Category Archives: international student recruiting

Carnival of College Admissions

This is the first time goSwoop has hosted the Carnival of College Admissions.  I hope you enjoy all the links that the participants have shared.


I spent a majority of last week working out of the office vs. the typical Boston cafe circuit.  I thought it would help me concentrate.  I consciously decided not to fire up Pandora, Tweet Deck, GMail, multiple Gchat windows and stay away from the steady flow of people looking for a seat with an outlet.  My conclusion; I think I may be a lost cause.   Elizabeth King from Elizabeth Online had some advice for students on Building Concentration for Testing, so I tested it out.  You should too!

If  you are suffering from information overload there are some really helpful tools that can help.  I don’t know about you, but I personally only really want to consume content that is relevant and I care about.  Two really helpful tools you might want to try that have reduced information overload for me are  Google Reader and using an RSS feed to read your favorite blog.

It’s summer and many of us will inevitably spend a lot of time in front of our computer screens which may call for a little inspiration at times.  Sarah Scrafford put together a list of 100 Incredibly Inspiring Blog Posts for Educators that is sure to provide you with a few laughs and give you the boost of motivation you need.

Choosing a Program: CIS, MBA & Medical

Below you will find links to programs students should consider pursuing.  Sarah Scrafford from Computer Colleges recently posted an article on 100 Open Courses on Computer Information Systems and Security.

Adam Markus, the Graduate Admissions Guru, talks about why ranking matters and what to consider when looking at the Rankings For the 41 “Top 20” MBA Programs Worldwide.

For students who are unsure of what program to pursue, The College Planning Coach offers a great perspective on Important College Admission Step: A Surprising Career Opportunity for Michigan Youth using the lack of physicians in the state of Michigan as a case study.

It’s all about the Benjamin’s:

Our economic situation has forced us all to think much more about fiscal decision making and that reins true for decisions about paying for college.  The Smarter Wallet outlines Paying for College: How To Pay For School On Your Own.  The article lists out the opportunities you should explore when deciding how to pay for college.

With four year college tuition prices increasing, you might expect students protest for a tuition freeze, right?  Guess again, Mark Montgomery authored an article about University students pushing for Tuition Increases.

Traditionally students who can not afford full tuition at a four year institution consider attending community college because it is much less expensive.  But before exploring that route you should check out  the article written by Maria Garza from Wiser Side of Life who helps us understand The Hidden Cost of Community College.

Peter Baron from Admissions Quest shares an article titled Steady Application Numbers- Increased Aid Applications: Confirmation of what we’ve been hearing.

And alas, there are always scholarships for those students who are motivated.  This week we’re sharing an article by College Degrees to build awareness that Distance Education Programs Offer Scholarships.

Other Cool Articles:

It is always good to see which celebrities have invested in a solid education.  Check out 10 Hot Celebrities Who Got their MBA or Business Degree MBA Info.

Check out an aticle by Ruoall Chapman on Everything you need to know about how to Make Online Beats.

Are you a big documentary film watcher?  Check out the 15 Best Websites for Free Documentaries by Ace Online Schools.

Add a book to your reading list on Studying Success in Education: Jay Mathews? Work Hard, Be Nice.

Photo by: William K. Daby


Technology and International Student Recruiting Meet-Up #3

logo_821Tech & Int’l Student Recruiting Meetup #3 was held this evening at Suffolk University and there was a lot to cover after last month’s cancellation due to heavy snow. However, April showers did not hinder the dedicated from showing up tonight.

It was great to hear from the admissions recruiter and social media specialist from Bentley University on how they are integrating social media in int’l student recruiting. Search Marketing Specialist from iProspect shared valuable insight about establishing a strategy to measure SM initiatives.  And we discussed process mapping to gain a better understanding of where prospective students and their parents are living on the web and how to engage with them more effectively with social media tools.

Thanks to everyone who came despite the rain, hope to see you all next month. Big thanks also to George Comeau and Suffolk University for providing a great location and space for us to meet.

Very much looking forward to seeing you all Monday, May 18th for Tech & Int’l Student Recruiting #4.

Links from April 6th discussion:
BlueFuego – The Web in Higher Education: What’s Different?
Stanford University YouTube Channel
SXSW Education thread on Twitter #SXSWED

Recession Woes in Recruting? Get Personal with Prospective Students

As the economy continues to affect the ability of prospective international students (and domestic students for that matter) to afford tuition, we all know how important it is to turn as many accepted students as possible into deposits. NPR has an ongoing series this week investigating the impact of the economy on higher education. One of the pieces titled, Colleges Work Harder to Lure New Students shows how some schools are employing traditional marketing initiatives to create personal connections with accepted students.

Let’s take a look at one of the techniques described in this article and see how we might be able to enhance it through the use of social media!

Becker College in Worcester, MA is having a group of freshman students call prospective students encouraging them to apply to the school as well as calling accepted students and selling them on enrolling in the school. This is an absolutely great idea because it is all about creating personal connections. Current students are able to answer any questions the prospective student may have about the social life, academics, ect. while being able to have a great impact on the decision making of the student due to their ability to easily relate to one another as students.

So how can we take this model and potentially make it more effective? The millennial generation prospective student thrives off of personal connection. If you don’t believe me ask one of your students how many friends they have on Facebook, AIM, MSN Instant Messenger, cell phone book and so on. These millennials love to interact quickly whether it is a status update on Facebook, a wall post on Facebook, text message, a chat conversation on AIM, etc.

So if this is the type of conversation that these prospective students embrace why not get in touch with them this way as well as over the phone?

One idea is to continue leveraging the ability of your current students to personally connect with your prospective students via social networks. Have your current students ‘friend’ these prospective students on Facebook and Orkut and begin conversations that way. This medium of connection can prove to be so much more effective becuase not only can students verbally interact but they can share links to blogs, videos, podcasts, websites, Facebook page, online applicatoin and any other convincing material you want to share with prospective students.

It’s also important to understand how effective the results can be when we the admissions office take the initiative to get in touch with students! Think about this point when you are creating your Facebook page, YouTube channel, podcast page, blog and aren’t getting the results that you expected.

In order to achieve results we need to take the initiative to get in touch with our audience! If we can take anything away from this difficult recessionary period it should be to realize how effective our recruiting can be when we make an effort to get personal with our prospective students!

Photo by Aussiegall

Technology and International Student Recruiting April Meetup

global_70354191The Technology and International Student Recruiting Meetup facilitates an open discussion about ways US college admissions offices can use the social web to more effectively engage and recruit international students.

Our objective is to share a wide variety of perspectives in a conversation that includes social media gurus, current international students, admissions recruiters, college marketing folks, entrepreneurs and web developers. We believe these conversations can help pioneer the next generation of international student recruiting and ultimately reinvent the way US colleges recruit students from around the world.

With the cancellation of the March Meetup due to snow, we have a lot to cover from the last two months in Technology and International Student Recruiting. I thought we ought to get the conversation started early to have a direction for the April 6th Meetup.

Twitter and Facebook seem to command the attention in most of the conversations I am involved in lately. The response to the new Facebook page design seems mixed. Personally, I am comfortable with it. I would be interested to hear how it has affected you. Information overload? How do you feel about having no real control over the changes that were made if you put a lot of resources into your old FB page?

Has Twitter hit mainstream status? In the social media community “so what’s next” seems to be a phrase I hear more and more often. If Twitter has gone mainstream what does that mean for us? How powerful is Twitter as a tool and how are you using it?

What about interactive video? Lets talk about how we can use qik, Seesmic, PermissionTV and YouTube.

Anyone want to chime in on the elephant in the room that is the economy? Lots of talk about reform in Higher Education with the Obama Administration. What does this all mean for US college and university international recruiting efforts?

Please join the preliminary discussion. Looking forward to hearing your perspective and seeing you all on April 6th!

We ask only that you bring a willingness to share your experience and ideas with the group. We encourage you to come with questions and look forward to having you join the conversation!


Networking & Refreshments (WHOLE FOODS)

6:30p – 8:00
Discussion (topics decided by group)
Please feel free to submit discussion topics prior to the Meetup!

8:00p – 8:30p

73 Tremont Street
Amenities Conference Center
Boston, MA 02108

Hope to see you there!

You Don’t Have to Use it Yet; Just Be Open to Social Media

I was at the Social Media Club – Boston event last night where the topic of conversation was “Change dot Gov”.  The panel included Brad Blake, the Director of New Media Strategy for the commonwealth of Massachusetts, Matt Viser, a political reporter for the Globe, Brian Reich, a consultant, author, blogger and State Senator Jennifer L. Flanagan.

While listening to the panel, I was struck by how similar the rhetoric used by State Senator  Jennifer Flanagan was to some of the admissions offices I talk to.  Senator Flanagan, while having a constituency that includes an older demographic argued that she receives enough e-mails, talks to enough people while out and about in her community and through the use of her website and blog views Social Media as yet another tool that requires too much time without providing enough benefit for her constituents.

I think her argument can transition well into the international student recruiting space.  Like Senator Flanagan some of our offices may be concentrating our recruiting efforts in countries where students don’t have the same kind of access to the internet or high bandwidth as the developed nations.  This means we don’t need to start using certain tools of social media  just yet because let’s face it, we will be wasting our time.  However this barrier to using social media by developing nations will soon be knocked down.

So how should this affect the way our offices embrace social media?  We need to stay on top of what’s available and how it works. Our prospective students are only becoming more knowledgeable digital natives meaning they have grown up using all this great Internet technology, especially web 2.0 technology.   While next year and the year after prospective students may not require you to engage them exclusively through social media there will come a time where that will be the only way to effectively recruit.

Twitter for example may in fact be the worst tool to recruit international students right now but as it’s global popularity grows, agents in developing nations will begin to pick it up, potential university partners will pick it up, prospective students and so on.  So jump on Twitter and get used to how it works.  Understand how it can be used as a viral tool.  Understand how you can meet new people and develop relationships using it.

My recommendation to admissions offices is not to worry too much about using all the tools right now but to keep up with what’s out there and more importantly how these tools work!

Photo by David Ohmer

I Don’t Have Time for Social Media

“I don’t have time for social media!”

Have you heard these words come out of your mouth?

We can spend hours creating and editing blog posts, sharing links, uploading photos and streaming live video.  The many possibilities to get involved with social media can seem to be daunting and a huge time suck if there is no understanding of why we are doing all of this.

Interactive Marketing Strategist, Stephen Dill (@srdill) tells us about his initial resistance to Social Media.

(Please hold computer sideways to view this video)

After spending a little time with his mentor Aaron Strout, Stephen found Twitter to be his answer.  He could spending 24-48 writing and rewriting  ‘perfect’ blog posts, until he discovered he could produce multiple 140 character updates and maintain the level of quality on Twitter in much less time.  Twitter is not necessarily the answer for everyone, but for Stephen it made a lot of sense because he was spending so much time reworking blog posts.

Twitter facilitates millions of conversations and it is important to  understand what conversations we want to be part of and who cares about what we have to say.  If used properly, Twitter can be a real time saver  because it allows us to cut through unwanted clutter,  follow people talking about things we want to know about, and directly engage in conversations with the people who care about what we have to say.

At a recent Social Media Meetup I heard an interesting piece of advice for graduating college students. The panelist said, “If you are interviewing with a potential employer and they have no plans to using social media, run for the door as quickly as you can because that company will not survive.”

So, if you hear yourself saying “I don’t have time for social media”, the time is now to start developing a strategy, setting goals and understanding how to use the tools available to participate in the conversation!

Developing Personal Relationships Results in More Effective Student Recruiting

Life is all about relationships.

I recently had a conversation with an admissions recruiter at a school in Boston and our conversation turned to how she became so effective at recruiting international students.  She told me that her success was a symptom of her ability to connect with prospective students and their families.  To get students to apply and ultimately attend her school she never regurgitated her university’s talking points and facts but rather took time to get to know each prospective student on a personal level.

Her conversations with students were about her family, her life, her experiences of traveling around the world.  She would ask prospective students’ about their lives, dreams, motivations and goals.  After taking the time to have a conversation that was not merely ‘small talk’, the student and their family would start asking questions about the school she represented.  That’s right, by taking the time to create a personal connection, the student would begin to ask unprompted questions about her school leading to a submitted application and many times a deposit!

So if personal relationships help us recruit quality prospective international students, how can we create more personal relationships without having to spend excessive amounts of money to travel around the world?

Embrace the conversations that students are trying to have with you on social networks!  Today’s prospective student, without being conscious of it, loves to develop relationships.  This can be seen with the phenomenal popularity of social networks.  Students live on social networks, spending hours leaving comments on their friends’ profiles, photos, blogs, etc.  They ask and answer questions in forums about how to get a student visa or how to beat the SAT exam.  They update their status on Facebook and Twitter.  The point is that with social networks, today’s prospective students are more personal than ever and we need to embrace this fact.

We as admissions offices need to gain the confidence of today’s prospective international student today more than ever before.  If we want to attract the top talent to our schools we need to respond to their comments and questions we need to comment on their content, we need to get conversations started, we need to share our lives and create personal connections.

To get personal we need to do more than put up a Facebook page, more than direct students to our website, more than write e-mails.  We need to interact, communicate and get personal with our prospective international students!