Once your team has decided that an applicant may be a good fit for your program, here are some steps you can take to increase the likelihood of the student deciding to attend your school.
Tailor the Interview to the Student’s Interests and Goals
The student’s application provides a wealth of information about the student, his/her interests and goals, and the attraction to your program. This is important information to consider in preparing for your interview. Highlighting a program of interest, providing additional photographs or details in anticipation of questions, or inviting a related faculty member to join you for part of the interview are all ideas for how to best use your interview time to excite the student in your program.
Sell Your Program and the Community
Apart from attending to any specific student interests that your school program may meet, the interview is an important time to sell your school and program in general. Natural parents have increasingly more questions beyond those that can be answered by the sales team or that are addressed in your marketing materials. Use the interview time to ensure that the student understands what makes your school special. This may include college placement success rates, a special selection of clubs or activities, exceptional supports for international students, unique stories of success from previous international students, a new capital project for the school, stories about a famous alumnus, etc. Additionally, it is important to provide positive information about your city and community as students are often making decisions on the basis of location as well as school. Remember that the student has access to hundreds of programs and you are likely competing with schools across the country. Adding a very personal touch to your school’s admissions experience may help set you apart.
Employ a Unique Interview Experience
Students and natural parents may be excited by a unique interview experience. Developing rapport with the student is certainly important, once you have a feeling that the student will indeed meet your requirements and be a good fit for your program. Including a current international student may be helpful or inviting a unique staff member to the interview (as mentioned above) might also pique a student’s interest in your school.
Promptly Provide the Acceptance Letter
More and more we hear that interviewees and their families are eager to make a decision on a school very quickly. Students are often applying to more than three schools, and the sales team has suggested that a program who provides the acceptance letter early may have an advantage in securing enrollment. Your Program Manager and Student Support Associate are ready to help you get any outstanding questions answered as quickly as possible, ensure that your acceptance letter and school contract are provided promptly to the family, and communicate with you about any follow-up questions from the student.
Personalize Your Acceptance Letter
The head of the Cambridge sales team recently underscored the positive results that follow for a school who provides a personalized touch to the student after the interview. With the standard school acceptance letter as a base, adding a few tailored sentences which highlight the school’s sincere interest in the student will go a long way in securing the student’s choice. Referencing a highlight of the interview conversation will help the student and natural parent understand the benefits for the student of attending your program. More importantly, perhaps, the student and family may feel more secure in their decision, knowing of your sincere care for their child.
Follow-up with a Personal Message
If there is not an immediate student decision, you are also welcome to follow up the acceptance letter with a personal message or WeChat message to the student. Your Program Manager is always eager to reach out to the student or the student’s agent through an informal message, relaying your interest and sincere excitement to have the student join your program. Again, these personalized touches can make all the difference in turning a favorable interviewee into a member of your student body.
Communicate with Your Program Manager
Your Program Manager is happy to help all along the way in directing your personal message to the student or facilitating in any other way. Please feel free to reach out to your Program Manager or Student Support Associate with any questions or concerns before or after the interview. You are encouraged to use these resources to support your school and work together with us on follow-through with the applicant after your interview.
These are but a few strategies that may help to build the international student body most fitting to your unique program. Cambridge Network is here to work with you as we foster the goals of positive and meaningful global education today and in future.