We already talked a bit about the false data that international students provide and you use. It’s not their fault – we need to have a more consistent way of collecting feedback. This issue is consistently popping up in every stage of the international student recruitment process. It starts well before enrolment, goes on during studies and may continue even after completion of studies.
Today, we are going to focus on the feedback that comes from prospective students and discuss the following:
How misleading can be positive feedback from prospective students?
Feedback from prospective students can reveal interesting patterns of behaviour, as demonstrated by a study conducted among some 18 000 college-bound students. At least 30% claimed they were interested in attending a specific college but didn’t show up during the planned campus visit. Most either wanted to keep their options open (78%) or thought that they might choose the college after all (60%). Some of them were just bad at explaining themselves (11%) or didn’t want to say no (10%).
What to do if a student says they are interested in your university, but doesn’t show up to prove it?
Mostly, you can take certain steps to ensure prevention:
- Make sure that the student is actually interested. Question more than talk. Most student counsellors want to help so much they forget to listen. You need to make sure that this prospective student is the right match for your institution.
- Say no when you see there is no match. If you are very clear about the student’s expectations and needs, it’s very easy to tell if they would be a perfect addition to your student body. Do not be afraid to tell a prospective student if you believe you’re no good match to each other. You will save for both of us time and resources in a long run.
- Talk about the exceptions, not the general picture. Of course your curriculum is great and your staff is excellent. Prospective students have heard it all. But what makes your university special? Present the culture on campus, other international students, rare extracurricular activities and other small details that make you stand out from your competitors. Be as specific as possible and you will notice what attracts curiosity.
How do you deal with prospective student no-shows? How do you prevent it from happening? Let us know in the comments!