Monday, November 20, 2017

Retaining Students Over the Thanksgiving Break

Thanksgiving is approaching and it may not lead to many thanks for some students and schools. Thanksgiving is going to be the most extended time
away from school for many students. It is a time when students get together with family and friends. It is a time when there is time for questions and thinking. And a major topic is going to be “how is it at….?” Some students are going to think “actually, not all that great.”

Thanksgiving turns out to be a major tipping point in the decision to stay or leave a college. With that knowledge, it is also a time you should engage students to keep them from dropping into the attrition side of the decision. You could also leverage relationships with parents and families to bring them into any stay or drop decision. 

Send every student a personalized letter or formal card. The letter should of course be stationary and the card must be printed with the name of the office or person in raised engraved letters such as Office of the President.
 The letter or card should have a brief written statement such as
I want to thank you for the honor and pleasure of having you as a student at ………………….. If there is anything I can help you with, please contact me at (EMAIL SET UP FOR RESPONSES)I look forward to seeing you on campus and at your graduation. 
Sincerely, AND THEN SIGN IT.
Mail it to the student AND FAMILY. This way family members will want to see it too. This helps enlist them as supporters. With luck, you will get some responses in the special email box you set up. There may even be some thanks to you but what you are really seeking are issues that could get in the way of staying in school at your school. If you do, you can find solutions and keep that student in school. 

BTW, these letters and cards really work. 

If cards are not feasible, phone calls to the house work too. Just a quick thanks like what is written on a card will work. Especially contact any students you know are at risk. Making contact with them might be just the thing that will keep them in school. Remember, the major reason students leave a college is the belief that the school does not care about them so a call or card home states very clearly that you care.

If for some reason you can't do any of the above, crank up to CRM system and send out an email blast with the statement above. This is not as strong but it can help make students understand that you care. 

There is just enough time between now and Thanksgiving weekend to get it done and increase retention,enrollment and a family's hopes and dreams

Let me know how the letters, cards, calls and email work for you.

Call me at 413.219.6939 and I will help over the phone at no cost to you to keep retention and success rising as my way of saying thanks to all my colleagues and clients.

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