Your Higher Education Marketing Newsletter… September 2008

Early fall greetings to everyone. The new semesters are well underway now and I trust all your new first year students are settling in for a successful first few months.

Some of you have been asking about posts to my blog, or the lack of them since late July. A database challenge of unknown proportions has kept me from making new posts. We (that’s my web fellow and myself) are working on a fix and hope to have it done for a new edition starting in early October. Until then, topics are still available online at

Web writing gets more challenging all the time, as you’ll see from the entry below about writing right for Twitter. Increase the quality of web writing on your campus on October 14. Register for the next online session of “Writing Right for the Web” at

And now here are your marketing news and notes for September.
Graduate Enrollments Increase Unevenly

Health Sciences and Public Administration graduate programs show the highest increase rates in a new report from the Council of Graduate Schools. International students lead the increase in Public Administration while U.S. citizens lead the increase in Health Sciences.

See the increase rates in 9 academic areas at
Online Learning Gets a Credibility Boost

A study at the University of Missouri reports no difference in educational outcome between a course taken entirely “on site” and a course that mixes in-class with online components as a “blended” opportunity.

That’s worth reviewing if concerns about credibility of the delivery system are keeping your campus from moving in the direction of online learning opportunities. Today, online learning is of growing interest in the marketplace, for both adult and “traditional” students.

See a report on the research in a Campus Technology article at
Online Learning Shrinks Golden State Classrooms

If this isn’t happening at your school now, it might be in the not distant future.

Golden State University has put space in an extension campus facility on the lease market. It seems that the increase in demand for online learning options has significantly decreased the need for classroom space at the California university. Right now, about 44 percent of Golden Gate classes are either completely online or at least a blend of 50 percent online time.

Says the president, Dan Angel: “We do not need the capacity we currently have and we are not expecting that trend to reverse.”

Find the details at
7 Tips for Writing on Twitter

The recent link of the week for Northern Arizona University’s distance learning twitter site was one of the more popular in recent months. If you’re thinking of adding Twitter to your communication mix, you might want to read through Jeff Sexton’s “7 Principles of Web 2.0 Copy – Twitter Style!”

You already knew about brevity (no more than 140 characters) but you’ll read (very quickly) about participation, sharing, authenticity and more.

Economy Creates Record Financial Aid Push

FAFSA applications are increasing while Pell Funds fall short of demand. That’s the new marketing challenge reported as a “FAFSA Frenzy” in Inside Higher Education.

You’ll find a chart of 10 states with especially high increases, starting with Nevada and ending with California. But some increase level is taking place just about everywhere. If the trend continues, that means new enrollment pressures for student recruitment activities that can only increase for the 2009 recruitment year.

The change is reported for both undergraduate and graduate programs.

Read the story at
Retention Bonus for Kent State Faculty

What do you think of rewarding faculty with performance bonuses when retention in their programs improves?

That’s the new plan at Kent State University. This September the Trustees approved a $70K bonus for the president for good deeds accomplished. Why not spread the wealth around to faculty as well?

See the revenue sharing details and join the discussion in a Penn State blog at
Admissions Review, Facebook, MySpace

Right now not many admissions staff review social networking sites as part of the decision to admit or reject applicants. That news is from a Kaplan survey of 500 “top colleges” that about 10 percent of admissions people surveyed use the websites to help make decisions. After a review, nearly 40 percent were likely to have a more negative view of the applicant.

A similar number of admissions people at business, law, and medical schools are using the sites.

Find more in the Kaplan news release at
Pew Internet on Teens and Game Playing

The Pew research people provide more insight into online teen communication in a new research report released September 16, “Teens, Video Games, and Civics.” Nearly all teens, both male and female, are game players. On the younger side, no significan
t difference exists between genders. On the older side, males were more likely to play than females but nearly two-thirds of the girls did play.

The 76-page report is at
5 New Campus Tour Videos

Watch the first of 5 new campus tour videos being introduced each week at the Admissions Team Blog of Tyndale University College and Seminary.

The tour videos are also available on YouTube and you can make that connection from the Tyndale blog page. This is a new example of connecting to the social networking world from an official college website.

Watch the videos unfold at
In the Land of the Skeptics

Gerry McGovern hits the proverbial nail in his latest New Thinking column: “The Web is the land of the skeptic, the cynic, the impatient, time-starved, information-overloaded consumer who is on a mission. The mission is to solve a problem, answer a question, get a good deal.”

Read the column, “How to Market to the Information-Rich,” and share your opinion at

Join Gerry and me for a webinar review of how you can make your website a friendlier place to visit at
Most Popular Item in August Newsletter

By a margin of more than 2 to 1, the entry for the new Campus Daily Guide website drew the most attention from newsletter subscribers. If you missed it the last time around, go to for a state by state listing of the first universities participating.

This website will make most of your internal student activity pages obsolete. If your competition is doing this, you’d better join soon.
Marketing Opportunity in North Carolina

Western Carolina University (Cullowhee, NC) seeks an innovative marketing director to develop and manage a highly collaborative, research-based integrated marketing plan designed to elevate the university’s reputation and visibility, and distinguish it from local, regional and national competitors.

The director serves as the university’s chief marketing officer and reports to the Vice Chancellor for Advancement and External Affairs. Compensation based on ability and experience. Contact Clifton Metcalf, Vice Chancellor for Advancement and External Affairs at for more details.
That’s All for Now

Be a marketing champion on your campus.

Bob Johnson, Ph.D. (
President and Senior Consultant
Bob Johnson Consulting, LLC
Bob Johnson Consulting, LLC

Increase your online marketing success with these 6 services.

• Customer Carewords Research with Gerry McGovern
• Writing Right for the Web On-Campus Workshops
• Marketing Communications Website Review
• Competitive Website Reviews
• Content Copywriting Services
• Usability Analysis

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