Today’s progressive technology and innovative student support methods have the ability to boost community college enrollment by upwards of 7%. Enrollment increases foster opportunities for more students to attain both social capital and economic prosperity, while simultaneously supporting the expansion of funding, so community colleges can continue to achieve their goals.
Using technology to fully personalize the enrollment process, rethinking how services are delivered, and meeting students in the classroom remove the micro barriers that have historically contributed to declining enrollment.
Colleges must begin by identifying strategies that cater to two applicant demographics: students with a choice between community college and the workforce, and students who are deciding between a two-year and four-year degree.
For students considering the option to work after high school, community college staff can:
- Offer pre-enrollment courses. Students with job offers are more likely to be first-generation college students without sufficient college counseling support. These courses can provide the resources and skills students need to navigate their way to college, making them more likely to pursue higher education.
- Facilitate enrollment workshops. Go to the source, aka, high school classrooms. By providing enrollment workshops at local high schools, community college staff can streamline in-person support, giving students the motivation they need to enroll.
Staff can assist students with bachelor degree alternatives by:
- Personalizing the FAFSA. By providing students a detailed breakdown of their net cost of attendance, community colleges can highlight the tuition advantages they have over other universities. This method is most effective when students receive this information before other financial aid awards from competitors.
- Customizing brochures. Surveys are wonderful tools to identify student interests and concerns. This information can be translated into a unique electronic pamphlet that further identifies the most popular programs and opportunities your community college offers.
An innovative system to target both of these demographics is an AI-powered texting platform that provides 24/7 student support. Chatbots for higher education can walk first-generation students through confusing processes like the FAFSA so they can successfully enroll. Text messages can capture students’ attention by noting the benefits specific to community colleges.
Forward-thinking community colleges are already implementing chatbots into their recruitment and enrollment processes. During its first year of deployment at Ocean County College in New Jersey, their chatbot Reggie helped save 6 weeks worth of staff hours by answering over 14,000 student questions in addition to proactively nudging students. By reminding students about important deadlines and providing personalized student assistance, Reggie was able to increase fall enrollment by 1.9% and summer enrollment by 7.4%. To learn more about Reggie and OCC’s successes, read the case study. Lenoir Community College in North Carolina administered a randomized control trial, giving half of their applicant pool access to their chatbot, Lance. Students in the treatment group who received messages from Lance showed a 14% increase in enrollment compared to the control group.
Targeted marketing strategies and a fully-personalized experience to meet students where they are lead to increasing community college enrollment numbers. By implementing these suggestions, staff can reach their goals and expand their funding to help more students achieve a higher education.
To learn more about how to implement chatbot technology in your community college’s enrollment process, request a demo with AdmitHub’s team.