‘Personalized feel’ of materials has 2019 numbers ‘on track’

As the semester coasts past President’s Day, the Baldwin Wallace Admission Office staff start to predict the amount of new students who will be attending Baldwin Wallace in Fall 2019.
Scott Schulz, vice president for Enrollment Services, said enrollment numbers are right on track even after seeing application declines in certain demographics.
Schulz said in order to combat the decrease in applications from the New York and Cleveland areas, the University has implemented new and strategic recruiting techniques to stay in touch with the changing preferences of high school students. Although it has been a challenge to recruit students out of certain locations, these techniques have allowed BW to connect with prospective students in a more personal way, he said.
“We work with university relations and do quite a bit of marketing,” said Schulz. “We have definitely moved into the digital realm as well, trying to increase visibility for BW in some of these out of state markets as well as in state markets.”
BW has been strategic in tailoring some outreach methods to specific academic areas prospective students show interest in. Instead of students receiving a typical “Here’s BW” message, they are receiving a message that is along the lines of, “here is more information about the specific program you expressed interest in,” said Schulz.
“We have definitely stepped up our use of personalization,” Schulz said. “Many students will receive personalized welcomes to the university from faculty or videos. University relations has added David Campbell’s videographer, and that’s allowed us to have more video production and tailor that to the BW brand. A personalized individual feel [has] been an increased movement for us.”
Although it is the middle of the semester, May 1 is the deposit deadline for BW. At this time, a more accurate number of how many committed new students there are will be apparent. However, even after May 1, over 100 more deposits flow into the system, Schulz said. BW still utilizes its marketing techniques all the way through the process in order to get more deposits.
Schulz said BW has worked in the past year to encourage students to take college applications seriously in order to choose the correct post-secondary institution for them even if it is not BW. With the personalized efforts in marketing, the university is beginning to recruit students who buy into the BW brand, he said.
“Many other students want to work through it and discover what the best school is for them, and that’s what we would encourage,” said Schulz. “We wouldn’t want students to deposit to a school they aren’t completely on board with. By encouraging students to take it seriously, we had a decrease in melt, [also known as] students who made deposits and changed their mind.”
Although tour guides, faculty and staff play a large component in recruiting students, current students in the BW community also play a role in getting prospective students to choose BW, said Schulz and Joyce Cendroski, director of undergraduate enrollment.
“It takes a village to recruit a class of incoming students,” said Cendroski. “BW is very fortunate to have a very supportive community from current students, coaches, staff and faculty who take an active role in making sure each year an amazing group of young people say, ‘I am BW bound!’ The Admission Office is sincerely grateful for the unending support.”
Even though recruiting students can be a challenge, it is what makes higher education a fun and exciting field to work in, she said. Although there are many external factors that can contribute to keeping enrollment on track, Admissions is very intentional in recruitment planning and strategies. The overarching goal is to always stay focused on meeting the needs and interests of the students, Cendroski said.