Institutions are gradually recognizing the crucial role that alumni play in not only shaping the alma mater’s legacy but also influencing their future through admissions. Alumni can aid their alma mater in attracting, engaging, and retaining the brightest minds they’ve encountered. The process of admissions is multifaceted; from recruitment initiatives to applicant verification and tuition fees to scholarships and accommodations to orientation, alumni can help the institutions and the students ease things. They can do so much to foster and build a thriving community. Let’s explore some of the best practices on how you can leverage alumni, which have the potential to leave an impact on the whole educational industry.
Alumni Ambassador Program
Prospective students often find it reassuring when they find alumni who involve themselves in the whole admissions expedition. It reflects the strong credibility of the institutions and helps the would-be graduates make a calculated, well-informed decision. Invite the relatively new alumni to admission offices on your campus, where they can share their journey with the prospects. Encourage alumni to speak at the induction and orientation programs along with the senior students. The new joiners will know the alumni’s perspective on employability, skills, and the functioning of industries. This fosters a connection between the alumni and the budding graduates and a sense of belonging in a well-knit community as well.
Millennials (21–25 y/o alumni) have a strong urge to give back to their alma mater. Brand them as admissions ambassadors, and let them secure some admissions. This will quench their thirst to an extent, as they cannot contribute much to the fundraisers.
Student Scholarships & Loans
There are bright young minds who cannot pursue their dream of graduating from a prestigious institution due to their inherent social and financial constraints. Design scholarships and interest-free loans for the prospects and fundraise the corpus required from the alumni. Alumni can profoundly resonate with this cause, as some of them must have surely encountered financial hurdles in their lives. You can select the deserving students and tailor the scholarships in such a way that the students come back after passing out to fund this cause and help some more freshmen. Offer interest-free loans for students who can afford to pay the principal amounts. Even better, let the seasoned alumni, such as patriarchs (35–54 year-old alumni), fund the graduation of the students. Alumni will certainly engage if the fundraisers are curated properly and approached genuinely. Many students who studied through scholarships will find themselves giving back more than what they took.
As an institution, you can run these campaigns on your alumni platforms. Small gestures of generosity can go a long way toward improving someone’s life.
Alumni Admission Campaigns
In the ever-changing landscape of education, dynamic strategies can yield unprecedented results. Break the student-approach-institution admission format and take a leap of faith by reaching out to the prospects first. You can wonder how, but this is where the alumni step in. List out the deserving candidates and launch an extensive, full-fledged campaign featuring the alumni. Share alumni profiles and testimonials with the prospective students and let them explore. Host mixers and informal meetings in your institution where alumni and student prospects can meet and discuss their hobbies, aspirations, and needs. Let the prospects find some common interest between them and the alumni.
Let the students understand how much you value talent, and they will see themselves in the shoes of your alumni. Give guests access to the prospects of the alumni portal on a need-to-know basis, where they can rummage through your extensive database to learn more about your alumni. Prefer engaging Millennials (21–25 y/o alumni) in this process, as they can strike a chord with the aspirants.
Admission Mentoring Programs
Mentoring is one of the most standardized methods that universities and colleges employ for their students. It covers areas such as upskilling, interviews, job orientations, and many more. But why not extend it to one of the crucial steps in the life of a student: Admissions? Students in their senior years of high school or the final years of graduation who opt for post-graduation experience the dilemma of choosing their next step. You can help them through your recently graduated alumni. Millennials (21–25-year-old alumni) are a diverse group filled with enthusiastic members. They can be leveraged to help students plan road maps for their graduation and post-graduation. Millennials can provide them with study materials and virtual resources and can make short video snippets about tips and tricks (if possible) used in competitive exams.
Graduates who are going abroad for their master’s can engage with alumni who are studying or working there. They can connect on the institution’s alumni portal, where you can create different sections based on countries, courses, and departments.
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Admissions can be a bit challenging and excruciating for the students as well as institutions. The influx of information for students and the screening processes for the admission heads can be streamlined if the needs can be filtered out and addressed. Harness the power of your alumni in creating blissful avenues for aspiring students and foster a community that leaves an everlasting impact on the educational sectors for years to come.