The Application is the New Inquiry

Your applications are up, now comes the hard part. With traditional, first-time freshmen applying to an ever-increasing number of colleges each year, and an over-reliance by many colleges on one-size-fits-all student search packages that focus on boosting application volume rather than attracting seriously interested students, the application has become the new inquiry. ... Read more

Do Signature Programs Really Work?

In recent years there has been a lot of talk about signature programs as the savior of small, private colleges and universities. An article in The Chronicle of Higher Education, for example, highlights the rush of colleges trying to develop their own signature programs to gain an edge in attracting students. The big question is: Do signature programs really work? ... Read more

Successful Student Outcomes Matter More Than Ever

Colleges and universities have come under unprecedented, growing scrutiny in recent years from prospective students, parents, and lawmakers over issues related to cost and quality. See what matters most to students and parents from our latest market research and how colleges can best position themselves. ... Read more

Is Student Search Broken or Just Being Redefined? (Part 1)

The process of identifying solid prospective applicants among the tens of thousands of names on college search lists can be perplexing. Despite the best efforts of colleges, student response to paper and email search mailings remains stubbornly low. Since it is clear that college-bound students no longer respond as they once did to search appeals, we at GDAIS asked ourselves: “What’s the point of search?” ... Read more

How to Create a Visibility-Focused Student Search Campaign (Part 2)

There is likely nothing wrong with the search lists your institution is buying. You are still getting in front of your best audience. However, there could be something wrong with the search messages you are sending to these prospective students. Too often, search letters sound very much alike. If you sharpen the focus of your search communications, you’ll build visibility and awareness of your institution with your target audience ... Read more

The Search Microsite and the Metrics of “Response” (Part 3)

A well-designed microsite/landing page packs all the content in which prospective students are most interested in one place (successful outcomes, quality of academics/majors, financial aid and scholarship availability, internships, etc.). In addition to helping the college direct the conversation with prospective students, it provides the college with the ability to track and measure the students who actively interact with the content ... Read more

The Art and Science of Branding

What are the components of branding? George Dehne outlines the basic elements necessary to create an effective brand and the four issues that can be used to determine branding accuracy and effectiveness... Read more

Keys to Developing an Integrated Marketing Plan

GDA Integrated Services has no set procedures when working with an institution on developing an integrated marketing plan. The kinds of research available, self-knowledge, marketing organization and so forth differ widely among institutions. We, therefore, offer a series of options that we recommend based on the needs of the client. This article outlines the keys elements of developing an integrated marketing plan... Read more

Using Market Research to Improve Communication with Prospective Students

What are students looking for when they communicate with colleges? Executive Vice President Christopher Small looks into GDA's extensive database of student surveys to identify the trends and explain the strategies behind a successful communications program... Read more

Data For Effective Marketing in an Uncertain Future

What data should a college have to remain effective in a more competitive and difficult environment? What does a college need to know about itself and its market before it attempts strategic and marketing planning? These are the two questions we are most often asked by presidents, trustees, and admission professionals trying to plan for a difficult future... Read more

Show Students What Sets You Apart

To recruit students effectively, you need a shared vision of what distinguishes your institution from others. Bringing campus constituencies together can help you achieve this vision. At the root of any strategic-planning process lies a deceptively simple question: Who are we? Many colleges spend months, if not years, trying to answer it... Read more

Other Resources

Student Recruitment and Marketing Handbook for Trustees (PDF)

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