This year, LSSU staff and faculty have been tasked with making enrollment Job #1. The admissions operation has seen a total revamp, which includes a new marketing strategy that has produced remarkable results for the 2018 recruitment cycle. As of March 2, 2018 applications were more than double compared to this time last year.
While many improvements in terms of recruitment have been made, a couple of key changes have occurred this year which will help to build much more robust incoming classes in the years to come. Admissions has been working together to create more touchpoints and communications with both applicants and recruits, helping to engage with students throughout the entire enrollment funnel. The campus tour has dramatically improved. When prospective students visit campus, they benefit from increased coordination between various student-facing departments, such as Financial Aid and Admissions. The processing of applications shifted from a manual operation to a more streamlined system with the help of automation and the assistance of the IT-EAS team. Because of this change, applications are processed within a two-week period, instead of 30-60 days.
Additional events have been added to the Admissions calendar this year. In December 2018, LSSU hosted the first Scholarship Day where 98 prospective students, eligible for the Board of Trustees’ merit-based scholarships, came to campus for an afternoon. The students and their families met with various academic departments, engaged with current students, faculty, and staff during a campus information fair, and participated in a student-led scavenger hunt. Follow the hashtag #LSSUScholarshipDay on Instagram to view pictures posted from the scavenger hunt. An additional $400 scholarship ($100 per year for up to four years) was awarded to students who participated in the day’s events.
On April 14, LSSU will be hosting an Acceptance Day for students who are admitted to the Fall 2018 semester. This is the first event of this kind and allows admitted students to LSSU to come up to campus one more time, meet with faculty and students, and get an idea of what it is like to be a Laker. This day is geared toward incoming freshman and transfer students who are considering LSSU for Fall 2018 as an extra day on campus to confirm their decision to attend Lake State.
In June, the Admissions team will be welcoming local Eastern Upper Peninsula students to campus to apply to Lake State. The application day will encourage them to apply, submit their high school transcripts and test scores, and explore campus. The students who apply will get an early decision from Lake State. It is the hope that Lake State will be the first university to send our local students an acceptance letter.
It takes our entire campus, including alumni and current students, to increase enrollment, and LSSU is moving forward in the right direction. Through faculty engagement, collaboration, and positivity, the campus community is hopeful to see an increase in enrollment in the years to come.