According to a recent study, nearly 1/3 of all undergraduate students are transfer students. 1/3. That’s an astonishing number. Think of the opportunity this represents! Now, given that number, take a step back and think on what your transfer student process is? Are you doing everything you can to create a sense of place for these students? Do you have sufficient resources, and messages, directed at this population? With admissions teams wearing more and more hats – addressing, and prioritizing, transfer student engagement can fall by the wayside. It can be difficult to segment out your messages and campaigns to distinct audiences – but it is so important because, transfer students need to be treated differently.
Today’s transfer student
It should come as no surprise that transfer students need to be addressed differently than your freshman intake. Transfer students are typically already juggling school work and have a sense for what the college experience is about. But more importantly, they likely do not have the schedule flexibility necessary to attend a weekly open house, or even meet with an advisor. With this in mind, it’s important to take advantage of engagement opportunities where students can connect with you on their schedule. Consider weekly online chats or online events.
Once you have a sense for how you will communication with this population – now you’re on to the “what.” The good news is we have a number of partners that work in this space, and have already pulled together a list of recommended topics for you to consider, such as:
- Dedicated Online Advisor Chats
- The Transfer Student Admission Process
- Transfer Student Round Table
- Online Campus Tour & Chat
- Academic Requirements for Transfer Students
Planning your event
Once you have a sense for what initiatives you would like to build, it is important to again think about the transfer student perspective and have their best interests in mind. Below are a few tips to keep in mind:
- Some transfer students are fearful that they will be unable to get in to your institution, so educating this audience on what is possible is critical for their (and your) success.
- Remember that these students are time strapped and are juggling multiple responsibilities, so events on evening weekdays tend to perform well.
- Host a transfer day in the middle of the spring and fall semesters – this way, students can confirm what classes will be eligible to transfer, AND they can confirm if there are any mandatory classes they should build into their schedule. This is critical when you consider that today, transfer students are losing 37% of the credits they’ve already earned.
- When planning an event, consider partnering up with local institutions. This could give you an opportunity to connect with students that may not normally have thought of your institution within the decision set.
Build your strategy today
Interested in learning more? I encourage you to connect with a PlatformQ Education team member today to learn how we can help you design a transfer student event calendar.