Part 3 in a Series Supporting Virtual Content Targeting Niche’s 4 Student Personas

As we move on to the third post of our four part series, we will turn our attention to The Stressed persona. For additional context, you can refer to the first blog post of the series “Supporting Virtual Content Targeting Niche’s 4 Student Personas”. All personas mentioned are based off of the recently released enrollment insight article from

The Stressed: Urban For-Profit Institutions

Stressed students are more timid about the college application process and tend to wait to begin their college search. Demographically, Stressed students are more likely to identify as female and attend public high schools in urban areas in the Northeast. Interestingly, Stressed students can be found across all socioeconomic backgrounds. Stressed students typically:

  • Gravitate towards two and four year, urban, for profit campuses
  • Do not consider cost of attendance a main concern
  • Feel reluctant to begin the college search early
  • Fear that they will not pick the right institution or a major they will enjoy 
  • Worry that they will not fit in or be able to make friends in college

Given that this group is hesitant to begin their college search early, your energy for Stressed students is best focused on:

  • Beginning targeted institution specific programming in the spring of their junior year, while offering  some early junior year sessions on how to navigate the college search process as a whole.
  • Using high school counselors as a resource to get these specific students connected to your virtual offerings.
  • Eliminating mailers for this group, and focusing on short and sweet weekly or even monthly emails that outline upcoming programming and provide links to additional resources and student success stories. 

Concentrate your junior year outreach on college search tips and tricks to help ease Stressed students’ worries. Offer guidance during virtual sessions on how to feel confident and prepared to apply to and attend college. Sprinkle in a few virtual events regarding the process of choosing a major, such as the support your institution’s academic counseling services provide to students as well as the opportunities on your campus for academic and career exploration.  

Stressed students want to see current students that look like themselves on your campus and in your campaigns. Therefore, thinking into senior year outreach, be sure to focus on student narratives and spotlights. Leverage your current students’ voices and experiences in both your email campaigns and virtual panel sessions. Instead of having your invitations to virtual sessions come from your admissions team, consider instead having your invitations come directly from your student ambassadors and upcoming student panelists. 

The Stressed are a great group to target senior year programming around belonging and inclusion, campus/community culture, and finding your “fit”. Focus on “ask us anything” type sessions on a variety of topics with a diverse panel of students. During your live sessions, give your Stressed students the opportunity to ask current students questions in a Q&A format and build connections with other prospective students in live chat rooms

Another way to engage your Stressed students by leveraging your current student resources is through office hours chats. Instead of advertising virtual admissions office hours as a way to chat with your admissions counselors, consider hosting these office hours as an opportunity to connect with current student ambassadors. This will not only target Stressed students’ needs more effectively, but will also give your admissions counselors more time in their schedules to focus on your other recruitment needs. 

All things considered, while planning your virtual content for Stressed students, make sure to offer both targeted outreach on how to feel confident during the college search and numerous chances to connect with current students and your campus community.  By giving your Stressed students opportunities to connect with your likeminded student ambassadors whenever possible, you increase the likelihood that a Stressed student will build the connections needed to find their fit within your campus community.

Remember to return tomorrow for our final post that will dive into virtual strategies for the Concerned persona.