How to Attract Tip Top Students Into Your Graduate Programs

Pete Schauer

Marketing Director

Bachelor's degrees used to be enough to get people into their respective career fields. Unfortunately, this is no longer the case. Graduate degrees are required for many positions and are often the only way to climb the corporate ladder. Due to this change, more students are enrolling in graduate programs. This is a great opportunity for your higher education institution, as it means more students coming your way!

Of course, every advancement presents a new challenge. Just as you need to work hard to promote your school to the most qualified undergraduates, you must do the same for graduates. Because postgraduate education programs are generally smaller and less popular, many universities and colleges don’t have competitive strategies in place. Read on for tips to attract tip top students into your graduate programs.

Know What Your Candidates are Looking For

It’s important to know what prospective students are looking for in a graduate program, as this will shape your messaging. The things that get graduate students excited about a program is usually different from undergraduate students. Things like flexible courses, online learning, accelerated completion times, and the reputation of the school are key. Keep in mind that this audience has more responsibility than undergraduate students. Many are working full-time jobs and taking care of families, so the need for flexible programs is essential.

Improve Key Marketing Materials

Another thing to pay attention to is what prospective students are basing their decision on. This way, you can determine which channels deserve more of your budget. For example, undergraduate students tend to be most active on social media, but older students are likely to focus on websites and course program pages. Take time to review your website and program pages and update them with helpful, relevant content and a clean design.

Leverage Social Media and Paid Ads

A strong marketing strategy involves social media and paid ads. The reality is that your audience is on social media, and you can effectively reach them with highly targeted ads. Create a dedicated strategy for each channel. For example, Twitter and Facebook are great networks for sharing updates and posting blogs. LinkedIn allows you to promote your master’s program to individuals in certain fields, while Instagram gives you a clean slate for sharing your institution’s story.

Also, consider harnessing the power of live streaming. This is a great avenue for getting people acquainted with your school. You can host Q&A sessions, offer live tours of your campus and introduce your top faculty.

Attracting top graduates into your programs might feel different from what you’re used to, but you don’t need to reinvent the wheel. You can use a lot of the same marketing materials and make adjustments as needed to reflect the needs of your older, more mature audience.

About the Author: Pete Schauer

Born and raised at the Jersey Shore, Pete Schauer is the Marketing Director at SEMGeeks. He holds a M.A. in Digital Communications from William Paterson University and has 8+ years in the digital space with companies such as Bleacher Report and Social Media Today in addition to SEMGeeks. His background includes creative and professional writing as well as strategic digital marketing communications and management.

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