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Recruiting Intelligence

Going out of Business: Many Institutions are Struggling. Notice Any Red Flags?


If you follow the trends of higher education, you’ve no doubt heard the prediction that 50 percent of the country’s colleges will be bankrupt in 10 to 15 years. And that perspective has been touted for the past 20+ years, so…we need to take it with some salt.

Still, we have seen an uptick in closures and mergers of late. This is worth looking at because, there is some truth to this prediction and we’d be fools to simply say, “Never gonna happen.”

There are plenty of industries that have gone through these kinds of retrenching or refocusing. In the world of Mergers and Acquisitions, any business is broken down on paper for its assets and liabilities. Assets are considered for liquidation – the idea of “selling off the parts.” This is happening in academia as well. Harsh but true: profitable departments or schools within an institution are being “adopted” by other stronger institutions while the rest of the weaker institution is shut down.

Before we all consider our college diplomas to be rare antiques, is there any way to safeguard against this trend?

Below, we share some perspective on different options being considered and some resources you may want to access for a deeper dive. Here’s one of them: Our non-traditional student recruitment ebook: Quality. Cost. Convenience. The extended edition on Intead Plus gives you marketing planning insights, sample personas along with case studies from nine very different institutions.

Next week we'll be talking about long-term vision and growth. But before we get there, we need to understand a bit more about where we are now.

Do you want the good news or the bad news first?

(Read on)

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Credentials and Badges: Adding To or Supplanting Degrees?


They say that fifty is the new thirty, but what may be a more reliable maxim is that college is the new high school. It has been true for a while that undergraduate degrees are becoming the minimum standard for employment, as opposed to a high school diploma—a fact that has led to a great uptick in college graduates working for minimum wage.

The trend has continued upward with most incoming college freshmen expecting to earn a master’s degree after graduation. Master’s degrees are now as common as bachelor’s degrees were for most of our parents’ generations. In the U.S., more than 8 percent of the population has one, which is a remarkable 43 percent increase from where that number was in just 2002.

With so many well-educated job seekers, what is setting some graduates apart? Credentials.

Read on for our take on what is driving this trend and some perspective on how dangerous your institution's sluggish pace of establishing new degree and credential options could be.

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Going It Alone? You’ll Want A Library

Budget year is wrapping up and once again, you’ve been informed that you won’t get the level of funding you said you needed to truly move the needle. We get it. We’ve been there. Resources are always scarce. And yes, it can be extremely frustrating.

But you are a professional and you know how this goes. You do your moment of Zen and break out your trusty strategic planning process that you keep tucked away in that part of your brain. What are your true priorities? Where can you use your limited resources to push hard and fast? The goal! Keep the real business goal in mind.

And don’t forget to bring the positive energy to your team along with the plan. We all need that spirited lift that brings the team together and makes everyone feel the common purpose.

And there’s one more thing you’re going to want to have with you: a deep and powerful resource library that guides your strategy and execution when the inevitable obstacles arise along the way.

We got you covered. Read on...

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Higher Education is Changing. Are You Keeping Up?

Today on the Recruiting Intelligence blog, we’re excited to broaden the enrollment conversation.

You may have read our guest post a few weeks ago from Dr. David Di Maria about the commonalities between international and non-traditional students.

Most Wednesdays, we cover topics related to international student recruitment. As our readers know, effective international student outreach requires an understanding of two fundamental concepts:

  • The first idea is cheesy, but true: no matter where we’re from, we’re all people with common core desires, fears, and drives. The desire for a safe and enriching environment, fear of isolation or failure, and the drive to succeed in our chosen field are pretty universal.
  • The second concept is the hard part: While we all share the same broad needs, our background does shape the best ways to capture our attention, meet our desires, assuage our anxieties, and encourage our dreams.

Understanding that duality is the key to effectively reaching international students and prompting them to take action (read that as "prompting them to apply"). It’s also the key to reaching another, increasingly important group of students. We’ve been thinking about these learners a lot lately, and we’re jazzed about discussing them here today: “non-traditional students.”

Non-traditional students are the future of education—both international and domestic. This is a group of students that clients are asking about more and more, and a market segment none of us can afford to ignore it.

We’re so certain of this, in fact, that we wrote a whole book about the subject. 

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Using Chatbots for Student Recruitment

Before we even had our coffee this morning, members of the Intead team had already texted with spouses about children’s forgotten school lunches, communicated with dog walkers on Facebook messenger, and answered Slack messages from each other. Something tells me your morning didn’t look all that different from ours. We are living in an era of instant communication.

We have come to expect that we’ll be able to reach folks quickly and get the info we need wherever and whenever we want to. So, it’s no wonder that we’re seeing the rise of “conversational marketing”—and that your prospective students expect you to keep up with the times.

Conversational marketing is “feedback driven” marketing that relies on artificial intelligence, or bots, to communicate with consumers—or in our case, students.

Here's the important question: Will your institution be at the forefront? A fast follower? Or trying desperately to catch up?

Upcoming Educational Opportunities

How about a FREE PASS to our next Intead Plus webinar? 

Wed, Nov 7th at 11AM EST we will have an important discussion: "What's a Muslim Student to Think?" with our friend and guest speaker Wajahat Ali whom I was first introduced to at the 2015 AIEA conference when he keynoted the luncheon. As a blog subscriber, we want you to experience the value of subscribing to our newest service. Please join us for the webinar as our guest.

And we would be remiss to not mention the AIRC conference and our full-day workshop on all things international student recruiting. December 5 in Weston, FL. Join veteran recruiters and marketers and hone your marketing plan using our worksheets. Get the scoop here

Chatbot Info, Let's Get Into It...

So about those Chatbots...are they sounding too futuristic or difficult to implement? It’s not as intimidating as it sounds, and it’s changing the marketing game. You can make this happen for your institution. Here's what you need to know...

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Innovative Case Studies in Higher Ed: Learn From Your Peers

Can you hear the clamor? That's enrollment professionals across the US trying to figure out how to fix their graduate enrollment numbers. Oh, and their undergrad numbers too. You've probably already been thinking about where the emerging markets are for higher education as the enrollment trends shift.

The tools we use to segment and engage global student markets are equally applicable to domestic markets here in the US as well. We have a number of international higher ed clients seeking to build awareness in and enrollment from the US market.

The US domestic market is a complicated one, to be sure. As the current international enrollment numbers decline, we are helping both foreign and domestic institutions identify and capture new markets. It's a time of great dynamism. 

Want To Know What Your Peer Institutions Are Doing?

This is why we are talking more and more about "non-traditional" students. Did you know that non-traditional student enrollment is projected to grow 21.7% from 2016-2022? 

A desire to attract these domestic segments (the range of non-traditional students) is transforming the way that many institutions think about their programs, campus life and overarching communications strategy. 

You may have read our guest blog post from a few weeks ago by Dr. David Di Maria, covering the many similarities between the underlying motivations of international and non-traditional students. If not, we highly suggest you check it out here

This week, we want to share with you some personal stories from the people behind institutional brands doing very big things in the field of non-traditional student recruitment. We're willing to bet there are a few people in your own institution (just a few clicks away) who could use these insights.

As always, we encourage you to share this content. And we encourage you to reach out to us and let us know what challenges you are facing. Maybe you can prompt our next research project.

Are you ready? All of these excerpts are taken directly from full-length interviews you can read in our latest e-book, Quality. Cost. Convenience. How Academic Leaders are Competing for Today's Non-Traditional Students. If you enjoy what you read here (or know someone else who might) we invite you to download the full e-book

Let's see what some of your most innovative peers have to say... 

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Intead's 10 Most Popular Blog Posts of 2017!

What did we do that really caught your attention most in 2017?

We thought you might want to know which blog topics drew the most clicks from you and your colleagues. That way, you can catch up on any important posts you may have missed.

And, if you want to dive into any of these topics in a really substantive way, this is the last week to take advantage of our early bird discount for the International Student Recruitment Bootcamp in San Diego, February 11–13. 

Want a sneak peek at our most popular publishing? Well, let's see... In 2017, we...

  • Released groundbreaking research showing the potential impact of a Trump presidency on international student recruitment – and looked at ways to navigate the dramatic changes in today’s political and economic climate;
  • Discussed why and how you should segment your target student population;
  • Addressed ethical concerns in the use of education agents;
  • Showed you how to make the most of your limited resources;
  • We even gave you tips on optimizing your landing page to maximize conversion rates!

*deep breath*

What can we say? We love this stuff. 

Read on for links to our 10 most popular posts…and see what topic intruiged your peers enough to earn the title of post #1.

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Quick Tips for Building Effective Landing Pages

Maximizing Your Student Lead Conversion

According to Hubspot, 55% of visitors spend less than 15 seconds on your website. That isn’t much time, so you will have to make the most of it—that’s where we come in.

This week we focus on some basic digital marketing tips. We are bringing you a selection of landing page design and content approaches to increase conversion rates—the essential tools for effectively recruiting prospective students online. Landing pages can help you effectively drive visitors to fill out information capture forms or guide them to the most relevant section of your website. Well-designed landing pages can increase your chances of turning visitors into leads, and converting those leads into enrolled students.

Hit your target audiences with key, search optimized information and relevant offers; make the search easier for them, and the chance of conversion is higher for you.

This digital marketing lingo may be a bit intense for some of our academic readers. Chances are there is someone on your staff charged with making your website and your digital marketing work really well together. That person would really appreciate it if you sent them this post. It might simply confirm that they have their act together, or it might spark a few new ideas. And if that person is you, read on to get our take on how a strong landing page will increase your lead conversion rates.

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