Student recruitment

Demonstrated interest: focus on potential students who are focused on you

In the post-pandemic scenario of virtual or hybrid recruitment, universities can utilize a variety of digital signals to identify interest from students.

Leslie Birch
April 12, 2022
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The uncertainty and chaos wrought by the pandemic have put even more pressure on universities to increase their yield surrounding international admissions. One approach to increasing yield is to identify and engage with students who’ve expressed demonstrated interest in a particular university at the beginning of the recruiting process - and keep their interest piqued throughout.

Demonstrated interest on the part of potential students is playing an even more prominent role as colleges assess their admissions decisions. From 2007 to 2019, the weight of a student’s demonstrated interest has risen atop the list of various factors universities consider during the admissions process. During this period, the importance of demonstrated interest has surpassed many other influential factors, including teacher recommendation, class rank, and extracurricular activities, according to a NACAC Admissions Trends Survey.

Understanding Demonstrated Interest

One of the best ways to predict demonstrated interest would have been a student’s physical visit to a college campus in pre-pandemic times. But with travel restrictions in place in most parts of the world, in-person tours haven’t been possible for the past two and half years. And COVID-related challenges aside, there are thousands of qualified high school students in remote areas of the globe who wouldn’t have the resources to visit multiple schools abroad, even if they wanted to.

Many universities looked to reach international students through virtual engagement events to overcome these challenges. While tracking attendance at virtual events is one way for universities to identify students who might be interested in their school, it’s only one of many. There’s a better way to pinpoint these students to ensure they are in your admissions funnel and you are tailoring your enrollment marketing efforts to their needs. 

Universities can utilize digital signals from students to identify demonstrated interest

Identifying interest from students

Cialfo recently introduced Connections to our high school community, which gives students the opportunity to send digital “signals” to universities to demonstrate interest. Universities will quickly have views into students who’ve expressed curiosity about their institution and are engaging in the following activities:

  • Attending a virtual event
  • Watching a recording or on-demand video
  • Downloading a university brochure
  • Visiting the university’s Premium Profile in the Cialfo platform
  • Connecting with the university via the new “Connect” button
  • Adding the university to their shortlist, longlist, or applying list
  • And finally, submitting their application through Cialfo’s Direct Apply 

Let data inform your communications strategy

A connection is created when a student, counselor, or guardian conducts any of the above activities. Having the ability to recognize these interested students faster is just the first step. Once you’ve gained in-depth insights into who they are and how they connect and interact with your university, you can leverage this information to craft more targeted and personalized outreach to individual students and their counselors (versus generic, one-size-fits-all messaging). 

Knowing how a student is virtually engaging with your school in Connections also helps you create content in the formats that will most resonate with an interested student. 

You can now deliver a highly personalized admissions experience to students who are already indicating their demonstrated interest in real-time. This, in turn, can boost your conversion rates by moving prospective students through the enrollment funnel faster - a win-win for everyone involved! 

Want to know how to engage more authentically with qualified students who are already focusing on your university? Learn more

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