GV markets campus to prospective students

GVL / Archive / Bo Anderson
A group of prospective students tours GVSU last winter.

GVL / Archive / Bo Anderson A group of prospective students tours GVSU last winter.

Sarah Hillenbrand

Between leading campus tours and giving prospective students the opportunity to speak with professional advisers on campus, the admissions office at Grand Valley State University has become busier marketing the university to an increasing number of interested high school and transfer students each year.

Admissions has five different tour times a day and at least two groups go out at each tour time. On large tour days on campus, about 400 to 500 students visit GVSU.

It is preferable that students call the office first to set up an appointment so the prospective student can be better accommodated, but Jodi Chycinski , director of admissions, said that the office does its best to help every student who comes in. “We never want to turn anyone away from a visit,” she said.

Chycinski said the number of incoming freshmen applications has been increasing, a trend that she attributes to the campus atmosphere that GVSU has as well as new developments in the university.

“We’ve continued to see an increase, which speaks to the quality of the educational experience,” Chycinski said. “There are wonderful things happening on campus like the new library and business college.”

Chycinski added that Admissions has a recruitment plan that is evaluated every year.

“We are constantly reaching out to students through different means,” she said. “Our main goal is to get people to visit campus.”

The Admissions office starts marketing GVSU to high school students in their sophomore year and continues throughout the rest of their high school career. Institutional Marketing works very closely with Admissions to come up with a detailed plan of marketing GVSU to prospective students, said Bryan Bickford, the advertising and communications manager in institutional marketing.

“Our office handles all of the marketing materials and supports the Admissions office goals,” Bickford said. “Our advertising doesn’t necessarily recruit, but it creates an image of Grand Valley and what Grand Valley does. It’s not recruiting students directly but letting students know we’re out there.”

Someone in the Institutional Marketing office works with Admissions to put together a plan of when to start contacting students, and from there when the student will get certain GVSU marketing pieces. Bickford said advertising is currently focused on the east and west sides of the state.

When going to high schools to recruit students, there is a lot of data that goes into determining where to visit. Some factors that are considered are application reports and ACT data.

“We can’t be everywhere, so we have to use professional judgment of where to recruit students,” Chycinski said.

For students who visit campus, the yield — the number admitted compared to the number that actually enroll — is higher. Chycinski said that this is probably true for every college campus, but those that visit campus are usually impressed with what they find at GVSU.

For more information about leading campus tours, speak with someone in the Admissions office at www.gvsu.edu/admissions.
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