Wednesday’s Parent: Colleges Want YOU!


colleges want youOdds are everyone has seen the Uncle Sam poster recruiting men and women to enlist in the military. You could put the face of any college on that poster and get the same message. Colleges WANT You! Colleges are all about recruiting. You might not think they have to do much of it because students are breaking down doors these days to attend. But they take Enrollment Management (EM) very seriously. Even though your student goes to college to get an education, colleges are businesses seeking the best students who can present a positive image when marketing to future students.

What is Enrollment Management?

According to the NAIS (National Association of Independent Schools), EM encompasses four key areas: admission management, retention, research and marketing. It is the college’s response to the challenges and opportunities that recruiting and retaining the right student body present to a school’s financial health, image, and student quality. Quite simply, it’s the way a college gets (and keeps) its students. They invest time, money and resources to create their perfect freshman class.

This gives a whole new perspective to the college choice

Just as colleges WANT you, they want you to WANT them. When you see it in this light, it makes it easier to realize that YOU are the one making the college choice. You are the one they are trying to attract. You are the one they invest their time in to recruit you (and keep you) to add to their student body.

Quite honestly, the only time a college holds the power is making the decision to offer you admission. Once that decision is made, the power shifts back to YOU. If they truly want you, they will back it up with a strong offer of financial aid. At that point, you can choose to accept it, or accept a better offer.

Do your own EM

Colleges are marketing to you. You need to market to them. Present yourself in the best possible light. Focus during high school. Study for standardized tests. Round out your academics with strong extracurriculars and excellent recommendations. Research which colleges would knock down your door and market to them. Position yourself at the top of the applicant pool and put yourself in the position of power. After all, it’s your money, your investment and finally, YOUR decision!

Read Wendy’s post: Enrollment Management and College Admission


Tonight is Wednesday’s Parent night (the fourth Wednesday of each month) on #CampusChat, Wednesday, March 25, 9pm ET/6pm PT. We will talk with Karen Full, former college admissions director, now enrollment strategist with Longmire & Company, about enrollment management and college admissions. Karen has counseled many students and families on choosing college. Please join me– @SuzanneShaffer and @pocsmom with our guest @KarenAFull and bring your questions and comments.


Wednesday’s child may be full of woe but Wednesday’s Parent can substitute action for anxiety. Each Wednesday Wendy and I will provide parent tips to get and keep your student on the college track. It’s never too late or too early to start!

Wednesday’s Parent will give twice the info and double the blog posts on critical parenting issues by clicking on the link at the end of the article from parentscountdowntocollegecoach to and vice versa.

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