LEADING Strategies

The Significance of Campus Visitations to College Choice and Strategic Enrollment Management

The reasons a student may choose a particular institution when seeking a postsecondary education are many. However, campus visitation—more specifically, the campus tour—is frequently cited as the most important aspect of the college recruitment process. Correspondingly, in a hypercompetitive and fiscally afflicted higher education market, admissions officers are under immense pressure to attract new students and increase financial yield. As a result, marketers of higher education admissions have turned their attention to prioritizing the pivotal nature of a campus visit, and the overwhelming effect it has on both prospective students and higher education administrators. This article explores influences that affect a student’s college choice and explains why campus visitation is the most important part of the recruitment process. Additionally, it reviews approaches and implications pertaining to campus visits and offers example-based suggestions on how enrollment managers can make visitations to their institutions fortuitous.

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