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May 10, 2022

The Steep Cost of Disregarding Transparency in Tuition

The Steep Cost of Disregarding Transparency in Tuition

We talk with a lot of guests about college admissions from the higher ed perspective, but what can we learn from having the conversation from a secondary school angle?  

In this episode, Chris Cleveland, Principal at Wesleyan School, shares his perspective on how colleges can transparently and effectively market themselves to prospective students.   

We discuss:

  • How to effectively market to high school students and their families
  • What the benefits are of a personalized approach
  • Finding the balance between outcomes and experience  

To hear more interviews like this one, subscribe to Higher Ed Marketer on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or yo ur preferred podcast platform.  

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The Higher Ed Marketer podcast is sponsored by Caylor Solutions, an Education Marketing and Branding Agency, and by Think Patented, a Marketing Execution, Printing and Mailing provider of Higher Ed solutions.

    

 

Transcript
WEBVTT 1 00:00:02.960 --> 00:00:07.280 You are listening to the Higher Ed Marketer, a podcast geared towards marketing professionals 2 00:00:07.320 --> 00:00:12.000 in higher education. This show will tackle all sorts of questions related to student 3 00:00:12.039 --> 00:00:16.839 recruitment, donor relations, marketing trends, new technologies and so much more. 4 00:00:17.079 --> 00:00:21.039 If you are looking for conversations centered around where the industry is going, this 5 00:00:21.039 --> 00:00:28.719 podcast is for you. Let's get into the show. Welcome to the High 6 00:00:28.760 --> 00:00:33.159 Red Marketer podcast. I'm troy singer here with Bart Taylor, where each week 7 00:00:33.200 --> 00:00:38.079 we interview high read marketers that we admire for the benefit and hopefully the betterment 8 00:00:38.159 --> 00:00:42.880 of the entire Higher Ed Marketing Community. This week we talked to Chris Cleveland 9 00:00:42.920 --> 00:00:48.079 of the Wesleyan School in the Greater Atlanta Georgia area. What unique about this 10 00:00:48.079 --> 00:00:54.640 conversation is for the first time we speak to a administrator of a high school 11 00:00:54.719 --> 00:00:59.520 that is seeing what it looks like, from his perspective, of colleges and 12 00:00:59.560 --> 00:01:06.079 universities marketing to prospective students in his school, and he gives us some great 13 00:01:06.079 --> 00:01:12.000 insight of how the successful colleges and universities do it. Yeah, Chris has 14 00:01:12.000 --> 00:01:15.400 a great perspective and I really respect the fact that he joined us on the 15 00:01:15.640 --> 00:01:19.519 High Reed Marketer and kind of give us, you know that inside of what 16 00:01:19.519 --> 00:01:23.159 what a high school administrator, you know, a private school administrator, sees, 17 00:01:23.239 --> 00:01:27.640 especially when they have the different schools come in and and do campus new 18 00:01:27.760 --> 00:01:30.840 visits with the students and things like that. So just kind of pay attention 19 00:01:30.840 --> 00:01:34.959 to that. He does talk a lot about things that the admissions counselors can 20 00:01:34.000 --> 00:01:37.519 do, but I want you to kind of pay attention that. Even if 21 00:01:37.519 --> 00:01:42.480 you're not, you know, directly influencing enrollment, there are things that are 22 00:01:42.519 --> 00:01:45.599 brand associated and I kind of talk a little bit more about that at the 23 00:01:45.680 --> 00:01:48.519 very end of the conversation. So let's go ahead and get get started with 24 00:01:48.599 --> 00:01:55.439 this. It's a great conversation. Here's our conversation with Chris Cleveland. It's 25 00:01:55.439 --> 00:02:00.120 our pleasure to welcome Chris Cleveland to the Higher Ed Marketer podcast. Chris, 26 00:02:00.159 --> 00:02:02.640 thank you for spending some time with us this afternoon. It's my pleasure, 27 00:02:02.719 --> 00:02:07.280 troy, and thanks to you and Bart for welcoming me on the podcast. 28 00:02:07.560 --> 00:02:09.400 It's a pleasure to be with you, Chris. The reason why we wanted 29 00:02:09.479 --> 00:02:15.360 to talk to you is to get the perspective of a secondary leader or leader 30 00:02:15.360 --> 00:02:23.439 at a secondary institution on the successful ways that you see higher ed marketing being 31 00:02:23.520 --> 00:02:28.400 done being executed to the students at your school. So if you can tell 32 00:02:28.479 --> 00:02:30.840 us a little bit about the Wesleyan school and a little bit about your role 33 00:02:30.919 --> 00:02:38.719 there, absolutely well. Wesleyan school is a Christian, independent, nondenominational kindergarten 34 00:02:38.719 --> 00:02:45.120 through twelve grade school of just under one two hundred students. We are located 35 00:02:45.199 --> 00:02:49.360 on one campus in peastreet corners, Georgia, which is a suburb of Atlanta 36 00:02:49.479 --> 00:02:53.080 on the northeast side of town. We have a high school of just under 37 00:02:53.080 --> 00:02:58.879 five hundred students and in a typical year we graduate about a hundred and twenty 38 00:02:58.879 --> 00:03:05.159 five seniors. We are absolutely a college preparatory institution, so it's our goal 39 00:03:05.199 --> 00:03:09.919 that all of our graduates would be admitted to and enroll and matriculate to a 40 00:03:09.960 --> 00:03:16.319 four year college or university. And we send our children primarily to schools and 41 00:03:16.360 --> 00:03:23.479 a footprint in the southeast, everything from Virginia all the way down around through 42 00:03:23.520 --> 00:03:28.479 the Carolinas, Georgia, Alabama and as far west as Texas. And then 43 00:03:28.479 --> 00:03:31.879 we do have some outliers. We do send some students outside of the southeast 44 00:03:31.919 --> 00:03:36.840 Wesleyans first graduating class was in one thousand nine hundred and ninety eight. So 45 00:03:36.879 --> 00:03:42.680 we are still a relatively young institution when you consider the high school footprint. 46 00:03:42.719 --> 00:03:47.680 And my role at Wesleyan as head of school is that I oversee the administration 47 00:03:47.680 --> 00:03:53.439 of the School K to twelve. I have three division principles who report to 48 00:03:53.479 --> 00:03:57.719 me and they oversee each of their three divisions, lower, middle and high 49 00:03:57.759 --> 00:04:03.479 school. My background is that I did spend twelve years as a principle prior 50 00:04:03.479 --> 00:04:09.840 to coming into higher level administration. So I have been a high school principle 51 00:04:10.439 --> 00:04:15.319 two different schools, including Wesleyan school. So very familiar with the college process 52 00:04:15.319 --> 00:04:23.560 and navigating our students through the college admission programs that they go through. That's 53 00:04:23.600 --> 00:04:25.639 great. Thank you, Chris, for being on the show and I just 54 00:04:25.680 --> 00:04:28.519 want to point out that one of our other guests introduced us to you, 55 00:04:28.560 --> 00:04:31.439 Phil Cook, so I'm grateful for fulfill for for that introduction and having you 56 00:04:31.480 --> 00:04:33.279 on the on the show. I know he was so excited. He's like, 57 00:04:33.319 --> 00:04:35.959 Oh yeah, I have somebody on there to give you the perspective from 58 00:04:35.959 --> 00:04:39.800 from a high school, and so I thought that was a great idea. 59 00:04:39.920 --> 00:04:42.959 So this is our opportunity to kind of pick that apart and talk a little 60 00:04:43.040 --> 00:04:45.199 about that. So one of the things that I wanted to just kind of 61 00:04:45.439 --> 00:04:47.839 kind of start our conversation in is just the idea that I think so many 62 00:04:47.839 --> 00:04:53.199 times, as higher ed marketers, and especially colleges universities, they've really got 63 00:04:53.199 --> 00:04:58.439 to be well informed and they've got to be well prepared to talk about you 64 00:04:58.480 --> 00:05:00.680 know, at the end of the day, a lot of a lot of 65 00:05:00.680 --> 00:05:04.519 decisions come down to cost and I think that we are so often, you 66 00:05:04.560 --> 00:05:06.879 know, I think we like to think about, well, let's make sure 67 00:05:06.920 --> 00:05:10.600 we talk about our brand, are distinctive. Those are all important, but 68 00:05:10.720 --> 00:05:15.720 many times, unfortunately, decisions get made based on cost, and especially for 69 00:05:15.759 --> 00:05:19.519 small private schools, it's difficult because the sticker price that somebody sees on the 70 00:05:19.560 --> 00:05:24.959 website isn't necessarily what they're going to pay when it comes down to the financial 71 00:05:25.040 --> 00:05:28.040 aid package. And so I just wanted to kind of get an idea from 72 00:05:28.079 --> 00:05:31.040 you of how how do you see that playing out, with the idea of 73 00:05:31.399 --> 00:05:35.959 how do we make sure that we talk about scholarships aid, what's available to 74 00:05:36.000 --> 00:05:39.680 parents, especially to parents. I guess that's part of it too. Is 75 00:05:39.680 --> 00:05:42.279 that we're talking to the students, but I think a lot of schools need 76 00:05:42.279 --> 00:05:46.199 to understand that. You know, mom is the number one influencer anyway you 77 00:05:46.240 --> 00:05:47.680 cut it, and I'm sure you see that a lot more than maybe some 78 00:05:47.720 --> 00:05:50.439 of the hired marketers that we work with do. But let's just talk a 79 00:05:50.439 --> 00:05:53.759 little bit about that. So so what do you think about that, Chris? 80 00:05:53.800 --> 00:05:57.279 Now it's a great point. Barton, you know, I read recently 81 00:05:57.519 --> 00:06:03.439 that over the last two decade college tuition and fees have increased somewhere around a 82 00:06:03.519 --> 00:06:09.800 hundred and eighty percent, and so I think that for a lot of our 83 00:06:09.839 --> 00:06:15.800 parents there they're really their mindset on college tuition is really kind of what it 84 00:06:15.839 --> 00:06:20.240 was when they went to college, and so sticker shock is a real thing 85 00:06:20.279 --> 00:06:28.000 and I think in terms of your audience, you know, college admissions professionals, 86 00:06:28.319 --> 00:06:30.800 you hit the nail on the head. I think it's got to be 87 00:06:30.839 --> 00:06:36.120 a two pronged approach. It is making an appeal to students about the experience 88 00:06:36.160 --> 00:06:42.879 and the programs and all of the amenities that they might experience on a college 89 00:06:42.920 --> 00:06:47.639 campus, but for mom and dad there is got to be a conversation about 90 00:06:47.680 --> 00:06:55.600 cost and what's available in terms of scholarships and opportunities, and that's just got 91 00:06:55.600 --> 00:07:00.519 to be a part of the presentation to parents in this day and age. 92 00:07:00.560 --> 00:07:04.879 We feel that tension here at Wesleyan. Obviously we're a tuition paying school, 93 00:07:04.879 --> 00:07:10.720 so parents are already shelling out a significant amount of money to send their children 94 00:07:10.839 --> 00:07:14.639 to this school and then, on top of that they're looking at the potential 95 00:07:14.680 --> 00:07:18.839 burden of a college tuition as well, and that could be and most cases, 96 00:07:18.879 --> 00:07:25.079 for multiple children as they navigate through this process. So I think that 97 00:07:25.160 --> 00:07:30.879 colleges and universities do themselves a tremendous favor to to take on the role of 98 00:07:31.319 --> 00:07:39.480 educator and educate parents on what scholarship opportunities are available at their institution and to 99 00:07:39.600 --> 00:07:45.639 just understand that the advertised price is really not the real price, that there's 100 00:07:45.680 --> 00:07:49.560 a difference there between what you read on a website and then, when you 101 00:07:49.600 --> 00:07:55.160 dig into it, what the actual cost might be. I know that when 102 00:07:55.160 --> 00:07:59.759 we had spoken earlier, we talked about in the state of Georgia is it's 103 00:07:59.800 --> 00:08:05.240 an even more unique situation because we have something called the hope scholarship and the 104 00:08:05.319 --> 00:08:13.279 Zell Miller scholarship, and those are a product of the lottery in Georgia and 105 00:08:13.519 --> 00:08:18.839 the way that the funding is used for the lottery is to reduce the cost 106 00:08:18.920 --> 00:08:24.079 of tuition for students who live in Georgia and who attend schools in state, 107 00:08:24.000 --> 00:08:30.120 and it's very, very attractive. If you get the hope scholarship, it's 108 00:08:30.199 --> 00:08:39.240 essentially pays for ninety percent of tuition on the state university hourly rate for credits, 109 00:08:39.279 --> 00:08:41.960 and if you get the Zell Miller it's a hundred percent of tuition. 110 00:08:41.679 --> 00:08:46.639 So as our students are looking at schools and the state of Georgia and then 111 00:08:46.679 --> 00:08:52.799 looking outside the state of Georgia, there can be a substantial difference intuition cost 112 00:08:52.919 --> 00:08:58.600 for a family based on that hope and Zell Miller scholarship. And so again, 113 00:08:58.720 --> 00:09:01.360 to your point, I'm beating a dead horse here a little bit, 114 00:09:01.399 --> 00:09:07.200 but for for colleges outside of the state of Georgia who are recruiting students in 115 00:09:07.240 --> 00:09:15.559 Georgia, taking the time to educate families on scholarship opportunities that are available is 116 00:09:15.639 --> 00:09:22.399 well worth the effort because it is something that is on the forefront of virtually 117 00:09:22.559 --> 00:09:26.720 every parent at ever of every high school senior in the state of Georgia. 118 00:09:26.840 --> 00:09:30.080 Yeah, and more and more states are taking that measure. I mean, 119 00:09:30.120 --> 00:09:33.200 you know the idea of, you know, making sure that there's not a 120 00:09:33.240 --> 00:09:37.120 brain drain in the state, and so I know Tennessee has a similar program 121 00:09:37.120 --> 00:09:41.480 where they will cover a lot of tuition for in state students who are staying 122 00:09:41.519 --> 00:09:46.639 in state, and so that's and I know there's several others college or several 123 00:09:46.679 --> 00:09:48.960 other states that are doing that as well. And so, especially privates, 124 00:09:48.960 --> 00:09:54.159 I need to kind of be well aware of that because sometimes, and and 125 00:09:54.200 --> 00:09:56.440 you know, we had a conversation with another guest recently about the idea that 126 00:09:56.840 --> 00:10:01.639 privates sometimes think they're competing against one another when in reality they're competing against the 127 00:10:01.639 --> 00:10:07.200 state schools, especially state schools that can have these types of scholarships. So 128 00:10:07.440 --> 00:10:09.720 just, you know, keeping that in mind, I think is really good 129 00:10:09.759 --> 00:10:13.919 too, and I'm guessing to that the idea that not only do we need 130 00:10:15.000 --> 00:10:18.279 to make sure that the as high red marketers we can, we can convey 131 00:10:18.360 --> 00:10:20.559 that information, but we also have to put it in ways that people can 132 00:10:20.639 --> 00:10:24.919 understand and and just they I mean I'm sure that you see it even even 133 00:10:26.080 --> 00:10:31.919 educated parents, parents who have college education, and you start throwing around Faftsa 134 00:10:31.159 --> 00:10:37.240 and all these other terms and cost per credit hour. That doesn't really, 135 00:10:37.679 --> 00:10:39.919 you know, ring true. A lot of times it's like, you know, 136 00:10:39.919 --> 00:10:43.519 it's one, it's been a long time and too I just need to 137 00:10:43.559 --> 00:10:45.799 know how much I need to budget. So, I mean, do you 138 00:10:45.799 --> 00:10:48.360 hear that a lot in your school? Yeah, absolutely, part it's an 139 00:10:48.360 --> 00:10:54.080 excellent point and I think colleges and universities are guilty of what all of us 140 00:10:54.120 --> 00:11:00.399 are guilty of within our chosen field, which is we talk about these topics 141 00:11:00.440 --> 00:11:05.399 so much that there we take for granted that there's a an assumed level of 142 00:11:05.440 --> 00:11:09.440 knowledge with the people were speaking with. In while I don't want to encourage 143 00:11:09.440 --> 00:11:16.679 admissions officers to patronize or talk down to their audience, you shouldn't assume that 144 00:11:16.720 --> 00:11:24.440 they really know anything and again that you can be really bright and accomplished and 145 00:11:24.480 --> 00:11:31.320 well educated and not understand the complexities of college finance and not be familiar with 146 00:11:31.759 --> 00:11:37.759 the terminology. And so I think finding a way to to really scale it 147 00:11:37.799 --> 00:11:43.320 down and and be able to not only talk about it but when when you 148 00:11:43.399 --> 00:11:48.559 leave a school or when a school a family leaves, a tour of your 149 00:11:48.600 --> 00:11:52.720 school to be able to hand them, you know, a one page piece 150 00:11:52.759 --> 00:11:58.080 of paper that really kind of gives an overview of how financing education can work 151 00:11:58.159 --> 00:12:05.080 at that individ vidual college or university is Super Helpful. It's a complicated landscape. 152 00:12:05.159 --> 00:12:09.279 I can attest that as someone who is a professional educator. I've had 153 00:12:09.320 --> 00:12:13.480 a one son go through the college admissions process. My second son is a 154 00:12:13.519 --> 00:12:18.360 senior this year. It's daunting. Even for me and my wife, who 155 00:12:18.399 --> 00:12:24.080 are familiar with higher ed and familiar with the education landscape, it's still a 156 00:12:24.159 --> 00:12:31.440 daunting process to consider how to finance a child's education. So again I would 157 00:12:31.519 --> 00:12:39.639 encourage admissions professionals to not assume a foundational or base of knowledge, but to 158 00:12:39.720 --> 00:12:43.279 assume that you're talking to someone who may not have any idea, as you 159 00:12:43.279 --> 00:12:48.480 said, what Fafsa is, and just not to just glide over that like 160 00:12:48.720 --> 00:12:54.840 people completely get that that's not the case and it takes a lot of time, 161 00:12:54.559 --> 00:12:58.879 but I think in the long run it's worth it to have that educational 162 00:12:58.960 --> 00:13:03.840 piece. On the finance side. Over the past decade, since the financial 163 00:13:03.879 --> 00:13:11.240 collapse, there's a thought in high read that sometimes people are trying the way 164 00:13:11.360 --> 00:13:16.919 if tuition out of school is worth sending their children to that school. And 165 00:13:18.159 --> 00:13:22.679 we've talked to other guests about marketing outcomes. Would like to know from what 166 00:13:22.759 --> 00:13:28.600 you see good examples or your opinion on how schools need to market outcomes in 167 00:13:30.080 --> 00:13:35.000 order to effectively communicate with the parents. Yeah, that that's certainly a part 168 00:13:35.039 --> 00:13:43.039 of this continued conversation of just the the ever growing cost of college education and 169 00:13:43.440 --> 00:13:48.320 I think again you've nailed it in your question. There's a lot of discussion 170 00:13:48.440 --> 00:13:54.039 at the secondary school level, you know, is is that college degree really 171 00:13:54.120 --> 00:14:00.200 worth it? And and really what the question really is embedded in that is, 172 00:14:00.879 --> 00:14:05.600 at that price point, is there really a return on investment? That's 173 00:14:05.039 --> 00:14:13.320 something that my child is gonna realize and appreciate over time, and so I 174 00:14:13.320 --> 00:14:16.279 do think it's a little bit of a slippery slope. You know, we 175 00:14:16.320 --> 00:14:20.480 don't want to I don't think it's good to talk about college education solely in 176 00:14:20.600 --> 00:14:24.559 terms of cost and am I going to get a job that I can pay 177 00:14:24.600 --> 00:14:28.840 off my college loans quickly? I don't think that's the sole purpose of college. 178 00:14:28.879 --> 00:14:33.720 But I think for the purposes of your question, yes, I see 179 00:14:33.000 --> 00:14:41.120 there are some colleges and universities who are doing an outstanding job very clearly articulating 180 00:14:41.320 --> 00:14:48.120 the cost of their school relative to a whole series of statistics for their graduates. 181 00:14:48.159 --> 00:14:52.600 One School in particular that obviously I'm familiar with because I'm in Atlanta, 182 00:14:52.720 --> 00:14:58.600 is Georgia Tech. Georgi attack has done an outstanding job of really tracking their 183 00:14:58.679 --> 00:15:03.720 Gradu do it's and when you go there to take a tour, they can 184 00:15:03.720 --> 00:15:09.320 tell you what percentage of their graduates land a job within six months of graduation 185 00:15:09.559 --> 00:15:15.679 and what their average starting salary is. And again, Georgia text a little 186 00:15:15.679 --> 00:15:18.960 bit of a unique animal as an institution. It's in high demand. If 187 00:15:20.000 --> 00:15:24.440 you graduate from Georgia Tech, you are in high demand. Not Every college 188 00:15:24.519 --> 00:15:28.519 or university you know going to. You know different types of price, type 189 00:15:28.519 --> 00:15:35.960 programs and other things that you know that might not fulfill what our society needs 190 00:15:35.960 --> 00:15:37.360 in the end. So I mean, are you saying some of that too? 191 00:15:37.519 --> 00:15:41.519 Yeah, absolutely, Barren. I think this is kind of the slippery 192 00:15:41.559 --> 00:15:46.879 slope that I alluded to in my answer to troy. While I do think 193 00:15:48.000 --> 00:15:52.559 that there is value and looking at the hard numbers and looking at the the 194 00:15:52.600 --> 00:15:58.240 return on investment if I pay this tuition, what am I looking at almost 195 00:15:58.240 --> 00:16:03.919 fiftyzero applications, and so that funnel has widened considerably. For Georgia Tech, 196 00:16:03.080 --> 00:16:07.440 I think it's a bit of a perfect storm. It's the hope scholarship and 197 00:16:07.440 --> 00:16:11.000 the Zel Miller scholarship in the state of Georgia. It's a national brand and 198 00:16:11.039 --> 00:16:19.240 reputation, but then it's also a very tangible, objective, hard number that 199 00:16:19.279 --> 00:16:26.320 they can provide in terms of job acquisition and starting salary for their graduates. 200 00:16:26.320 --> 00:16:30.720 And so they are one school that I think has done an excellent example of 201 00:16:30.720 --> 00:16:33.440 that and I think you're going to I think other schools are going to almost 202 00:16:33.519 --> 00:16:40.639 be forced to start to provide some of those numbers, almost as a justification 203 00:16:40.840 --> 00:16:45.519 for their increase intuition, and so I would imagine that other schools are going 204 00:16:45.559 --> 00:16:52.360 to follow suit and begin to talk more about that end product, as tech 205 00:16:52.440 --> 00:16:55.960 has done. I think there's somewhat of an industry leader in that regard. 206 00:16:56.159 --> 00:17:00.799 To me, this is the downside of the escalating cost of college. But 207 00:17:00.919 --> 00:17:04.960 I do think the schools to make sure that we're having good conversations with our 208 00:17:06.000 --> 00:17:12.599 families, not just about things like starting salary and job security, but all 209 00:17:12.680 --> 00:17:19.119 the intangible things that take place in the college experience. I look back on 210 00:17:19.160 --> 00:17:25.000 my own college experience and I'm thankful for what I learned and I'm thankful for 211 00:17:25.000 --> 00:17:29.599 where I am now professionally, but the most important thing for me in college 212 00:17:29.720 --> 00:17:33.680 is that I grew up. I learned how to go from being a boy 213 00:17:33.759 --> 00:17:36.880 to being a man and how to be responsible and how to take care of 214 00:17:36.880 --> 00:17:41.839 myself and to be independent and to take initiative and to be my own advocate, 215 00:17:41.279 --> 00:17:48.359 and those intangibles, I'm afraid, are getting lost in the conversation because 216 00:17:48.440 --> 00:17:59.720 we're so focused on cost and outcome and we can't exclusively define outcome as just 217 00:18:00.039 --> 00:18:03.720 starting salary. I think that's important and I think it should be a part 218 00:18:03.720 --> 00:18:07.759 of the conversation. We can't ignore that. If we're going to charge what 219 00:18:07.839 --> 00:18:11.400 we're going to charge for college tuition, than I think we have to be 220 00:18:11.440 --> 00:18:15.480 a realistic and provide people with some outcomes. But but I think there's a 221 00:18:15.519 --> 00:18:22.240 balance and I think that the colleges and universities that can find the balance of 222 00:18:22.400 --> 00:18:30.440 selling the overall experience while also selling the the hard number outcome, I think 223 00:18:30.480 --> 00:18:34.880 those are the schools that are going to really find some traction in what is 224 00:18:34.960 --> 00:18:41.880 undoubtedly a challenging admissions environment for colleges and universities. Yeah, I think you're 225 00:18:41.000 --> 00:18:45.240 right and I was having a conversation with another client yesterday about just trying to 226 00:18:45.279 --> 00:18:51.640 help them identify the affinity versus transactional relationships that we have with anything that we 227 00:18:51.680 --> 00:18:52.799 deal with. I mean, it could be a college, it could be 228 00:18:52.839 --> 00:18:57.079 it could be, you know, our smartphone. I mean I I carry, 229 00:18:57.119 --> 00:19:00.039 you know, I use an iphone. I have an affinity for Apple. 230 00:19:00.319 --> 00:19:03.400 There's a lot of reasons behind that, but I know I could probably 231 00:19:03.400 --> 00:19:08.119 go out and find a lot cheaper, burner smartphone. That would be, 232 00:19:08.160 --> 00:19:11.039 you know, if I'm really looking at a cost perspective, but looking at 233 00:19:11.079 --> 00:19:15.359 an experience as part of my whole thing. And so I think the college 234 00:19:15.359 --> 00:19:19.680 is need to kind of keep that in mind of water we actually portraying when 235 00:19:19.680 --> 00:19:23.200 we doing our marketing. How are we doing that? And speaking of that, 236 00:19:23.240 --> 00:19:26.799 I'm just curious because, I mean you are in a you know, 237 00:19:26.960 --> 00:19:30.920 you're in a secondary school. You've a high school there, you've got college 238 00:19:30.920 --> 00:19:37.640 reps coming in, you know, making presentations and and and meeting with students. 239 00:19:37.640 --> 00:19:41.039 Where do you see? You know, what colleges are not necessarily what 240 00:19:41.119 --> 00:19:45.200 college is, but what most what are they doing that's effective that you say, 241 00:19:45.400 --> 00:19:48.720 oh, that's that, kids are taking notice of that, or mom 242 00:19:48.759 --> 00:19:52.480 and dad are taking notice that, or guidance counselors are noticing that. Talk 243 00:19:52.519 --> 00:19:56.720 a little bit about that. Yeah, but I think you actually said what 244 00:19:56.799 --> 00:20:00.559 I was going to say in your last comment. Sorry, now, that's 245 00:20:00.559 --> 00:20:07.240 okay, but it it's really about being relational and not transactional, and I 246 00:20:07.279 --> 00:20:12.440 think that the colleges that I see that are getting the greatest traction in the 247 00:20:12.440 --> 00:20:21.759 marketplace are the ones that are able to establish some sort of personal capital with 248 00:20:21.799 --> 00:20:26.240 students and families. And, let's face it, we live in an increasingly 249 00:20:26.480 --> 00:20:34.960 impersonal world. Communication is more heavily rooted in efficiency than it is being personalized. 250 00:20:36.680 --> 00:20:45.799 You know the impact that a simple handwritten note from an admissions officer makes. 251 00:20:45.920 --> 00:20:49.920 Hey, thanks for visiting campus last week. I really enjoyed touring you 252 00:20:51.000 --> 00:20:55.200 and I hope you'll consider to keep our school on your shortlist. You know 253 00:20:55.279 --> 00:20:59.880 kids today, don't they don't get mail, they certainly don't get handwritten notes 254 00:21:00.160 --> 00:21:03.519 in the mail, and so if the goal is for a college or a 255 00:21:03.680 --> 00:21:10.359 university to stand out from the crowd, maybe think of it in these terms. 256 00:21:10.400 --> 00:21:14.960 There's a lot of noise in the college market place right now. How 257 00:21:14.960 --> 00:21:19.640 do you cut through that noise and effectively deliver your message? There's no singular 258 00:21:19.680 --> 00:21:26.880 way to do that. I think it takes a whole series of communications strategies. 259 00:21:27.319 --> 00:21:33.559 But I think the more that schools can personalize their approach, the more 260 00:21:33.599 --> 00:21:41.000 that they can say a student's name in a phone message or in a handwritten 261 00:21:41.079 --> 00:21:48.039 note, that is going to make you stand out from what has become, 262 00:21:48.720 --> 00:21:52.920 I think, a little bit of an impersonal process, particularly at your larger 263 00:21:53.000 --> 00:22:00.200 state schools that are just generating, you know, double digit thousands of applications. 264 00:22:00.400 --> 00:22:03.920 It's virtually impossible, and in my state that's almost impossible, for a 265 00:22:03.000 --> 00:22:11.279 university of Georgia or a Georgia tech to personalize those admissions contact points. But 266 00:22:11.359 --> 00:22:18.680 a smaller school like a Lee University, where our friend Phil Cook was you 267 00:22:18.720 --> 00:22:23.119 know, that's a school that can make it personal. I think if colleges 268 00:22:23.240 --> 00:22:30.880 can find a way, if a college admissions officer could find a way to 269 00:22:30.920 --> 00:22:37.359 communicate to a student, our college cares more about who you are then what 270 00:22:37.480 --> 00:22:41.920 you've accomplished on your resume. And again this this kind of pulls in a 271 00:22:41.960 --> 00:22:48.960 lot of the things we'd discussed today. It's personalized, it's talking about the 272 00:22:48.000 --> 00:22:56.240 broader experience and not just a money in, money out transactional relationship. It's 273 00:22:56.240 --> 00:23:02.680 communicating our college cares about you and we want to certainly we want you to 274 00:23:02.880 --> 00:23:06.359 we want to see you reach your goals, we want you to achieve and 275 00:23:06.440 --> 00:23:10.920 accomplish, but you need to know that if you come to our school we're 276 00:23:10.960 --> 00:23:15.400 going to make an investment in your character and your development as a human being. 277 00:23:15.599 --> 00:23:21.920 And regardless of what you're chosen field of study is, regardless of what 278 00:23:21.960 --> 00:23:27.359 your professional life where that lead you, those character development things will serve you 279 00:23:27.440 --> 00:23:33.759 well in all areas of your life. And so if I was recruiting a 280 00:23:33.799 --> 00:23:40.119 student from Wesleyan School, I would really want to lean heavily into that and 281 00:23:40.240 --> 00:23:44.160 say to that student, Hey, if you come to my campus, this 282 00:23:44.279 --> 00:23:48.599 a place that's going to invest in developing all of you, not just your 283 00:23:48.880 --> 00:23:56.279 intellect, not just your professional development for a career. Of course we're going 284 00:23:56.319 --> 00:23:59.799 to do those things where a college. That's what colleges do. But what 285 00:24:00.079 --> 00:24:02.799 we're going to do is we want to invest in your character, we want 286 00:24:02.799 --> 00:24:06.400 to help you become a better leader. We want to help you become a 287 00:24:06.440 --> 00:24:10.920 man and woman of integrity and character, and we see those things in you 288 00:24:10.960 --> 00:24:14.559 already and we think if you come to our school those things will just be 289 00:24:14.559 --> 00:24:18.480 further developed in you. So I don't know if I'm answering your question with 290 00:24:18.640 --> 00:24:23.279 a really short here's what you could do next week. But again, I 291 00:24:23.319 --> 00:24:30.119 think it's about speaking about the experience more than I would speak about the the 292 00:24:30.160 --> 00:24:34.000 return on investment, and if you could do that in a personalized way, 293 00:24:34.319 --> 00:24:37.480 I think you'd be even better served in that regard. The important thing, 294 00:24:37.559 --> 00:24:42.440 Chris, is that you gave me the best answer something to thank you. 295 00:24:45.119 --> 00:24:48.720 For those who would like to connect with you, what would be the best 296 00:24:48.720 --> 00:24:52.039 way for them to reach out and get your attention? Yeah, absolutely, 297 00:24:52.119 --> 00:24:56.279 and I'd be happy for anyone to get in touch with me. The best 298 00:24:56.319 --> 00:25:03.000 way is through email and my email address is see Cleveland, cell Evela and 299 00:25:03.079 --> 00:25:12.720 D at Wesleyan school dot o Rg and be happy to answer any questions or 300 00:25:14.240 --> 00:25:17.720 kick around any ideas if anyone wants to do that. Again, thank you 301 00:25:17.920 --> 00:25:21.759 very much for being a guest. Really enjoyed our conversation with you, Chris. 302 00:25:22.279 --> 00:25:25.039 Well, Troy and Bard, thanks so much for having me on and 303 00:25:25.440 --> 00:25:29.640 appreciate your questions and appreciate the work that you guys are doing in this area. 304 00:25:30.039 --> 00:25:33.920 Think it's really important and I'm happy to just be a little small part 305 00:25:33.960 --> 00:25:37.279 of the conversation. Thank you. But do you have any closing thoughts? 306 00:25:37.920 --> 00:25:40.200 Yeah, this has been a great episode and Chris, thank you again. 307 00:25:40.200 --> 00:25:42.519 I just really feel like a lot of what Chris talked about with you know, 308 00:25:42.599 --> 00:25:45.599 I think it kind of goes all across the board. I really appreciate 309 00:25:45.640 --> 00:25:48.440 the fact that Chris, you know, talked about some of the successes that 310 00:25:48.519 --> 00:25:52.839 he sees like a Georgia tech doing and how how they're doing that and how 311 00:25:52.880 --> 00:25:56.240 they could improve what they're doing and how smaller schools might be able to learn 312 00:25:56.359 --> 00:26:00.640 from that and do and implement those things. But the thing that stands out 313 00:26:00.680 --> 00:26:03.599 to me is this idea of personalization, whether that is in, you know, 314 00:26:03.680 --> 00:26:07.519 printed or automated email or all kinds of ways to do personalization. That's 315 00:26:07.920 --> 00:26:14.079 that's you know, it's not as necessarily as laborious maybe as you you might 316 00:26:14.160 --> 00:26:17.039 have heard. Oh, I've got a right thank you cards to everybody and 317 00:26:17.079 --> 00:26:18.640 that's Fiftyzero. Thank you cards. I can't do that. No, it's 318 00:26:18.680 --> 00:26:22.200 a part of that. It's the idea that somebody gets something and they feel 319 00:26:22.240 --> 00:26:26.119 like, Oh wow, they actually paid attention to me, they know my 320 00:26:26.319 --> 00:26:30.279 name or they actually heard me when I said this. There's a lot of 321 00:26:30.279 --> 00:26:33.960 ways to automate those types of things and there's there's tools to do that. 322 00:26:33.079 --> 00:26:37.079 So I really like the idea of personalization and I do like the fact that 323 00:26:37.240 --> 00:26:41.279 Chris is kind of reflecting back what his experience is, where he's at. 324 00:26:41.319 --> 00:26:45.200 I mean he's in the middle of your perspective, student audience, if you 325 00:26:45.359 --> 00:26:48.799 are a traditional Undergrad, and so I really like the fact that Chris was 326 00:26:48.839 --> 00:26:53.119 talking about that and also like the fact that the personalization and even just some 327 00:26:53.240 --> 00:26:56.559 of the details, you know, learning the counselor's names when you come to 328 00:26:56.640 --> 00:27:00.039 the visit and you some of you might be on listening and saying, well, 329 00:27:00.079 --> 00:27:03.119 I'm in the Marking Department, I'm not, I'm not the admissions team, 330 00:27:03.200 --> 00:27:06.640 so I don't need to listen to that. Well, you are in 331 00:27:06.799 --> 00:27:11.440 charge of the brand and the brand can be processed out and developed into a 332 00:27:11.480 --> 00:27:14.319 process. There's a reason why if I go to a chick FIL A in 333 00:27:14.359 --> 00:27:17.039 Indianapolis, Indiana, or if I go to one in Atlanta, Georgia, 334 00:27:17.440 --> 00:27:21.960 they always say my pleasure instead of you're welcome. That is part of the 335 00:27:22.079 --> 00:27:25.599 brand and part of the training that goes into it, and so don't try 336 00:27:25.680 --> 00:27:27.880 to tell me that I'm not in charge of the admissions rep and what they 337 00:27:27.960 --> 00:27:30.799 do when they go to a school. Actually, if you're in charge of 338 00:27:30.799 --> 00:27:33.839 the brand, you're in charge of that, and so you need to insert 339 00:27:33.880 --> 00:27:37.880 yourself into that. Use The chick fil a examples as as a way to 340 00:27:37.000 --> 00:27:40.680 do that. But I think it all comes down to the brand and how 341 00:27:40.799 --> 00:27:45.640 you're reflecting and how everyone who's a part of your organization is reflecting that brand, 342 00:27:45.960 --> 00:27:48.079 and you can help train that and guide that. So, Chris, 343 00:27:48.240 --> 00:27:52.799 thanks again so much. This has been a great conversation and we're really appreciative. 344 00:27:52.039 --> 00:27:57.200 Thank you. The hid marketer podcast is sponsored by Kaylos solutions and education 345 00:27:57.319 --> 00:28:03.079 marketing and branding agency and by Think, patented, a marketing, execution, 346 00:28:03.240 --> 00:28:07.640 printing and mainly provider of higher et solutions. On behalf of my cohost Bart 347 00:28:07.720 --> 00:28:14.640 Taylor, I'm troy singer. Thank you for joining us. You've been listening 348 00:28:14.720 --> 00:28:18.240 to the Higher Ed Marketer to ensure that you never miss an episode, subscribe 349 00:28:18.279 --> 00:28:22.839 to the show in your favorite podcast player. If you're listening with apple PODCASTS, 350 00:28:23.160 --> 00:28:26.400 we'd love for you to leave a quick rating of the show. Simply 351 00:28:26.480 --> 00:28:30.480 tap the number of stars you think the podcast deserves. Until next time,