Dear Admissions: High School Graduates Are Listening

As high school graduates look toward the future, the option of a career college or a trade school might not even be on their radar. Often times they are deciding on attending a community college, a 4-year institution or joining the military. According to the 2015 Noel Levitz Freshman Attitudes Report, nearly 1-in-4 freshmen from two-year colleges decide to enroll in the final weeks before classes begin.

This means it’s increasingly important for your institution to showcase the benefits offered that many high school graduates typically do not consider. From your admissions team to your marketing efforts, here are four benefit areas to highlight.

  • Career Focused Classes: Typical 4-year schools require a certain number of general education (GE) credit hours in order to advance to major-specific courses. At a career college or trade school there are no GE classes required. When students enter their program of choice they begin career-focused classes and reduce the time and money spent on classes that are less relevant in their field.
  • Smaller Class Sizes: Career colleges and trade schools often maintain a low student-teacher ratio within each program. With fewer students in the class, the instructor can provide more one-on-one attention and time to each student. This allows students to get their questions answered and be confident that they are not falling behind or struggling with any aspect of the program.
  • Flexible Learning: It’s not uncommon for trade schools and career colleges to offer programs and courses in many different formats. After all, 89% of career school and private school students feel it’s important that classes are scheduled at convenient times. This variety allows students to balance work, their families and other aspects of life while still pursuing their education.
  • All Inclusive: Many institutions offer programs that are “all inclusive,” meaning the cost of the program includes:  classes, books, materials, testing and in some cases starter kits with items needed upon entering the workforce. Reports show 85% of career and private school students consider financial aid a factor in decision to enroll. This option can appeal to many high school graduates who do not want to worry about paying for classes, books and supplies separately.

As you highlight the benefits of your sector and attract high school graduates, remember to use industry best practices to avoid compliance missteps. Audit your staff calls with prospective students to confirm that regulations and brand standards are being met. For more tips on how to stay compliant when speaking with prospective students, read IntegriShield’s latest blog post on how “Your Mistakes are Giving Prospects Cold Feet.”

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