Colleges across the United States have been competing for student attention for everything from enrolment to student affairs to advancement. While this lack of access to the student mindshare manifests in various ways, the impact on the bottom lines of institutions makes it a critical issue.
For example, according to data published by National Student Clearinghouse Research Center in their Spring 2017 Report, enrolment across all post-secondary sectors has decreased by 1.5% on average every semester between Fall 2014 – Spring 2017.
For the students that do enrol, student facing departments experience a similar communication challenge, attempting to get students attention towards the plethora of academic, co-curricular and extra-curricular resources, services and events taking place on campus.
According to a study conducted at Michigan State University, the senior administration found they were sending students over 400 emails a year to their students (from their departments alone). Adding in the emails from groups, clubs and automated messages, the total number would be considerably higher.
Impact of effective communication:
A national six-year college completion rate of 59% and a completion rate of 32% for colleges with open admission policies.
All of this is underscored by a cultural change in the makeup of college students. Non-traditional, first-generation, commuter and distance learners are just some of the new types of college student for whom traditional communications may not be sufficient-