How will gas prices affect Admission?

Posted by Brad J. Ward | Posted in Concepts, Higher Education, Marketing, Recruitment, Thoughts | Posted on 30-06-2008-05-2008


Have you thought about that?  I have been today.  I am putting together a 2nd round of emails because registration for our campus visit days are down.  While trying to answer the question “What can I say to make this student/family believe that they should spend the time/gas/money/energy to visit our campus?”, several questions ran through my head:

  • Are students visiting less campuses than in the past?
  • Are they lumping visits together into one trip to save gas?
  • What happens when your planned visit days don’t line up with theirs?
  • Do you have sufficient material online to show your campus to students who can’t make it?
  • Will ’09 graduates choose campuses closer to home if gas prices continue to rise?
  • Do you allow flexibility for visitors to come when they please, or are they locked into a set presentation time?  What happens if they can’t get from College XYZ down the road to your 1pm presentation before it starts?  Are they going to miss out? Are YOU going to miss out?
  • Are Admission Counselors making the most efficient trips on the road, or are they doing business as usual?
  • Do we need to got to as many college fair and school visits as we used to?
  • Can you get the student to see the visit as an investment?
  • Are you doing everything you can to make them feel like it was worth the trip?
  • What’s the average ROI on a visit to a high school? Is there a Long Tail?
  • Do we care enough about our students who visit to give them a $10 gas card for the effort?
  • Couldn’t we cut out a mailing or two to fund this goodwill gesture?
  • Which would students remember more, the brochure or the gas card?
  • What if the gas card was rechargeable, and we filled it with another $20 on move-in weekend after they applied/enrolled? How would that affect retention?

And those are just 15 questions that have run through my head in the last few minutes. Just thinking/typing out loud here.  I’d love to hear your thoughts, and other questions you are thinking about when it comes to gas/gas prices as they relate to the recruitment process.

Want $100 in free Facebook Ads?

Posted by Brad J. Ward | Posted in Facebook, Free, Higher Education, Recruitment, Research, Technology, Thoughts | Posted on 30-06-2008-05-2008


Last week my good friend Brad sent me along this story on BBC about a new partnership between Visa and Facebook, which starts out:

The company is giving $100 (£51) advertising credits to the first 20,000 US business start-ups that download its service via Facebook.

My first thought was “Where do I sign up?”, and now I know. This morning I was shown an ad on Facebook for The Visa Business Network. I added it to my account and within a minute I had a $100 credit code for Facebook Ads in my inbox. So just head to and register today.

Make sure you read the Privacy Policy/Terms and Conditions (as always) to make sure that nothing conflicts with your institution’s regulations. It seems like a good deal for sure, and if you’ve been nervous about getting your feet wet in Facebook Ads, this is a great way to see how it all works!

Here is more from the email they sent me:

Dear Brad:

Thank you for joining the Visa Business Network! To help you grow your business,
we’re giving you a $100 coupon good towards Facebook advertising credit. Your
coupon must be redeemed and used by 9/28/2008.

Your coupon code is: ****-****-****-****

If this is your first time advertising with us, you can create your first ad and redeem your coupon at:****-****-****-****

If you are a returning advertiser, you can redeem your coupon by the following:
1. Log into your Facebook Ads account.
2. Click on the “Billing” at the top of the Ads Manager.
3. Click on the “Funding Sources” tab on the Billing Summary page.
4. Click on “Enter Coupon Code” and enter your code as shown above.

Thanks for joining The Visa Business Network!


The Facebook Ads Team

PROMOTIONAL TERMS: The promotional coupon code and the advertising credits are
valid only for purchase of advertising through Facebook’s online advertising
system. May only be redeemed by Facebook users who add the Visa Application.
Advertisers will be charged for advertising that exceeds the promotional credit.
Advertisers will need to suspend their ads if they do not wish to receive
additional charges beyond the free credit amount. Subject to ad approval, valid
registration and acceptance of the generally applicable Facebook Advertising
Terms and Conditions. The promotional coupon code and advertising credits are
non-transferable and may not be sold or bartered. Offer may be revoked at any
time for any reason by Facebook. One promotional coupon code per individual.
Promotional coupon code equals $100.00 USD which can be applied to the purchase
of advertising through Facebook’s online advertising system. Offer valid only
for sign ups using the coupon code or URL link received upon adding the Visa
Application. Expires 90 days from date the Visa Application is added to the
Facebook account.

Work Smarter, Not Harder

Posted by Brad J. Ward | Posted in Analytics, Email, Facebook, Free, Higher Education, Marketing, Recruitment, Research, Social Media, Technology, Thoughts, Twitter, Web | Posted on 24-06-2008-05-2008


With all of the tools readily available at your fingertips, how could you afford to not use them?

Yesterday I had a meeting with BUMegan about some communication for incoming freshman. Previously, the ‘welcome week newsletter’ has been a word document around 5 pages long. Gross. So we started brainstorming about what to do this year. Email? eNewsletter? Welcome Week Blog? Post the info to the Facebook Class of 2012 group and the BUForums?

So I went to my network of higher ed professionals on Twitter for advice.

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Conference Wrap-Up

Posted by Brad J. Ward | Posted in Blogging, Conferences, Flip Ultra, Free, Google, Higher Education, Social Media, Speaking, Thoughts | Posted on 19-06-2008-05-2008


The Innovative Educators Conference, which wraps up tomorrow with a presentation by Brian Niles of TargetX fame, has been a great one. Val, Erin and Pam from IE did a great job putting the conference together and keeping everything rolling. The food was the best conference food I’ve had. A night out to the Reds/Dodgers game with all you can eat food and drinks was a nice touch too.

Here are the links I went through for those of you that were in my 2 presentations on Wednesday. Again, if you have any questions, please email me at bradjward(at)gmail(dot)com.

I Can Do THAT With Google?:

Blogging 201: Taking It To The Next Level: and

Also, here is the image used during the Social Media Roundtable with Brad and Matt:

(Click Image to Enlarge)

It’s always great to connect with new people. I also got to catch up with Mark, Matt, and Brian and we had several really great conversations about a huge range of topics. I’ve always been big on the value of face time, and this event has not disappointed. I was also able to line up a webinar on this coming Tuesday night with an MBA class at Morehead State University, so it’s time to start on that slide deck.

One month until eduWeb! Who all is going to be there? I’d love to meet more of you.

First time visiting my blog?  Subscribe to future posts by RSS or by email!

Conference Time!

Posted by Brad J. Ward | Posted in Conferences, Google, Higher Education, Social Media, Speaking, Thoughts | Posted on 16-06-2008-05-2008


It’s Conference Time! Jesse and I both leave the office for the week tomorrow to attend higher ed conferences. Jesse is giving two presentations at the Recruitment Plus User Group Conference in Portland, Maine:

  • Going Paperless (Releasing Your Office’s Inner Tree-Hugger) – [Document Imaging]
  • Can’t We All Just Get Along? – [RP Interface]

I am giving 2 presentations and co-hosting a roundtable discussion with Matt at the Innovative Educators Conference in Cincinnati, OH:

  • I Can Do THAT with Google? – [A Look at Google's many free tools]
  • Bloggers 201: Taking It To The Next Level – [Extending the reach/touch of student bloggers]
  • Social Media Roundtable with Brad and Matt – [1 hr Q&A session. Can you stump us?]

I am looking forward to meeting up everyone I already know (or feel like I’ve known forever thanks to social media) and meet many new people at the conference. I wish that Matt, Mark, and I weren’t presenting in the same time slot, but look forward to co-speaking with Mark at eduWeb in July and presenting at Stamats in November with Matt, Karlyn, Kyle and several others.

I absolutely love conferences. Yes, they are a great time out of the office, but they are also a time to reconnect and re-energize. A time to hash out new ideas over cocktails, network with others, and share ideas. An opportunity to learn and grow. And isn’t that what higher education is all about?

See you in Cincinnati!

PS – I haven’t decided if I am going to SlideShare since presentations go so much deeper than a few slides. What are your thoughts? Save it for the conference? I am probably going to uStream the Blogger talk to use as an example of what lifecasting might be like. Maybe Matt and I could uStream our roundtable and take questions from the chat room?!?

Hobsons will soon own the world.

Posted by Brad J. Ward | Posted in Free, Higher Education, Marketing, Recruitment, Social Media, Thoughts | Posted on 05-06-2008-05-2008


Just had a Google Alert come across that Hobsons has acquired, which has thought to have been a fairly reliable and unbiased source for high school students and parents everywhere. How will the community change as a result of this acquistion?

I’d expect to see turn into a paid forum registration for ‘premium content’ soon. Either that or Hobsons just wants to do a little datamining and pimp their products. They will figure out some sort of revenue stream though, and I’d guess that it’ll put the user experience at risk.

I am trying to get out of their ‘Chat’ solution right now, and looking at a few options that I have heard many good things about. Chat University is an absolute joke. Look at this. Or any ChatU site really. Appealing? Not a bit.

I’ll be keeping an eye on this thread to see how the community reacts.

Free is here to stay? I guess I’ll hold on to that thought. Economics and a little $$ can do some crazy things.

[Press Release: Hobsons Acquires College Confidential]

Give them more than the expected.

Posted by Brad J. Ward | Posted in Blogging, Conferences, Ethics, Facebook, Flip Ultra, Google, Logo, Marketing, Research, Social Media, Speaking, Technology, Tuition, Usability, YouTube | Posted on 04-06-2008-05-2008


Let’s talk a little bit about expectations of an admission website, and the evolving nature of it. I’m going to speak in terms of the Whole Product Concept, which some of you might be familiar with. It looks like this:

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