High school graduates are often encouraged to apply to as few as 3 and as many as 15 colleges.
Can you imagine the overwhelm? How hard it must be, at some points, to distinguish one college from the next?
This is part of the reason why your school has worked so hard at developing a unique story—so that it can stand out, then rise to the top of a short list (a short list that is longer than ever).
If you really want to catch the attention of millennials and Gen Z, you first have to understand them, and then you have to let what you know about them color your communication to them, from how you talk to what you talk about.
These three stats bring with them fresh insight and perspective into these groups of young people, and what it takes to reach them.
84% of millennials think making a positive impact on the world is more important than personal recognition.1
Today’s young people care less about personal legacy and more about the future for all people. When you’re trying to reach millennials, keep in mind that they care deeply about impacting the world—and they’re likely to connect to a school that embodies the same pay-it-forward philosophy.
While academics and awards matter, so do your school’s charitable efforts, volunteer organizations and community involvement. If your school embodies a change-maker philosophy, tell that story. Potential students want to hear it.
Nearly half of employed college grads work in a job that doesn’t require a four-year degree.1
Gone are the days where a college degree meant you avoided unemployment and had near-guaranteed job security. Today’s students head into one of the biggest decisions and investments of their lives knowing that the road to success won’t be paved and waiting for them the moment they toss their caps into the air.
While it’s still a great thing to share your impressive post-graduation employment rate stats, you can’t blame students if they aren’t swayed by them. They know their ideal first job might be out of reach, so you need to appeal to more than just their future employment potential.
Instead of focusing on the post-grad benefits, weave into your story all the little things that make the experience of actively being a student at your school so wonderful. When you look to the future, find other benefits of being an alum of your school. Is there a standout network of alumni that students will benefit from? Can you share the stories of graduates who used their time at your school to get involved in ways that made them stand out, at school and in the job market?
Acknowledge that students face nerve-wracking statistics surrounding their chances of being launched into the career they’ve always wanted, and use your story to make clear the benefits of becoming a part of your school, now and in the future.
89% of Gen Z say that, instead of just “hanging out”, they dedicate part of their free time to activities that are creative and productive.2
Lazy? Spoiled? Entitled? Not this generation.
Instead of choosing to do nothing, Gen Z students choose to follow their passions. Instead of resting, they want to get things done. Clubs, activities, events and all the myriad opportunities that come with college are just what Generation Z craves.
Work on strengthening that story– the one that lives outside of academia– and your impressive extracurriculars are what might set your school apart.
For more generational insights, read on:
- How to Prepare Your School for “Generation Content”
- 10 Ways to Ensure Millennials Connect with Your Content
- 20 Best Tips for Connecting with Millennials
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