The 2019 IIE Open Doors Report confirmed what international enrollment professionals have been experiencing … international undergraduate, graduate and non-degree enrollments in the U.S. are down. In fact, new international student enrollment in 2019 is over 10% lower than in 2016.
What’s causing the declines?
There are, of course, a number of factors coming together to impact U.S. enrollment of international students. Some of these include (but are not limited to):
- Interest in U.S. business schools potentially on the decline
- Increased competition from emerging markets
- The political climate in the US and abroad
- Shifts in funding in foreign markets impacting the ability for students to enroll at higher priced U.S. schools.
These challenges come at a particularly difficult time when many institutions are also grappling with shifts in traditional undergraduate enrollment demographics and flattening adult/graduate enrollment growth.
5 Ways Institutions Have Adapted
Challenging environments require creative solutions. Here are 5 ways leading institutions are using Conduit to maximize the effectiveness of their outreach initiatives:
Enable immediate response with Campus Connect embedded chat
Valencia College understands that their staff needs to be available to support their international prospects in a consistent and accessible way. With that in mind, Valencia has embedded Campus Connect, Conduit’s integrated chat solution, directly on to the international admissions section of their website leading to over 200 questions received during the height of the application cycle.
Maximize engagement opportunities with early admitted student outreach
Azusa Pacific University recognized the importance of building a relationship prior to a student’s arrival on campus. They understood that for many international students, their first visit to campus will be when they are moving in. To better support students throughout the transition process, Azusa developed a pre-orientation and pre-arrival series for students to engage with ahead of their on-campus arrival. In total, this content was consumed by over 40% of their incoming class.
Use Global SMS to Support On-The-Ground Programs
Stevens Institute of Technology was focused on maximizing the outcomes of their graduate recruitment efforts, particularly in China. To do this, they developed and executed a robust sequence of live and on-demand video content with live online chats to support application completion and yield. In total the program reached over 1,000 prospects throughout the spring. Additionally, Stevens leveraged Q-Message, Conduit’s integrated global SMS texting platform, to send reminders about upcoming regional programs throughout mainland China to their prospective students in the region.
Leverage On-Demand Content to Boost Demand
The general perception in the industry is that flagship public, selective and highly ranked, or institutions in large population centers (like California, Texas, or New York) have an advantage with respect to engaging and attracting international prospects. In markets like North Dakota, recent enrollment declines are as high as 16%. Dickinson State University sought to buck that trend by developing an application workshop focused on their identified international prospects. Delivered via Conduit, prospects were able to engage with a high quality recorded presentation (ensuring their best presenter was available) while asking questions during live chat.
Build a Cycle-Wide Roadmap
All of the institutions showcased above have one common attribute. They all integrate continuous and consistent omnichannel engagement throughout their recruitment process to boost conversion and yield.
Aligned with overall strategic planning that includes identifying key growth markets and prudent evaluation of agent training and digital marketing, online engagement is key to maximizing conversion and yield.
Ready to get started?
Contact us to see how you can boost your content marketing strategies with the Conduit platform today.