Pathways to Opportunity: Boosting Student Enrollment After the COVID-19 Pandemic thumbnail

Pathways to Opportunity: Boosting Student Enrollment After the COVID-19 Pandemic

The educational landscape changed quite a bit during the COVID-19 pandemic. Many colleges and universities grappled with unprecedented challenges, resulting in a widespread decline in student enrollment for all sectors of postsecondary education. In response, State funding was allocated across California to counteract this negative trend and support affected schools. That’s when San Bernardino Valley College District approached our team with the chance to build a marketing campaign that would boost student enrollment by 20% over the previous year. And, if you know JP, you know we’re always up for a challenge!

Understanding the Challenge

We shifted into high gear, collecting as much data and insight as possible on both schools within the San Bernardino Valley College District: San Bernardino Valley College and Crafton Hills College. We recognized our main challenge would be the highly competitive educational landscape within our target markets. There are at least 21 colleges or universities serving the area, including 14 private schools, two public schools, and five community colleges offering two-year degree programs. (That doesn’t even account for the vocational and technical schools.) There was no doubt that differentiating the client from other institutions was essential to our strategy. We needed to stand out.

Our Approach

  1. Data-Driven Insights and Personalized Digital Campaigns
    Data became our best friend! Leveraging data analytics, we tailored our approach to our target audiences’ specific needs and preferences. A comprehensive assessment of enrollment trends, demographic factors, and digital behavior informed our strategy. Through targeted online campaigns on various platforms, including social media and traditional marketing, we engaged prospective students with compelling content, keeping us on track and providing tangible statistics for reporting.
  2. Engaging Content and Storytelling
    Recognizing the power of storytelling, we showcased the vibrant campus life, leading educational programs, and promising futures awaiting students at both colleges. Through engaging content and out-of-the-box creative, we aimed to resonate with potential students on a deeper level.
  3. Out-of-Home and QR Codes
    Establishing a presence in the local community was a key component of our strategy. We made sure to purchase billboards near both campuses and have messaging at high-traffic areas, like local shopping malls. This boosted awareness, enhanced our digital strategies, and established the community presence we were aiming for all along.

 

 

Crafton Hills Billboard

 

 

The Results

We are thrilled to announce that we not only met but also exceeded our goals for the Spring 2024 semester campaign, achieving an over 20% increase in student enrollment compared to the previous year. That means we successfully reached numbers in line with what the school experienced before the COVID-19 pandemic.

With this being my first client at JP, I knew I wanted to prove myself. This achievement reinforces the impact of establishing strong connections with clear, measurable goals set from the start. And, of course, it illustrates the strength of strategic marketing efforts in driving positive outcomes to meet those ambitious goals.

——

Douglas Madaris |  Account Manager