Students have gotten settled and are adapting to their new lives living on campus, but that doesn’t mean you can kick back and relax. Freshman year is a crucial time to make sure your promoting the positives of living on campus and ramping up your residence life program to get students involved.
Now that students have started their first semester away from home, make sure they’re comfortable and know the ins and outs of living on campus. Highlight your residence life programming and make sure residents are getting involved in campus activities that are going to benefit them throughout their time at your school. This is also a great time to start lining up events and activities that show residents why living on campus is the right choice, not just for their freshman year, but throughout their college career.
As early as October, depending on your school’s leasing schedule, on-campus residents will begin receiving marketing materials from off campus competition.
Use resident assistants and social media to help you promote positive word of mouth about your on campus properties. Use RAs as brand ambassadors and solicit their help in encouraging residents to remain living on campus for another year.
Mid-fall semester is also a good time to gauge resident sentiment and find out what their thoughts are for the following year. Survey residents to ask if they have already made housing decisions for the next year. This will allow you to again target specific messaging to residents based on what they value in their housing and is a good time to start promoting a transition to more independent living. For example, if you have on-campus apartments that are furnished but have less residence life programming, explain why that’s a good transition for freshman to sophomore year.
Keep an eye out for our next post when we discuss how to keep students living in campus affiliated housing through their senior year.
Posts in this series:
Intro to 4-Part Series: The University Marketer’s Guide to a Student Life Cycle
Part 1: When to Begin Marketing to Prospective Students
Part 2: How to Convince Accepted Students to Commit to Your University or College
Part 3: Win the Competition Against Off Campus Housing
Part 4: Turning Sophomores and Juniors into Brand Ambassadors for your School
White Paper: The University Marketer’s Guide to a Student Lifecycle