Identifying and Proactively Recruiting Top Students
- Boise State undergraduates are your number one audience!
- Make sure your current undergraduate students are knowledgeable about your program and research.
- Host an informal gathering where current graduate students can talk to current undergraduates.
- Identify students who may be uncertain about pursuing a graduate degree and schedule an appointment to talk to them.
- Talk with colleagues in related disciplines and advertise your program with their undergraduate students.
- Develop a flyer or card that can be handed out by students or colleagues when they attend conferences.
- Connect with the Graduate College.
- Provide the Director of Graduate Recruitment with fliers, funding information and bragging points to take to graduate school fairs.
- Host a workshop for your high-achieving juniors to help them prepare a competitive application.
- Develop a pipeline with colleagues at other universities. Ask for student referrals.
- Advertise your program at the institutions where your former students attend.
- Use databases such as National Name Exchange, McNair, and GRE to identify prospects.
- Identify top students who are presenting at conferences that you are attending.
- Chat with the students, take down their information, and send them an email or handwritten note.
- Host a chat using a free service.
Make your website a recruiter!
- Your website is often times the first glimpse into your program that a student will see.
- Make it transparent and easy to navigate.
- Test your website on a phone and tablet. How does it look?
- Make your website more than just the “nuts and bolts.”
- Consider adding student and faculty profiles.
- Brag about student accomplishments and showcase faculty research and publications.
- Alumni can be great resources!
- Consider adding posts written by alumni or focusing on their accomplishments.
- Are you proud of the diversity in your program? Post pictures that show the kind of open and welcoming environment your program enjoys.
- Make funding information easy to find.
- Make contact information easy to find.
- Don’t make a prospective student search for basic information.
- Remember the “Two clicks and they’re done” rule.
- Update your website on a regular basis.
Ongoing communication is extremely important in the recruitment of graduate students and can make a significant impact in a student’s decision to apply or commit to a program.
- Ongoing multi-modal communication with potential students at each stage of the recruitment process is a must.
- Call and email highly qualified candidates on a set schedule.
- Answer inquiries quickly.
- After the initial inquiry from a potential student, a letter/email from the graduate coordinator and from a professor in the student’s area of interest should be sent.
- Respond back to students within 24 hours of their call or email. The sooner the better!
- Ask faculty in a prospect’s area of interest to send a personal email or call.
- Unless a response from the potential student has already been received, an additional letter/email from the department head should be sent two weeks after the initial contact.
- Continue to make regular contact with the prospect if they show interest in your program.
- Go to them, don’t expect them to always come to you.
- Have current graduate students send emails or call prospective students. Pizza is a great incentive for students to make calls for an hour or so in the evening.
- Communication does not stop with an application!
- Continue to email or call a student until they walk through the doors on the first day of classes.
- Studies have shown that a campus visit is the best recruitment tool. Our campus and the City of Boise can easily sell your program!
- Host an open house or partner with the Graduate College in one of our events.
- Invite current students to take the prospects to lunch or dinner at an establishment that is local to Boise.
- Make sure that faculty are able to give the prospect plenty of individualized attention during her visit.
- Get to know your prospect. Arrange visits with other campus services, such as the Children’s Center, Veteran’s Services, Campus Recreation, etc.
- Arrange a campus tour through the Graduate College.
Do not hesitate to contact the Katie Stone, Director of Graduate Recruiting, at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions.