Every college and university campus across the nation wants to increase their class size. However, very few realize that the best way to increase their volume isn’t merely through larger list buys and wider-reaching application pushes. Paradoxically, the best way to increase volume is instead by building relationships with prospective students, one at a time.

Here are six ways to make sure your admissions counselors are building the kinds of relationships that lead prospective students to apply and enroll to your institution.

Review Your Client Care Standards


It’s important to regularly work with your counselors to unmask common mistakes in client care and present best practices for communication. Try roleplaying their approaches to meeting students and talking about your institution. Everything they say should align with your institutional mission statement and demonstrate the most complete picture of your school.

Add a Personal Touch to Bulk Email Messaging

While mass messages are a necessity within college admissions, using tactics to personalize messaging and merge data promises a higher open and response rate. Work with your counselors to develop personalized email messages that build your relationship marketing while promoting office efficiency.

Prepare for College Fairs


A high percentage of any admissions budget is college fair registrations and the travel expenses associated with them. Review the importance of reports and make sure counselors understand what information is most helpful to gather before speaking with students at any given event. At the same time, ensure that the materials counselors have help inspire conversation and student engagement.

Follow Up
 with Students

In order to maintain the excitement generated at college fairs, following up with prospective students is essential. Work with your counselors to determine key points of decision making throughout the admissions cycle and outline the best opportunities for follow up. Also allow for a measure of flexibility, since some students may need, and even prefer, more regular contact via email, phone, or social media.

Maintain a Professional Attitude during Melt


Counselors are inevitably faced with phone calls from parents of denied students, or families who feel they should receive more funds than are due. Remember that by this point in the cycle, students may feel directly invested in your school, a particular counselor, and the future they envisioned for themselves there. Prepare your counselors to handle those conversations professionally with the proper mix of courtesy and resolve.

Close the Sale

From capturing attention at a college fair to working with each student’s needs along the way, your counselors have worked hard to build relationships with their prospective students. However, all is for naught without the proper follow-through. In order to best equip counselors to close the sale, you should review your institution’s discriminators and speak with counselors about their top selling points and strongest phraseology.

We’re Here for You

The Parish Group offers a variety of admissions consulting services for our client-partners. Either through informal discussions or as a scheduled program, we are here to help. Contact us today to learn more about our comprehensive or a la carte services.