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Summer Visits: Focusing On What You Can Control

For the last few weeks, we’ve been consumed with the uncontrollable: deposits, yield, and Accepted Student Day registrations. You’ve put in the time and controlled your strategy to this point, and now, the waiting game begins. It’s not quite time to completely shift gears, but it is time to focus more on what you can control at this point: summer visits to campus!

It’s a proven fact—students who visit campus are more likely to yield. So, what are you doing, or what should you be doing to ensure we don’t dismiss the top of the funnel during the summer? 


1. Get campus ready for visitors 

You have 7 seconds to make a first impression. What students and parents see when they step foot on campus is in your control. Just as you would prepare your house for a gathering—clean up the high-traffic areas, set up seating, and allot enough resources for guests (water, refreshments, accessible restrooms). Trim those hedges and mow the lawn, the little details don’t go unnoticed.


2. Event planning and promotion

Gather your team and create a master event calendar. Utilize your CRM and get these events on your website. Organize what team members will be there and their responsibilities and roles for the event. 

Then, create a detailed promotional plan through various channels: email, SMS, digital ads, and print. Organization within a multi-channel approach is key to success (and, it’s something you can control).


3. Follow-up

The most important step of all: following up. Maintaining engagement and interest while it’s hot, answering any open-ended questions, and re-engaging with those no-shows—all within your control.

Those who showed up: You’ve now built a relationship with these students and potentially their parents. A personalized follow-up makes students feel valued and supported throughout the college search process. This is an opportunity to address any concerns or questions, showcase additional resources or programs, and foster a personal connection. Consider creating a post-visit survey—gather feedback on what went well and what you can improve on for the next time.

Those who didn’t: It goes without saying that the numbers on that registration list don’t always show up. The weather might not be in your favor or maybe something came up. Regardless, it’s vital to reach out to students and/or parents and let them know they were missed! FOMO goes a long way—share a recap of what they missed and offer up additional opportunities to visit. 


Showcasing your institution’s value from the first touchpoint is crucial. Utilize what you already know about these students and plan the most beneficial event for all parties involved. Ensure students feel welcomed and that they made an impression on your institution. 

What you do from now until students are left with a decision to make is within your control. Make these experiences matter!

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