5 Takeaways From the 2017 Ruffalo Noel Levitz National Conference on Student Recruitment Marketing and Retention

The C'reer team was excited to be able to attend this year's National Conference on Student Recruitment, Marketing, and Retention.

We learned a ton and got to share ideas with a lot of great professionals. With that we figured we'd share our Top 5 Takeaways from the 2017 Ruffalo Noel Levitz National Conference on Student Recruitment Marketing and Retention.

  1. Demand to understand digital engagement and enrollment management approaches is very high in higher education. There were 1,500 attendees from colleges in 48 states plus several from international markets in attendance at NCSRMR.
  2. Generation Z is here and is going to challenge institutions to adapt to their attitudes toward college and communications preferences — which are not the same as those of Millenials
  3. Text messaging or two-way interaction with a school is becoming a better indicator of intent to enroll than the campus visit.
  4. Hispanic students and their families have a very different and often shorter research and decision making process.
  5. Students are both starting their college search sooner and later in their high school career and colleges

In the end, all of these takeaways revolve around a common theme: Personal or 1:1 communication that fosters trust and relationship are far more important than ever, and colleges need to build organizations and adopt technology and processes that can foster these relationships. 

One of the most important sessions was held during the end of the conference so a lot of people may have missed it: The Maturation of Mobile and Social. The presenters made a fine and very important point about how today's teens use mobile relative to searching for college (see a slide from their presentation) regarding the difference between student-to-student interaction vs. student-to-school interaction.

But, ultimately, they reiterated our very reason for existing as a free, on-demand mobile platform: "Students want what they want, when they want it, where they want it."