Colleges and Universities want YOU: Part One

For those of you who are nearing the end of your junior year in high school, it may be hard to imagine, but just a year from now you will more than likely have finished the admission process and decided what school you’ll attend.

In between now and then, admissions officers will be stalking you. This marketing onslaught has probably already begun as dozens, if not hundreds, of colleges and universities purchase your name and contact information and begin pummeling you with strident messages that suggest that your life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness are only possible at .

I get a lot (A LOT) of calls from other institutions trying to figure out how Mason breaks through all of that noise. These generally take two forms:
A) Tell us what really cool marketing trick/gimmick/fad is working for you, or
B) Please come work for us, as clearly it’s your brilliance and innovation that makes the difference.

As you’ll soon see, most admissions offices haphazardly lurch from trend to trend in the belief that there is a technology out there that will move them ahead of the other admissions offices in the race for you attention. In an attempt to prepare you, the next couple posts will be composed of my list of TRENDY MARKETING EFFORTS FROM COLLEGES AND UNIVERISTIES FOR 2010-2011 (that probably won’t work):

TWITTER – Seems as if everyone who is ANYone has started tweeting, and admissions officers are jumping on this bandwagon with gusto. Never mind that the data indicates that your parents are a lot more likely to use Twitter than anyone your age, or that if you do, you’re more likely following Justin Bieber than any admissions officer. Will you really pick a school, or even look at one, based on a tweet, or is this more of a twick?

FACEBOOK – Of course, this isn’t really new, but in an all-time high for creepiness, admissions officers will seek to friend you in ever greater numbers. If you maintain good privacy on your site (and police your friends’ habit of tagging you in unflattering photos) and you want to friend an admission dean or two, by all means feel free. When they friend you, however, it just seems kinda…ewwwww.

APPS – For the parents who periodically read these posts, “apps” means applications. Not applications to college, but applications for technology platforms and products. Watch for some colleges to introduce their own Facebook and iPad/iPhone apps this year in an attempt to be ultra-cool. But will a Mason app ever compete with FarmVille? Nah

IPHONE TOURS – I have had at least three companies bugging me to create a campus tour that you can download to your iPhone so you can use it when you visit campus. Really? REALLY? You fly across the country and come to campus, and instead of an actual student as tour guide I should have you follow your PHONE? Maybe…

Stay tuned – the second part of my list, with even more obnoxious efforts colleges and universities are investing in to woo you is still to come.

Be seeing you.


One Response

  1. In regard to Facebook, our children (one in college, another will be a HS Junior next year) – did not like the idea of “friending” college admissions counselors. The did, however want to find a way to share some of the great multi-media they’d accumulated on Facebook, and other social networks.

    Warning: unabashed promotion ahead

    So we developed an application on Facebook, which we’ve now opened up to other users, which allows the sharing with colleges – without opening up profiles to inspection…

    Out blog is listed above – I didn’t want to link in this message, but think it’s worth a look…

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