Your Higher Education Marketing Newsletter… June 2023

June… The summer melt season for high school students headed to college is underway. Diligent efforts will keep that number as low as possible. All success to everyone engaged in the effort.

Notable Marketing Quote: “Here’s an end of academic year reminder that your campus marketing communication department is not a taco bell where you roll up at midnight and order our Crunchwrap Supreme while demanding your Fire sauce and singing @billyjoel at the top of your lungs.” Jenny Petty, vice president, marketing communications, University of Montana.

Gerry McGovern & Top Tasks: Mark your calendar now for Gerry’s next “Top Tasks overview” on July 6. Rapid registration with just name and email.

2023 eduWeb Summit: Dates for the conference are July 18-20 in Washington, D.C. Check keynote speakers and session leaders at the “Schedule-at-a-Glance.”

HE Connect Liverpool 2023: Janus Boye’s first higher education conference last year in the U.K was a success. See 8 top people participating in the September 26-27 program “tailored for digital leaders in higher education” at the conference website.

Join 915 higher education professionals on the members-only Top Tasks: Higher Education Website Content group at LinkedIn. Join us at

Follow along with 7,100+ people for my daily marketing updates on Twitter.

Forward this newsletter to a friend. Only email required here to subscribe for a personal copy.

And now, your marketing news and notes for June.
Cartoon of the Month: Lifespan of the “AI Prompt Engineer”

Tom Fishburne reminds us that the job title “Growth Hacker” was raging about 10 years ago, not so much now. Today an “AI Prompt Engineer” is “suddenly an in-demand job.” How long will that last?

More from Tom on why “AI prompt engineering is just one more area in an endless curriculum of digital upskilling…”’ at “Digital Upskilling.”
College Admissions: What’s next if affirmative action ends?

Few will be surprised if the Supreme Court soon rules that affirmative action can no longer be used as part of the college admissions process.

What, wonders NY Times columnist David Brooks, might happen next to increase social and economic diversity at “elite” schools. If, we might add, they want to do that.

Brooks outlines a process that gives extra weight to applicants from lower- and middle-income families. Today, he argues, “you don’t need bloodlines stretching back to the Mayflower to have a decent shot at getting into an elite school, but you do need to be born into a family with the resources to make lavish investment in your early education.”

What changes does he propose? How likely do you think they are to happen? Decide after reading “Let’s Smash the College Admissions Process.”
The Wharton School: Creating a 130 Site Content Management System

In the decentralized world of higher education getting various departments to adopt a single CMS system is not an easy task. But that’s what’s exists at The Wharton School where 130 departments have adopted the same system.­­.

How did it happen? How does it work? Take a few minutes to read a conversation between Janus Boye and Eric Greenberg, marketing operations leader at Wharton.

Visit “Expert of the month: Eric Greenberg.”
Higher Education Enrollment: National Student Clearing House May Report

Bryan Alexander has written a clear, concise summary of the main findings from the NSCH report released in May. There’s good news and not-so-good news that will vary with the type of institution. Bryan’s notes include enrollment by academic area, degree level, gender, age, and more.

Bryan’s review is at “American higher education enrollment decline returns to pre-pandemic level.”

You can download the complete 2023 NSCH report at “Current Term Enrollment Estimates.”
ChatGPT: Answering 2 Admissions Questions

Curiosity prevailed and I asked ChatGPT to answer two questions about college admissions. How well did it do?

Question: “How easy are college admissions in the U.S.? The answer is here.

Question: “What is the admissions process for American colleges and universities?” The answer is here.
Online Student Recruitment: Websites Not Working WellThe number of potential students enrolling in online programs is growing and getting younger at both the undergrad and graduate level. That’s one of the findings in the 2023 Education Dynamics online student survey.One finding summarized by Carol Aslanian in an introduction: “Students turn to school websites as a primary source of information, but they have a difficult time finding the information they most seek.” That failure illustrates why top task research among potential students (and the willingness to design websites based on the results) should be an essential marketing element.

See 5 more findings and download the report at “Online College Students in 2023: What Matters Most.”
Alumni Giving: Higher Education is Not a Priority

SimpsonScarborough has just released the results of a survey of 1,000 adults who have completed college, most between the ages of 30 and 50 years. Almost half were first-generation graduates. About 80 percent made less than $150,000 per year.

Steve App summarizes the results in a preview to downloading the report. He notes that only about 33 percent included their alma mater when making a charitable donation (About 75 percent make at least one donation a year).

Most were favorable to their own schools but less favorable about higher education in general. Steve notes that “cost is a major driver for negative industry perceptions.”

Read more about alumni giving and download the report at “What Gives? SimpsonScarborough’s Alumni Philanthropy Study.
From Completion: Expert Guide to Generating More Leads

If you need more leads from potential students visiting your website, make sure your “inquiry” form isn’t keeping people from completing it. Too often that’s the case.

Stephanie Lummis is a UX expert who knows how to remove obstacles that reduce the number of people who fail to complete online forms.

Stephanie emphasizes a key point: “The more fields there are, the fewer people will fill it out. Only ask what is necessary.” Don’t define “necessary” as what’s needed to complete a spot in a database. Define “necessary” as what you need to make an initial response. If you are not going to use “academic interest area” in your inquiry response system, for instance, don’t ask for it.

More sterling advice from Stephanie at “…once someone starts a form, you want them to finish.”
Social Media: 7 Ideal Posting Lengths

The “ideal” length for social media titles, text, and videos obviously varies from one site to another.

HubSpot’s Lindsay Kolowich Cox has gathered data for some of the most popular places used for student recruitment. Included are Instagram, YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, Linked, and blogs in general.

Compare your use with the HubSpot article at “The Ideal Length for Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and LinkenIn Posts.”


Most Popular in May Newsletter: Tuition Discount Rate at an “all time high”
NACUBO (National Association of College and University Business Officers) is out with this year’s “all time high” tuition discount rate, based on returns from 300+ private sector schools: 56.2 percent for first time undergraduates; 50.9 percent for all undergraduates.

NACUBO also reports that net tuition adjusted for inflation fell by 5.4 percent for first time undergrads and 5.9 percent for all undergrads.

Download the “2022 TDS Fact Sheet” and review the glossary and survey instrument at “NACUBO Tuition Discounting Study.”
Be a marketing champion on your campus.

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