The following observation will come as no surprise to admissions professionals at public institutions: Out-of-state and international students are more profitable since they typically pay higher tuition fees than their in-state counterparts. Additionally, according to research from Ruffalo Noel Levitz, international undergraduate students are cheaper to recruit ($329 median spend/international student, compared to $578 for overall median), and require less staff per enrolled student. So how can you boost the enrollment of this lucrative market?
Generally, it makes good fiscal sense to allocate considerable resources to your international and out-of-state recruitment efforts.
However, it’s often expensive and logistically tricky for prospective international and long-distance out-of-state students to visit your school in-person before they apply.
But there’s still one significant hurdle colleges face when it comes to enrolling more international and out-of-state students: It’s often expensive and logistically tricky for prospective international and long-distance out-of-state students to visit your school in-person before they apply.
This post shares how three public institutions—Eastern Michigan University, Augusta University, and Georgia Tech—improve international and out-of-state enrollment by harnassing the power of virtual campus tours.
1. Eastern Michigan University
Eastern Michigan is a large public university located in Ypsilanti, MI.
Objectives: For the 2016 academic year, they had two primary enrollment goals. First, to increase the share of international students. Additionally, to improve campus diversity.
To meet these goals, the school partnered with YouVisit to create a guided virtual campus tour. The tour was designed to enable international students to experience campus life as if they were there for an in-person visit. Also, the tour features high-visibility CTAs to help drive conversions. Additionally, the tour was available in four languages, including Spanish, Chinese, and Arabic.
In order to drive the most traffic to their virtual tour, Eastern Michigan promoted its experience via:
- Website (homepage, admissions page, etc.)
- Direct email campaigns
- Social media
2. Augusta University
Augusta University is a public research college and medical center. It was founded in 1828 and is located in Augusta, GA.
Objective: Augusta’s primary goal was to boost enrollment among students from outside the immediate Atlanta region. Particularly, the school decided on an outbound marketing effort to educate prospective students about the available majors, campus facilities, and more.
Therefore to meet their objectives, Augusta partnered with YouVisit to create an informative virtual walking tour. This tour serves as an engaging introduction to two of the school’s Health Services and Summerville campuses. Furthermore allowing prospective students to experience for themselves what makes Augusta University special, right from their mobile device, desktop computer, or VR headset.
In this case, the school promoted its experience during key moments in the student’s decision journey, including via:
- Email and text message
- College fairs
- Direct mail campaigns
3. Georgia Tech
Georgia Tech is a top-ranked public college and one of the leading research universities in the US. The school is organized into six colleges and 31 departments.
Objectives: Georgia Tech’s had two primary goals. First, to increase the share of applicants. Lastly, to boost enrollment of students choosing to major in science, engineering, and mathematics.
Subsequently to meet their goals, Georgia Tech partnered with YouVisit to create a comprehensive virtual walking tour of the school’s state-of-the-art campus. The tour was complete with beautiful 360-degree photography and details about 20+ of the campus’s many buildings. Among those buildings were the iconic Tech Tower, Habersham Building, and the Bobby Dodd Stadium. Thus creating a wealth of much information in a highly immersive setting. As a result, Georgia Tech was able to increase engagement and reach prospective students from 80+ countries.
800+ colleges and universities partner with YouVisit to increase international enrollment and attract out-of-state students. Learn more about how YouVisit can increase engagement and yield for your school.
Schedule a free personalized demo today.
Marc Hummel is YouVisit’s content marketing manager.