Part 4 in a Series Supporting Virtual Content Targeting Niche’s 4 Student Personas
To close out our series, we will uncover the needs of the final persona, the Concerned. 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 Niche.com.
The Concerned: Two-Year Small to Mid-Sized Colleges
The Concerned persona is another group with less confidence and comfort in the college search process. Concerned students tend to identify as Hispanic or Latinx with a household income below $80,000, and attend urban public high schools. Students in this category:
- Worry greatly about test score requirements and cost of attendance
- Are concerned about their safety on campus
- Have hesitations regarding the value of a college education
- Will eliminate schools based on testing requirements and published cost
- Tend to choose 2-year small to mid-sized colleges
- Feel unsure if they are prepared academically to take on the rigor of college courses.
Since Concerned students often lack access to college counseling and prep resources at their high schools:
- Offer sessions virtually throughout students’ sophomore and junior years to showcase the steps of the college search process
- Emphasize that a four year education is attainable and provide the necessary resources to support Concerned students’ acquisition of a four year degree
- Initiate email outreach to student populations who match the Concerned criteria, as these students will not automatically enter into your funnel
This population is more inclined to research colleges virtually than through in-person visits, so advocate for your Concerned students’ needs with live and simulive events. If you wish to increase enrollment of Concerned students, you will need to focus your energy on providing this group with more counseling and direction to navigate the college process than any other persona. Topics could include how to fill out your college application, write college essays, apply for financial aid, or receive scholarships. During these virtual workshops, be sure to include a chat feature for one on one support.
The characteristics of the Concerned student make your role in initiating outreach critical. Just because this group tends to apply to 2-year institutions does not mean that a 4-year institution is out of the picture, but rather that Concerned students may not know how to navigate 4-year institutions without the right support. Therefore, Concerned students will benefit most from opportunities to talk one on one with both your current students and admissions counselors. Connections will need to be initiated by your institution, as Concerned students likely will not reach out and request information on their own.
If you have the staffing resources, you may even consider hosting weekly “office hours” where your admissions counselors and financial aid teams are available virtually to support any questions Concerned students may have. Depending on your institution’s ability to provide application fee waivers, you could even leverage attending a certain number of your virtual events as a way to get that fee waived when applying.
Concerned students care about the academic offerings at your institution and how a degree will help their future. Provide them with recorded student spotlights for popular majors and include insights on how these current students are able to navigate college level academic courses. To target their other main concern about safety, provide events that spotlight your campus safety programs as well as diversity and inclusion efforts.
You may even consider hosting a day-long event, similar to Humboldt State University’s YOCE Conference. Using a day-long series, you can showcase how your institution champions diversity and provides equitable opportunities for these college bound students. Increase Concerned students’ access to college readiness resources throughout the process, and use this day-long event to showcase how your institution can make their dreams become reality.
Planning programming for Concerned students is crucial for any institution looking to increase equity within the college search process. While this population may take more time and effort, and require covering a broader range of topics, these types of resources will prove of immense value for years to come and will no doubt enhance the diversity of your institution.
Now that you have gained insight into each of the four persona’s virtual event needs, it is time to get started! If you are using these pieces of advice for your own campaigns, and want to learn even more about how PlatformQ Education’s wealth of admissions and enrollment knowledge can help you surpass your enrollment goals, contact our team today!