It’s time to talk about value. Following May 1, wisdom dictates a fresh assessment of the year’s success and the programs that enabled it. The key question at this juncture is: Does your current brand strategy allow you to do more or cause you to have to be more?
Do your programs and statistics drive the perception that your price is a true value? Or is the perception such that the price of your programs exceeds their worth?
How does your institution stack up to these signs of strong brand value?
- High Career Placement: Prospective families are looking for confidence that, after spending tens of thousands of dollars, their son or daughter will graduate with a valuable degree and secure a good career in their field. Career placement is different than job placement. While there is an 86% national average for job placement in the months following graduation, the placement into careers during that time is only 62%. Do you know your numbers? Are they better than average? If not, what can be done to tip the scales?
- Compelling Alumni: It’s important to remember that results sell. Beyond numbers, incoming students want the assurance of following in the successful footsteps of others. With what alumni do you have bragging rights? How can you hang the hat of your programs on their stories?
- Low Graduation Debt Ratio: Debt awareness is at a new level with today’s generation. We’re no longer recruiting Millennials, but Generation Z. And instead of Boomer parents, we’re working with savvy and skeptical Gen Xers. They’ve been better educated and better paid than their counterparts and most of them are familiar with attending college and graduating with some degree of debt. But if the cost of college tuition in their day was $10,000, it’s at $59,800 now and inflation only accounts for about a third of that! Even using their savings funds, these parents won’t want to burden the next generation with the crippling debt they saw in Millennials. The current national average of post-graduation college debt is $39,400 per borrower. What’s yours?
- Competitor Guarantees: There are plenty of institutions with enough faith in their programs to offer incentives. DePauw University even boasts a Gold Commitment that students will be in graduate school or employed within six months of graduation. Do you have enough faith in your programs to guarantee their success and make your competitors squirm? If not, why not and what needs to change?
If you didn’t hit the numbers you’d hoped for on May 1, now’s the time to start planning for next year. What can be done to strengthen your value claims through pointed branding and messaging to make next year exceed your expectations? At The Parish Group, this is what we do and we want to see you succeed! Reach us today at firstname.lastname@example.org. Together, we do BIG things.