Reaching "Search and Shop" Students: Part I

Creating Differentiated Messages and Services for Recruiting Career Changers

Topics: Enrollment Management, Marketing and Branding, Admissions, Academic Affairs

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About the Webconference

It’s now a necessity for COE units to provide all “must know” program details online, as prospects expect immediate answers while comparing schools. However, the unintended consequence of providing near-perfect information online  is obviating the prospects’ need to interact with the institution. COE units report stealth applicants are on the rise, typically in at least the 30-40% range and as high as 85%. Many worry that stealth applicants are representative of a larger challenge: just as prospects’ wider range of decision cycles, re-entry points, and motivations render “one size fits all” recruiting untenable, students are “shopping” different institutions online without program and recruiting staff even knowing they were interested. By the time prospective students have appeared on the institution’s radar, they’ve likely already made a choice—meaning countless other prospects decided to go elsewhere without the institution’s knowledge that they might have been persuadable earlier on in the decision cycle.

This session is the first in a three-part webconference series that will examine how leading universities are crafting communications and services designed to involve themselves earlier in prospective students’ decision process. Realizing that prospective students need information not only on whether they should select a specific degree or certificate—but also on the more complicated decision of whether to change careers—COE innovators are crafting marketing messages and program services to help prospective students weigh the costs, risks, benefits, and likelihood of breaking into a new field.

Key questions addressed in this session:

  • How do institutions ensure their program stays top of mind for prospects through potentially long decision cycles?
  • What types of website content do career-changers find most effective?
  • How do leading institutions increase prospects’ likelihood of having meaningful, one-on-one conversations with recruitment or program staff?
  • For more on how to reach "search and shop" students, watch Part II of this webconference series.

Presenter: Brian Ackerman

View the On-Demand Presentation

Watch the video Stream video recording