Archive for October, 2014

Arriving at the AHA Moment – Excitement Drives Enrollments

October 13th, 2014

October, also known as “THE OFFICIAL MONTH FOR CAMPUS VISITS,” is upon us. If you are in the admissions business you watch the Weather Channel 24/7 and pray that only a tsunami of prospective students and their families will be on the horizon!

Student_in_Snow_2Over the past 25 years Longmire and Company has surveyed and studied hundreds of thousands of prospective college students and one prevailing theme shines through – there are AHA moments taking place on campus that create an EXCITEMENT FACTOR that leads to positive enrollment results for your institution.

As a past Dean of Admission, I created a visit day agenda that would capture the five senses. “You are here today to see, smell, taste, touch and hear this campus,” I would say in my welcoming remarks to the visiting students and their families. “Using these five senses will give you an ‘AHA Moment’ about this being the right campus for you.”

Feedback from private, public and community college students in a nationwide higher education study currently underway by Longmire and Company called The Excitement Factor! validates this approach.

In the study, students are asked whether they remember the exact time and place when they knew a particular college was the right one for them. Most do. If so, a follow-up question asks the student to explain.

A sampling of responses:

“There was fluffy white Christmas snow falling all across campus. Against the red brick, castle like buildings, I felt like I was in another world, beautiful and timeless,” describes one soon-to-be freshman in the Midwest.

“Wanting to be an equestrian student and a future vet means touring the stables and barns. The smell of the leather saddles there told me it was time take the reins and enroll,” relates another first year student on her AHA moment.

“The dining options made a huge impact. If I am going to eat somewhere for the next 4 years the food better be good,” states another.

“There I was in the stadium with trumpet in hand sitting in the band section. Knowing I could march at half-time next season is an awesome thing,” notes an aspiring musician and football fan.

“The student body is so friendly,” recalls a prospect who visited four other campuses in his college search efforts. “Everyone says ‘Howdy’ even if they don’t know you.”

Some small and some large, but many of these remarks create AHA moment comments like Charismatic Tour, Enthusiastic Professors, and Spirited Students, Tremendous Atmosphere, Valued Traditions, Jaw Dropping Scenery!

These reactions and responses to campus tours and college visits are crucial to your enrollment. Longmire’s 2014 Excitement Factor Study will allow you to find the reasons why prospective students enroll on your campus or perhaps on others. Contact Longmire and Company today and sense the excitement on your campus. It’s your AHA moment!

You can download detailed information about being a study co-sponsor and obtaining data on your pool of students by clicking here.

Mark_ThompsonMark Thompson is a seasoned and successful higher education professional who has held positions in enrollment management at large and small, public and private institutions including The Ohio State University, Thiel College, Defiance College and other institutions. He follows and writes about developments in the field of higher education enrollment management. He can be reached at (419) 789-1637 or markthompson412@gmail.