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How to Recruit Prospective Students to Your College

August 23, 2016 | Hannah Abrams

August is wrapping up, which means students are packing up their suitcases and heading back to school. While a new class of students come to campus, it’s already time to hit the ground running with recruitment efforts for next year. From student tours to college fairs, you know you’ve got to be proactive. But what can you do to set your school apart from the rest?

Here are five tips to help you get started.

1. Use QR Codes

With technology now integrated into every part of our lives, it’s important to use it to your advantage. While college posters are often a good idea (I still remember the ones peppered on my high school walls), there’s a world of possibilities that you shouldn’t ignore.

(Image via

(Image via

QR codes are a great way to add a technological component to your traditional marketing. Place QR codes on your posters to direct prospective students to your “student life” website page, and you could see a spike in enrollment.

2. Create YouTube Videos

If your prospective students are anything like me, they’ll be doing as much research as possible when it comes to choosing the right school. When an applicant is out of state (making the campus more difficult to see in person), it helps to have videos featuring virtual tours and student testimonials.

Make sure your student video subjects are sporting branded school sweatshirts and other merchandise, and your prospective students will be jumping at the chance to be a part of the buzzing college scene.

3. Go Green

These days, high school students are becoming increasingly more concerned about the environment. It might seem like a small initiative, but if you can demonstrate to your students that you care about their futures in a general sense, they’ll know you care about them specifically, too.


Introduce a campus recycling plan, or give prospective students reusable water bottles and recycled tote bags.

4. Make Sample Dorm Rooms Snazzy

On college tours or your marketing materials, the dorm room is where your college needs to shine. I’m not saying gut your dorm rooms and replace them with penthouse suites. Instead, make your sample dorm room cozy with branded blankets, customizable bulletin boards and all the studying essentials.

(Image via Pinterest)

(Image via Pinterest)

You want to show your prospective students that they can build their lives in your dorm rooms.

5. Send Freebies

High school students love free stuff. Whether it’s branded earbuds, drawstring backpacks, smart wallets or thermoses, they’ll be more than happy to sport your branded merchandise everywhere they go.


Send freebies that serve a purpose, and kids will think of your school every time they see your branding.

With these five tips, your prospective students will be lining up to attend your college. And, of course, in the words of The Beach Boys, “Be true to your school.”

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