3 Ways Colleges Can Recruit for Free

Published July 29th, 2020

The ways that schools are recruiting students are changing daily—not only how recruiting is done, but also how to maximize those efforts within tight budgets. College fairs are being canceled across the country, and students and parents are wary about campus visits. So what are some ways you can promote your program online and recruit students for FREE?

Utilize Social Media

Take advantage of the hundreds and thousands of students on social media. If your specific department, or even your school as a whole, has a Facebook or Instagram account, put your focus there! Not only is it free to post organically, but it’s a great way to reach your target audience.

Tip #1: Bring your campus to life in your posts. Since students and parents may not be as comfortable traveling for campus visits, make sure to include pictures of the campus, campus life, productions- really make sure to give them a taste of what it would be like to be a student there.

Tip #2: Remind students of important dates! Students have a lot going on, and sometimes they need a reminder. Make sure to share early decision deadlines, scholarship deadlines, and audition dates CONTINUOUSLY on social media.

Tip #3: A good hashtag strategy on Instagram will go a long way. Without paying to boost posts, the best way to reach a wider audience is through hashtags. On Instagram, people can now follow specific hashtags in addition to individual accounts. This will serve your posts on the newsfeed of whoever follows that hashtag, or similar hashtags.

Tip #4: Recycle existing content by taking a look at photos your school is already tagged in on Instagram! You can share these posts to your Instagram story with just a click of a button!

Online Open House

We know this can seem daunting, but don’t over-complicate it. An Online Open House can be as simple as a Facebook Livestream with someone from admissions and a few faculty members to represent the department. Students or parents can ask questions through the comment feature, and you can give them answers in real-time. A similar method could be done easily with Zoom.

Tip #1: The easiest way to promote an Online Open House for free is with a Facebook Event. Students can RSVP and they will automatically be given a reminder of the event from Facebook. Facebook Events can be posted on your timeline, and shared easily by students.

Tip #2: Remember to post about the Open House on your social media accounts. In addition to your Facebook Event, you should be regularly sharing it on your Facebook Timeline, Instagram, Instagram Stories, Twitter, on your website, and wherever you have a following.

Always Have an Open Line of Communication

Students and parents are going to have a lot of questions going into application season. Make sure there is always a clear way for them to get in touch with you.

Tip #1: Have an email address for questions clearly listed on your website. You can also put this email address in your Twitter or Instagram bios, and in your Facebook info.

Tip #2: Check your social media messages daily. For students, this is the easiest and most obvious way to reach out to a school with a question.

Tip #3: Have a free interest form for students or parents, with an area for any questions. This way, you can collect some useful information from them, in addition to answering their questions.

Tip #4: Additionally, make sure your application and/or directions on how to apply are linked clearly in multiple places on your website. Applying for your program should be a straightforward process for students.

• • • • •

We hope that these tips are helpful for you in the upcoming recruitment season. If you’d like more information from Acceptd about recruiting on a budget, hosting online auditions, or hosting virtual live auditions, please do not hesitate to reach out to us at hello@getacceptd.com.

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