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—
The 5 C’s
of College
Choice.
“Boring.”
“Vague.”
“Generic.”
—
Students are often
overloaded by repetitive
college communication
that fail to answer their
questions or concerns.
—
The college’s approach
can be unbalanced,
incomplete, misleading,
or ordinary.
—
We’ve identified a set of
key factors that colleges
can use to connect best
with potential students and
their families.
The five core topics
’sTHE
Campus
—
EXPERIENCE
Career
—
OUTCOMES
Cost
—
VALUE
TRIGGERS
Curriculum
—
GOALS
Community
—
RELATIONSHIPS
MORE STUDENT-FOCUSED MORE FAMILY-FOCUSED
—
Diving
deeper.
Curriculum
—
GOALS
The academic goals that prospective students have
Curriculum
“I liked talking to my new professors and
to other students who are interested in
the same stuff I am.”
“I’d like to receive more emails about
various degree programs and majors.”
“Not only did they have my major, but
I could watch some rehearsals. It gave
me a perfect window into the academic
approach and experience.”
“The top thing I look for on each
college’s website are the majors.”
“I want to know they have my major,
but other options too in case I want to
switch it.”
“The reputation of the academics
is really important.”
Curriculum
think a prestigious
reputation is an
advantage
are interested in service
learning and volunteering
look for the ability to take
classes they need or want
32%59%
88%
Majors ranked as the
number one factor in
considering a college
or university.
83%
haven’t chosen a
program or major
50%
32%
Curriculum
3 4 5
Top Pick
Do you offer
the program I’m
interested in?
Options
Are there many
options if I want to
switch majors?
Reputation
Is the college or
professor well
known?
Real World
What experiences
enhance the
curriculum?
Rank
How does this
college compare to
others?
1 2
Campus
—
EXPERIENCE
Community experiences that enhance the overall college offer
Campus
“Visiting campus, I expected to see
places where students spend a lot of
time, studying or just hanging out.”
“I want to know there are things to do
off campus — cool places to hang out,
day trips I can do with my friends.”
“Eating in one of the cafeterias was
great. I got a sense of what I’d be eating
all year long.”
“All the campus tours seemed exactly
the same. Nothing stood out. It was just
about pointing out buildings.”
“I look at the location: something
unique that every other college isn’t also
bragging about.”
“Let us wander. Sometimes the best
social stuff is unorganized. Scoping out
cool places is more memorable.”
Campus
want to know about
popular places to
hang out with friends
want to know about places
to visit off campus.
are curious about food
options on campus
are curious about big
campus events
Prospective students
want to see pictures of
student life more than
any other subject.
78%
78%
83%
61%
Campus
Live
What off-campus
activities and
events are there?
Work
Are there
internships nearby?
Play
Where might I hang
out with friends?
Sleep
What are the dorms
and facilities like?
Eat
Do they have food
options that fit my
needs?
3 4 51 2
Community
—
RELATIONSHIPS
The relationships that provide a sense of belonging
Community
“Speaking to current students during
the campus tour was the best part. I got
a sense of the people there.”
“I first check out the campus online and
see if it’s a place that I can fit in.”
“We were given an introduction
by ‘student ambassadors’: horribly
overzealous and painfully awkward.”
“I prefer person-to-person contact. The
internet is convenient, but face to face
communication and research trumps
looking at a screen any day.”
“A sense of belonging is
really important to me.”
“I want somewhere that feels like home,
a place where I feel comfortable, and for
me, it’s all about the people.”
Community
are curious about
campus safety
are less likely to enroll
if they feel they don’t
fit in
want to know accessibility
to professors
need support services
Speaking with a
current student was
the only authentic
experience.
83%
80%
61% 62%
61%
Community
Belonging
Are there people
that think like me
so I can fit in?
Challenge
Will the people I
meet push me to
succeed?
Safety
Is there a culture
of safety and
inclusion?
Familiarity
Does it resemble
where I went to
high school?
Connections
Can I meet the
people that I’ll
interact with?
3 4 51 2
Career
—
OUTCOMES
The outcomes attached to pursuing a degree
Career
“I want to love what I do as a career. I
want to make a difference.”
“Real world experience and internships
are really imortant. I want to be
prepared for anything.”
“I want to make a difference, so I’m
attending college to get the education
I’ll need.”
“I have a lot of goals: internships, study
abroad, research opportunities. Those
will help me with my job search.”
“I want to make more money, plain and
simple.”
“I don’t want to get out and have all this
debt and a degree that’s meaningless.”
Career
want to have a city
nearby for internship
opportunities
view service learning as
necessary for a career
Professional outcome is
the number one value
of a degree
A job they will love is
more important than
financial security
Career preparedness
ranked 5th in
importance
73%83%
5th
❤
Career
Passion
Will I be able to get
a job in the field I
love?
Results
Will I see financial
gains from
attending college?
Experience
Will I be prepared
to interview for the
job?
Versatility
Will my degree
and experience be
flexible?
Reputation
Is the school
or program
prestigious?
3 4 51 2
Cost
—
VALUE
The value associated with the investment
Cost
“Finances made a large part in my
decision — a much larger part than
I was prepared for.”
“I looked for the best value:
cheapest, but enjoyable and offering
what I needed.”
“I looked over cost with my parents:
the financial aid package and
scholarship options.”
“The deciding factor was cost,
and how it was tied to location.”
“Cost to attend was one of my top
three factors. My parents emphasized
the importance of reviewing everything.”
“Initially I ask about how much it costs
to attend and whether they give out a
lot of scholarships.”
Cost
want a financial
aid calendar
want amounts of the
scholarships awarded
couldn’t attend their
first college of choice
because of cost need basic guidance
on financial aid and the
process
want info on average
academic scholarships
50%
50%
30%
60%
57%
Cost
Worth
What does the
college degree
provide me?
Profit
Will I be better off
for the investment?
Burden
How will I manage
to pay back the
debt I accrue?
Comparisons
What does one
school provide over
another?
Budget
Due to the cost, is
this school even an
option?
3 4 51 2
—
Redefining
recruitment.
of students apply
to and visit multiple
colleges as practice.
85%
• Students don’t know how to prepare 						
	 years in advance to apply to college.
	
• Students don’t know how to translate 							
	college terminology and jargon.
• Students don’t have all necessary 										
	information to evaluate colleges.
Know your best-fit students
and their influencers well.
Plot the student journey and
uncover ways to improve it.
Determine which tactics will
make the biggest impact.
Design seamless experiences
that build trust.
Attract attention for doing
something memorable.
1/ Audiences
2/ Journey
3/ Tactics
4/ Consistency
5/ Differentiate
Know your best-fit students
and their influencers well.
Plot the student journey and
uncover ways to improve it.
Determine which tactics will
make the biggest impact.
Design seamless experiences
that build trust.
Attract attention for doing
something memorable.
Engage each audience with
the right information.
Fix the places where the
student is dissatisfied.
Edit existing tactics and
keep the stronger ones.
Educate students earlier
and build a relationship.
Try something new and
distinct to stand out.
1/ Audiences
2/ Journey
3/ Tactics
4/ Consistency
5/ Differentiate
If you’re a higher education professional and
want to talk more about how we can help
craft your brand communications, email us:
kpalmer@ologie.com
building brands. with purpose.

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The 5 C's of College Choice

  • 1. — The 5 C’s of College Choice.
  • 5. — Students are often overloaded by repetitive college communication that fail to answer their questions or concerns.
  • 6. — The college’s approach can be unbalanced, incomplete, misleading, or ordinary.
  • 7. — We’ve identified a set of key factors that colleges can use to connect best with potential students and their families.
  • 8. The five core topics ’sTHE
  • 11. Curriculum — GOALS The academic goals that prospective students have
  • 12. Curriculum “I liked talking to my new professors and to other students who are interested in the same stuff I am.” “I’d like to receive more emails about various degree programs and majors.” “Not only did they have my major, but I could watch some rehearsals. It gave me a perfect window into the academic approach and experience.” “The top thing I look for on each college’s website are the majors.” “I want to know they have my major, but other options too in case I want to switch it.” “The reputation of the academics is really important.”
  • 13. Curriculum think a prestigious reputation is an advantage are interested in service learning and volunteering look for the ability to take classes they need or want 32%59% 88% Majors ranked as the number one factor in considering a college or university. 83% haven’t chosen a program or major 50% 32%
  • 14. Curriculum 3 4 5 Top Pick Do you offer the program I’m interested in? Options Are there many options if I want to switch majors? Reputation Is the college or professor well known? Real World What experiences enhance the curriculum? Rank How does this college compare to others? 1 2
  • 15. Campus — EXPERIENCE Community experiences that enhance the overall college offer
  • 16. Campus “Visiting campus, I expected to see places where students spend a lot of time, studying or just hanging out.” “I want to know there are things to do off campus — cool places to hang out, day trips I can do with my friends.” “Eating in one of the cafeterias was great. I got a sense of what I’d be eating all year long.” “All the campus tours seemed exactly the same. Nothing stood out. It was just about pointing out buildings.” “I look at the location: something unique that every other college isn’t also bragging about.” “Let us wander. Sometimes the best social stuff is unorganized. Scoping out cool places is more memorable.”
  • 17. Campus want to know about popular places to hang out with friends want to know about places to visit off campus. are curious about food options on campus are curious about big campus events Prospective students want to see pictures of student life more than any other subject. 78% 78% 83% 61%
  • 18. Campus Live What off-campus activities and events are there? Work Are there internships nearby? Play Where might I hang out with friends? Sleep What are the dorms and facilities like? Eat Do they have food options that fit my needs? 3 4 51 2
  • 20. Community “Speaking to current students during the campus tour was the best part. I got a sense of the people there.” “I first check out the campus online and see if it’s a place that I can fit in.” “We were given an introduction by ‘student ambassadors’: horribly overzealous and painfully awkward.” “I prefer person-to-person contact. The internet is convenient, but face to face communication and research trumps looking at a screen any day.” “A sense of belonging is really important to me.” “I want somewhere that feels like home, a place where I feel comfortable, and for me, it’s all about the people.”
  • 21. Community are curious about campus safety are less likely to enroll if they feel they don’t fit in want to know accessibility to professors need support services Speaking with a current student was the only authentic experience. 83% 80% 61% 62% 61%
  • 22. Community Belonging Are there people that think like me so I can fit in? Challenge Will the people I meet push me to succeed? Safety Is there a culture of safety and inclusion? Familiarity Does it resemble where I went to high school? Connections Can I meet the people that I’ll interact with? 3 4 51 2
  • 24. Career “I want to love what I do as a career. I want to make a difference.” “Real world experience and internships are really imortant. I want to be prepared for anything.” “I want to make a difference, so I’m attending college to get the education I’ll need.” “I have a lot of goals: internships, study abroad, research opportunities. Those will help me with my job search.” “I want to make more money, plain and simple.” “I don’t want to get out and have all this debt and a degree that’s meaningless.”
  • 25. Career want to have a city nearby for internship opportunities view service learning as necessary for a career Professional outcome is the number one value of a degree A job they will love is more important than financial security Career preparedness ranked 5th in importance 73%83% 5th ❤
  • 26. Career Passion Will I be able to get a job in the field I love? Results Will I see financial gains from attending college? Experience Will I be prepared to interview for the job? Versatility Will my degree and experience be flexible? Reputation Is the school or program prestigious? 3 4 51 2
  • 27. Cost — VALUE The value associated with the investment
  • 28. Cost “Finances made a large part in my decision — a much larger part than I was prepared for.” “I looked for the best value: cheapest, but enjoyable and offering what I needed.” “I looked over cost with my parents: the financial aid package and scholarship options.” “The deciding factor was cost, and how it was tied to location.” “Cost to attend was one of my top three factors. My parents emphasized the importance of reviewing everything.” “Initially I ask about how much it costs to attend and whether they give out a lot of scholarships.”
  • 29. Cost want a financial aid calendar want amounts of the scholarships awarded couldn’t attend their first college of choice because of cost need basic guidance on financial aid and the process want info on average academic scholarships 50% 50% 30% 60% 57%
  • 30. Cost Worth What does the college degree provide me? Profit Will I be better off for the investment? Burden How will I manage to pay back the debt I accrue? Comparisons What does one school provide over another? Budget Due to the cost, is this school even an option? 3 4 51 2
  • 32. of students apply to and visit multiple colleges as practice. 85%
  • 33. • Students don’t know how to prepare years in advance to apply to college. • Students don’t know how to translate college terminology and jargon. • Students don’t have all necessary information to evaluate colleges.
  • 34. Know your best-fit students and their influencers well. Plot the student journey and uncover ways to improve it. Determine which tactics will make the biggest impact. Design seamless experiences that build trust. Attract attention for doing something memorable. 1/ Audiences 2/ Journey 3/ Tactics 4/ Consistency 5/ Differentiate
  • 35. Know your best-fit students and their influencers well. Plot the student journey and uncover ways to improve it. Determine which tactics will make the biggest impact. Design seamless experiences that build trust. Attract attention for doing something memorable. Engage each audience with the right information. Fix the places where the student is dissatisfied. Edit existing tactics and keep the stronger ones. Educate students earlier and build a relationship. Try something new and distinct to stand out. 1/ Audiences 2/ Journey 3/ Tactics 4/ Consistency 5/ Differentiate
  • 36. If you’re a higher education professional and want to talk more about how we can help craft your brand communications, email us: kpalmer@ologie.com