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How Bay Path University used direct mail to engage students virtually

About Bay Path University 

When Bay Path opened its doors to students in downtown Springfield in 1897, it had a very clear goal: to provide a practical, affordable, and career-oriented education to meet the needs of companies, organizations, and communities. From the beginning, Bay Path prided itself on being entrepreneurial, constantly pushing the boundaries of the academic experience to fit the student. It’s not just the number and breadth of undergraduate and graduate programs that defines them, it is their ability to connect the classroom to learning to leadership to experience to career that is at the core of what they do best. 

Event Background

The Bay Path University Signature Scholarship Competition Program is open to first-time, first-year applicants intending to apply for admittance to the Bay Path University Residential College for fall 2021. This Program will provide prospective first-time, first-year Residential College students entering in the fall of 2021, the opportunity to compete for a limited number of scholarship awards, ranging from $1,000 to full tuition. There were four awards that students could receive: The Presidential Scholarship Award, The Empowered Learner and Leader Scholar Award, The Bold Leader Scholar Award and The Changemaker Award. 

Semi-finalists were then invited to participate in a virtual competition in January to learn more about the scholarships, demonstrate their fit, and connect with other high-achieving future classmates. 

During the event 

Prior to the event, students were informed that they would be placed into small groups. Breaking from the norm, Bay Path University physically sent the student’s individual QToken, along with the small group information and printed agenda. This strategy was paired with the Qtoken used in traditional email and SMS messages.

Bay Path and PlatformQ Education built out a branded digital environment specifically for the Signature Scholarship Competition Program and each group had a dedicated subpage and breakout room. Students were able to connect and engage with each other in a strategic and direct way utilizing this format. 

The Results

Out of 35 student invitations sent out, there were 34 attendees to the live session. This 97% attendance rate highlights that using non-virtual methods of pre-event student outreach can be an effective compliment for virtual events. The virtual chat during Bay Path University’s Signature Scholarship Competition Program had impressive outcomes as well. Students were connecting and discussing with others throughout the event. Smaller, more targeted events can make students feel more welcomed by the institution and more willing to participate in chats.  

Bay Path graduates pass under a banner with the University’s motto, Carpe Diem. Seize the Day. During this event, the students seized both the day and connections with the university and each other. 

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