A Memorable Campus Visit and Welcome Experience Is Crucial to Your Enrollment Success.

Maclaine Kuehn  |  April 8th, 2024

There has never been a more challenging time for higher education enrollment. The “cliff” in traditional-aged students, combined with questioning the efficacy of college in an unprecedented job market means that admission offices face massive competition and real challenges to meet goals. The solution is to engage prospective students and their families in powerful, memorable ways. Once students enroll, the goal is to get them integrated and involved so that they stay.

It’s not a new challenge, it’s just harder than ever. We believe that higher education leaders can’t leave this engagement and integration to chance. Here’s why we’ve stepped up at Bandwango to offer the technology that has powered millions of experiences to help meet these enrollment and student success goals.

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The power of customized, curated experiences can help you meet key student recruitment goals.

Students rank location and quality of life as their top campus and student life factors when choosing a college. These factors are generally the same for full-time, on-campus, and part-time/hybrid students. The impression students have of what life will be like on campus and in town means a lot.

This means you have a powerful moment in the student recruitment process to show the surrounding community of your town or city and what life is like on campus. If you plan to rely on prospective students to piece that all together themselves, or for your tour guides to always tell the story completely, you’re leaving a lot to chance. That’s where putting a curated experience together for students is crucial.

An experience pass is much more like a curated passport, tailored to your goals of telling the story of what’s available and matching to the student’s needs. You can assemble attractions, restaurants, and activities with local business partners, and group them with opportunities right on campus to tell a powerful story of what life is like every day on your campus. It’s about not leaving this crucial impression to chance, and putting the best engagement opportunities front and center with students.

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Cultural and social activities power student retention and success. Technology can fuel them.

That inclusive and inviting experience shouldn’t stop once students enroll. We know from research that students are more likely to report a positive college experience if they engage in orientation activities and actively engage early in their college experience. The chance to meet a diverse group of fellow students, and integrate into the community is crucial, especially in the first year. But how do we get students out into the community, out to activities, and off their screens?

The answer is using the screens themselves. Social media can greatly increase the impact of events, especially when it harnesses influence engagement and gamification. The data you can collect from current students can help you determine where to invest in future events. But you can’t make that happen unless your experiences are curated in a central platform. That’s a key component of the experience pass architecture we’ve created for colleges and universities.

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Technology helps you stand out from the crowd in the campus visit experience.

You’re facing significant competition, especially for traditional-age students. Low-friction technology like the Common Application has caused college applications to skyrocket, and the number of schools students apply to rose 8% last year and they look to be rising even more this year. On average, you’re competing with about 5 other schools and 3-4 schools that a student will visit. How will you stand out from the crowd?

When you make it onto a student’s mobile device, you’re in. That’s right, with an experience pass, you’ve crossed the crucial barrier of becoming part of a student and their family’s life. You’re “sticky,” and less likely to be lost in the mix with other campuses. If they take advantage of the pass and snap some pics at a restaurant, cultural event, or museum, you’ve gone even further.

Getting an application and convincing a student to visit used to be they key goal in the recruitment process. At today’s level of enrollment competition, the holy grail is making it onto their device and being featured in their social media feed. That requires an exciting experience that’s worthy of mention.

Image below: College application numbers are rising rapidly – how will you stand out from the crowd? Source: CollegeMatchPoint.com

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Make your campus visit something to remember with a campus experience pass.

This technology is cost-effective and the Bandwango team does the bulk of the work. We have decades of experience powering millions of experiences, and we’re excited to bring this expertise to help meet the mission of higher education. Book a demo today so we can hear about your goals, and how leaning into the power of experiences can help you meet them.