Excellence in Community College Marketing

Recruiting Students Amid Growing Competition

Topics: Community College, Marketing and Branding, Enrollment Management

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Executive Summary

As community colleges nationwide respond to an influx of enrollment competition from for-profit and four-year institutions, college leaders face unprecedented pressure to revisit their marketing strategy.

This report explores how administrators can refine their college’s value proposition and align recruitment tactics with the needs of target student segments. It also explores strategies to optimize the college’s online presence through website design and social media.

  • Main Takeaways


    1. Declining enrollments and growing competition place new pressure on community colleges to redefine their marketing strategy.

    2. Well-branded dual enrollment programs allow colleges to recruit traditional-age students through existing high school partnerships.

    3. Recruitment strategies that appeal most to adult learners address the academic and personal barriers they face when returning to school.

    4. Colleges can no longer afford to ignore their web presence because prospective students increasingly seek college information online.

    5. Student staff and free monitoring tools allow marketing administrators to develop cost- and time-effective social media strategies.

    6. Administrators continuously evaluate marketing strategies to reallocate limited funds toward channels with the highest return on investment.