice For Grads: 54% have no in- person interaction vs. 15% had no contact online w/ top choice. 47% will have had more than 3 contacts online. 44% 36% 15% 3% 3% 14% 32% 26% 11% 17% 0% 20% 40% 60% 80% 100% 0 1 to 2 3 to 5 6 to 10 More than 10 Undergraduate Students In-person Online 54% 32% 10% 2% 3% 15% 37% 25% 11% 11% 0% 20% 40% 60% 80% 100% 0 1 to 2 3 to 5 6 to 10 More than 10 Graduate Students In-person Online
  • 25. 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
  • 26. Parents Influence on Student’s Decision Prospective undergrads are increasingly more dependent on parents on their decisions! 50% 49% 1% 52% 47% 1% 0% 20% 40% 60% 80% 100% Student makes the decision Joint decision with parents Parents make the decision Graduate Students 2015 2014 56% 42% 2% 58% 40% 2% 61% 37% 2% 0% 20% 40% 60% 80% 100% Joint decision with parents Student makes the decision Parents make the decision Undergraduate Students 2015 2014 2013
  • 27. 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
  • 28. 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!
  • 29. University of Colorado, Denver Mr. Clay Harmon, Intl Recruitment & Admissions Coordinator (clayton.harmon@ucdenver.edu)
  • 30. 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
  • 31. 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  
  • 32. Pace University Ms. Mitchell Chavez, Associate Director, International Admissions (mchavez@pace.edu)
  • 33. Pace University • A private metropolitan university • Pace enrolls approximately 12,500 students in bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral programs: • Undergraduate: 8,336 • Graduate: 3,705 • Law Students: 731 • Student/Faculty ratio: 15:1 • International student enrollment (annual): 1,800+
  • 34. Pace University Lead Generators Online Services Social Media
  • 35. 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.
  • 37. Thank You! Presentation available online – via NAFSA mobile app & on Slideshare at: http://www.slideshare.net/martybennett/