Keeping a university running is very expensive and universities are continually fighting to raise funds to provide top education for their students. Universities today need to walk the fine line between keeping tuition affordable while balancing increasing operational costs. There are several ways in which this issue can be addressed; a particularly enticing source of revenue is the higher tuition paid by out-of-state students.
Today, more international and out-of-state students than ever are coming to the United States. These students spend, on average 2-3 times more than the average domestic student. This revenue can directly benefit universities. Most universities are aware of this, but they often don’t properly market their schools to this valuable group.
Marketing to students in other states or other countries comes with unique challenges as investing parents may evaluate everything from classrooms to nearby coffee shops. For some families, planning and researching what schools their children will begin before they learn to walk. To them, enrolling in the right school will involve nearly 20 years of planning, savings, and investments. The entirety of the family’s savings and reputation can ride on a student’s success at a school abroad – sometimes even selling homes to ensure they can afford their child’s education. For them, this is not just about choosing a school; it is the opportunity to escape from a hard life of poverty.
With so much at stake and the advent of the new digital age, many students and parents are researching online to see what the campus looks like before they even set foot in the country. In many cases, this research is done in languages other than English.
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These are substantial challenges, but they also present valuable opportunities for those universities who are willing to put in the effort to stand out. Universities can appeal to parents by implemented affordable yet cutting-edge technology such as digital displays. These displays can
• Show emergency alerts to students in times of crisis. Parents are naturally worried about their children, and this fear can heighten when their children are going far from home. These displays will signal to parents that your school cares about the safety of their loved ones.
• Show navigational maps which help students find buildings, empty students rooms and more. Parents may be concerned that their children will get lost in the large and unfamiliar environment of the school and this will help assuage those concerns.
• Easily integrate with content management solutions to display content in multiple languages. This signals to parents that you provide an inviting campus which welcomes students from diverse backgrounds.
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International and out of state students can also add a lot to your school aside from increased revenue. They can provide a unique perspective and help enliven your campus. If you can demonstrate to these students and their parents that you understand their concerns and have taken the step of investing in the technology to help them feel at home, your school can reap the substantial rewards.