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Five New Ways Colleges Are Using Social Media and Technology to Recruit Students

In the competitive world of college recruiting, colleges are increasingly supplementing the traditional printed recruitment mailer with emerging technologies. Five illustrations of this development follow and some discussion of new ways colleges are using social media as a way to recruit students to their campuses:

1. Quick Response Codes
Colleges are experimenting with posting Quick Response (QR) codes in recruitment mailers. A QR code is a barcode that sends users to a web address with the snap of a smart phone’s camera. Hamilton College in New York created an admissions poster with a giant QR code which leads visitors to a custom welcome page from the school. The poster resulted in 1,200 visits to the Hamilton web-site.

2. Video-Chats
During the academic year, Ohio Wesleyan hosts four or five video chats for students and their parents on topics ranging from admissions counselors discussing the application process to current students sharing their study abroad experiences. According to administrators, 220 of the 260 students who participated in a video chat last year applied to the university and 92 enrolled.

3. Facebook contests
To reach prospective students, Misericordia University in Pennsylvania offered university bookstore gift certificates as prizes to incoming freshmen who replaced their Facebook profile pictures with the university logo. About one-sixth of incoming Misericordia freshmen participated during the two week summer contest.

4. Tweeting Behind the Scenes
To add depth to the printed materials, Texas Tech used Twitter to cover a story included in the annual recruiting mailer on a student lab named by Popular Science as one of the country’s “Most Awesome College Labs.”

5. College Admissions/YouTube Video Series
The New School in New York City has created “Are You New School” recruiting videos featuring students discussing topics from the dating scene to life in the city.

While dynamic new technologies are being integrated into college recruitment, the admissions acceptance process still relies predominately on the traditional staples of GPA and standardized test scores. Top Test Prep is a private tutoring and admissions expert company that helps students get into top private schools, colleges and graduate schools.

David Dickson is an admissions counselor with Top Test Prep; call TTP today at 1-800-501-7737 to learn more, or visit private tutoring and admissions experts.

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