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A10: Strategies for Recruiting High-Ability Students Michael Hovland, ACT, IA Mark Dunn, Yale University, CT Ron McFall, Indiana University–Bloomington,

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Presentation on theme: "A10: Strategies for Recruiting High-Ability Students Michael Hovland, ACT, IA Mark Dunn, Yale University, CT Ron McFall, Indiana University–Bloomington,"— Presentation transcript:

1 A10: Strategies for Recruiting High-Ability Students Michael Hovland, ACT, IA Mark Dunn, Yale University, CT Ron McFall, Indiana University–Bloomington, IN Jonathan Wehner, Case Western Reserve University, OH Matthew Ellis, Arizona State University, AZ

2 Focus of Today’s Session We’ll discuss how home location, family income, level of parent education, and student degree goals affect the enrollment preferences and the enrollment behaviors of high-ability students We’ll look at the academic interests of high-ability students We’ll discuss college environments where high- ability students thrive and recruitment strategies to attract them

3 Pool Size for Research High School Graduating Class of 2012 –1,666,017 ACT-tested students –1,172,602 enrolled in college (70.4%) –213,426 ACT-tested with ACT Comp. Score of 28-36 –184,571 enrolled in college (86.5%) We have indications that the number of students scoring 28-36 has grown significantly in the past several years

4 Definition of Selectivity for This Research The approximate mid-point ACT Composite Score for Enrolled Students: Highly selectiveACT Comp >=28 Moderately selectiveACT Comp 24-27 Less selectiveACT Comp <=23 Test score not required –Combination of open admission and a few test optional

5 Limitations of the Research Behind Today’s Presentation A high percentage of high-ability students enroll at highly selective institutions But we don’t have data on where students apply and whether or not they are admitted So, we don’t know whether some high-ability students did not attend highly-selective institutions because they chose not to apply or because they weren’t admitted.

6 Enrollment Intentions and Behaviors of High-Ability Students We’ll be looking at ways we can identify student enrollment intentions and how the intentions carry through to actual enrollments Institutions can use this information in two ways: –(1) You can target students more likely to enroll at your institution, or –(2) You can actively try to change the enrollment behaviors of high-ability students less likely to enroll

7 Differentiating Characteristics Among High Ability Students Student home location Family Income Level of parent education Lifetime degree plans

8 Selectivity Index Scores by ACT Composite Score Ranges

9 Selectivity of College Attended by ACT Composite Score, 2012

10 The Relationship Between Student Ability and College Selectivity The data suggest clearly that as ability levels rise, students are more likely to attend more selective institutions When that doesn’t happen, what are possible explanations? –We get important clues from differences in student enrollment intentions when examined by (1) where students live, (2) family income, (3) level of parent education, and (4) degree plans

11 Home Location Is Predictive of Enrollment Behavior There are clear differences in student enrollment preferences and behaviors by these locations: –Rural –Town –Suburban –Urban When we use the term “home location” in this presentation, we refer to the location of a student’s high school.

12 Students with ACT Comp 28-36: Selectivity of Enrolled College by Home location

13 Characteristics of High-Ability Students from Rural Areas and Smaller Towns In contrast to students from urban and suburban areas, high-ability students from rural areas and small towns: –Have lower median miles to enrolled college –Are less likely to enroll out of state –At all income levels, less likely to attend: a highly selective college a college out of state a 4-year private college

14 Parent/Guardian Level of Education Is Predictive of Enrollment Behavior As parent/guardian level of education increases… –The percent of students who prefer to attend and attend out of state increases –Students prefer to attend and attend college farther from home –Students are more likely to attend selective and highly selective institutions

15 Students with ACT Comp 28-36: Selectivity of Enrolled College by Level of Parent Education

16 Student Degree Aspirations Are Predictive of Enrollment Behavior As student degree aspirations increase… –The percent of students who prefer to attend and attend out of state increases –Students enroll farther from home –The percent of students who prefer to attend a 4-year private college increases

17 Intended Educational Majors High-ability students have very different educational major interests than lower-ability students

18 Intended Major Categories by Frequency Rank for ACT Composite 28-36

19 Search Criteria to Identify the Enrollment Intentions of High-Ability Students Student geographical location Preferred distance from home to campus Parent/guardian level of education Highest degree expected Family income

20 Keys for Recruiting High-Ability Students: Less Selective Institutions Less selective institutions will have more recruitment success with high ability students: –Who live in-state and who live closer to campus –Who prefer to attend college closer to home –Who live in rural areas and smaller towns –From lower and middle-income families –With lower levels of parent education –With lower degree goals

21 Keys for Recruiting High-Ability Students: More Selective Institutions More selective institutions will have more recruitment success with high ability students: –Who prefer to attend college farther from home –Who live in suburban and urban areas –From higher income families –With higher levels of parent education –With higher degree goals All of the above are especially true if you are recruiting out-of-state students

22 Yale University Office of Undergraduate Admissions Mark Dunn ’07 Director of Outreach & Recruitment Yale University Office of Undergraduate Admissions

23 Outreach Context Search: ~100,000 prospects per class (nearly all domestic) PSAT + ACT – 70% Cappex + Zinch - 15% Other Inquiries – 10% QuestBridge – 5% Applicants: ~ 30,000 freshman applicants per class Admitted Students: ~2,000 (6.8% admission rate) Freshman Class: ~1,350 (68% yield rate)

24 Student Outreach Experience In-Person -Campus Visit -Evening Information Sessions -School Visits Mail + Web -Search Letter -Viewbook -Email Campaigns -Social Media + Virtual Tour Themes: Authoritative but authentic student voice. Accessibility of resources. Peers as Yale’s best resource. My Mantra: “Talk to them like adults. Fun adults.”

25 Student Outreach Experience In-Person - Campus Visit: ~15,000-20,000 prospects annually 3 Part Campus Visit Experience: 1.Information Session (No script. No PowerPoint.) 2.Campus Tour (No script. No assigned route. ) 3.Student Forum (No parents. No admissions officers. No trained students. “Discuss amongst yourselves”) The Secret Sauce? Trust.

26 Student Outreach Experience Mail + Web -Search Letter – Mailed to ~80,000 prospects “Talk to them like adults.”

27 Student Outreach Experience Mail + Web -Viewbook– sent to all search letter recipients. Student voices. Separate text, stats, and images. 125 pages. @prince_ocey says “Sifting through this junk college mail and found something worthwhile…it’s Yale University. Best college mail yet!!! #college #happy #yale #messy #awesome”

28 Student Outreach Experience Mail + Web -Email Campaigns: Series of 4 to ~100,000 prospects. Authoritative student voice (written in collaboration). Much shorter and less linear than search letter, but still text-driven. Includes social media nudges. Capitalize on, but don’t exploit natural curiosity about selective admissions. “Talk to them like adults. Fun adults.”

29 Student Outreach Experience Mail + Web -Social Media + Virtual Tour: Facebook + Tumblr Produced in-house with students and admissions officers. Tumbler posts = 2x Facebook. Active engagement with university social media strategy. Virtual tour Promoted in all emails. Real Yale student guides. Translations available.

30 Supplemental Campaigns Low-Income -2 postcards with average net price info + fee waiver guidelines. -Driven by Hoxby research. URM -Diversity Viewbook: -17 pages. Not solely focused on racial/ethnic diversity STEM -Science & Engineering Viewbook -45 pages. Focused on student, alumni and professor profiles.

31 Our Perspective -The Yale name can make a student open our viewbook or email. Our job is open that student’s mind about Yale. -Academic strength/fit isn’t given, but it isn’t these students’ sole focus either. -Questions we try to answer before they’re asked: -Who goes there? -What are classes like? -What is the real experience like? -What do students do for fun? -What do you look for in an application? -How could I ever – in a million years – afford to go there? -Current students are the best salespeople. Facilitate these interactions and get out of the way.

32 Indiana University Office of Scholarships Ron McFall Interim Director

33 Indiana University - Bloomington Bloomington, IN Flagship campus Public research university Fall 2013 enrollment 31,984 undergraduates 58% resident 42% non-resident

34 Office of Scholarships Created in 2007 Result of new leadership and campus task force Scholarships were seen as “everyone’s job and no one’s job” New strategy to align award administration with changing recruitment goals Recruitment office targeting scholarship-eligible students Separate from Admissions and Financial Aid

35 Enrollment Management Structure Office of Enrollment Management Vice Provost, David Johnson Admissions Admissions Operations Strategic Communication & Marketing Scholarships First Year Experience Programs Administration & Fiscal Affairs Associate Vice Provost & Registrar Office of the Registrar Student Financial Assistance Strategic Planning & Research Student Service Center

36 Key Recruitment Strategies Merit scholarship recruitment Personalized outreach Scholar recruitment events Regional recruitment

37 Merit Scholarship Recruitment IU Achievement Scholarships (new for 2014) Assessed at time of admission November 1 deadline Interactive award letter Replaces previous “automatic” model Projected 8,000+ offers for 2014 class Selective Scholarship Application (SSA) Custom online app used by top IU schools Built for student at time of admission November 1 deadline 22% of admits receive an SSA invitation Opportunity for additional offers and personal outreach

38 Merit Scholarship Recruitment IU Foundation Scholarships Leverage donor funds for recruitment Modified award process and timeline Additional recruitment touch for yield Flexibility in targeting key markets New stewardship program for 2014 Enhanced award communication Consolidated award letter March 1 scholarship posting date Focus on net cost and financial literacy Targeting scholars with known aid 21 st Century Scholars Program Development of dynamic award notifications

39 Personalized Communication Stripes campaign “You’ve Earned your Stripes” Web/social media/print Launch in late fall IU scarf sent to over 3,500 top scholarship recipients “Show us your Stripes” photo contest Winner selected by current IU scholars

40 Personalized Communication State Campaign Interactive map and microsite Custom postcards Ten target markets National presence Introduce and inform Focus on key academic programs Scholarship Advisory Committee (SAC) Current IU scholars Assist with recruitment, marketing, and other projects Attend events and speak with prospective students Personalized event follow up

41 Scholar Recruitment Events IU Game Days Football tailgate event for high ability rising seniors Free tickets, t-shirts, and other IU freebies Prospects and admits Campus partners and admissions Mingle with current IU students “Snap a Scholar” VIP Visits Personalized campus visit day program Meetings with faculty and opportunity to attend an IU lecture Lunch with current students and staff

42 Scholar Recruitment Events IU Scholar Receptions Signature yield event Formal celebration of scholarship recipients Speech from Director, Vice Provost, and current student Highlight key academic programs Gifts for students and families in attendance Seven markets annually South Florida and Los Angeles new for 2014

43 Regional Recruitment New staff (Admissions) placed in Chicago, California, and New York Strengthens pipeline Promotes awareness of programs Hoosier Hospitality Hosted by Admissions Targeted populations Pilot year - Chicago and New York Dynamic region-specific messaging Market trends SAC event follow-up for multiple key markets

44 Outcomes

45 Improved class profile 2013 class is most academically talented in IU history Coincides with overall enrollment growth Merit scholarship impact Substantial SSA growth in completed applications (24%) Positive yield trends for targeted populations (donor funds) Hutton Honors College profile 29% growth for incoming class over 2012 Largest freshman class in Honors College history (1,050) Influential scholar recruitment events Strong deposit rates for IU Scholar Receptions Indianapolis (81%), Cincinnati (69%), and Chicago (67%) Growth in key non-resident markets 1 of of every 7 incoming freshmen now from Chicago area 17% app growth for 2013 in our key non-resident markets

46 Future Directions Development and growth of non-resident markets Deeper yield assessment on recipient populations Expanded CRM initiatives New parent communications Innovate, not saturate Leverage changing profile Further utilize data to shift campus scholarship culture

47 4,400 undergraduate students Arts and Sciences; Engineering; Nursing; Business Management ACT Middle 50%: 29-33

48 Recruiting to Desirable Programs Intended Major Categories by Frequency Rank for ACT Composite 28-36: Undecided Health Sci. & Techno. Engineering Sciences: Biological and Physical

49 Recruiting to Desirable Programs Less than 25% of our students are outside the listed range. Competing with other top programs for high ability students. Campaigns introduced after dropping yield or applications in key areas.

50 Recruiting to Desirable Programs CWRU direct mail campaign: 3 campaigns: Nursing, Engineering, Science and Mathematics Fall senior year Multi-touch Focused on program differentiators

51 Recruiting to Desirable Programs Email campaigns: 3 campaigns: Nursing, Management, Pre-med Bi-monthly Highlighting program differentiators, rankings, current events


53 Retain High-Ability Students Weekly email newsletter: Specifically to engage first-year students Delivered Thursday evening 9 stories, 1 video Focused on navigating campus resources and events taking place the following week

54 Retain High-Ability Students First-year portal: Mirrors stories from newsletter Divided into categories: live – housing, student activities, neighborhood life; manage – billing, financial aid, registration; learn – academic programs Internal marketing

55 A New American University Matthew Ellis Director of Freshman Admission Arizona State University


57 Access 76,000 total enrollment 54,333 undergraduates 38,712 freshman applicants 27,488 admits 10,377 incoming freshmen 58% resident / 42% non- resident 5 campus locations General University Admission Criteria 16 core competencies & AZ Residents Non-residents




61 63% of residents in the top quarter of their class 31% first generation 25.6% from low income households

62 Excellence 1,500+ freshman entering Barrett, the Honors College 4,100+ total program enrollment 70% resident, 30% non-resident 700 National Merit, Hispanic and Achievement Scholars Approx 230 per incoming class Repeatedly ranked as a top honors program in the nation 5 th in the nation for production of Fulbright Scholars Tied with Yale and UC Berkeley

63 Strategy Work like one university…think like five Very specific enrollment targets by program, college, campus, Barrett, geomarket and ability bands. Specific National Scholar and Flinn Scholar goals Targeted segmentation at search by academic program, campus environment and ability. +500,000 suspects – 24 ability and environment segments, then interests and geomarket Integrated multi-source marketing initiatives Cooperative recruitment teams across university departments High touch personal attention 120,000 outbound personal phone calls Residential college model influences experienced based marketing initiatives

64 Plans Search 8 email and 2 print cycle Travel: 1,600 high school visits and college fairs in the fall 25 nationwide ASU events Prospect High variable content email campaign / 7-10 mailings Monthly program/college communication VIP program Applicant Multi-step rapid response personal contact model in CRM Admit Combined university and admitted college communication flow Private social network Enrollment coaching program

65 Plans High ability campus visit fly-ins Personal communication from the president and the provost Personally selected books to top admits College based academy programs Experience and outcomes heavy messaging Top 5 university for recruiting graduates –Wall Street Journal Top 100 university in the world Center for World University Rankings Academic Rankings of World Universities 5 th for Fulbright Scholars Undergraduate Research Successful alumni Top university for student entrepreneurship Phoenix as an internship capital

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