BY LAUREN VELASCO
Drake Office of Admission has been working to “paint the town blue,” by displaying billboards across Des Moines. The campaign aims to highlight Drake’s accomplishments for prospective students in the area.
According to an Office of Admission strategic update, “These new advertisements declare our Bulldog pride and share with prospective students the outcomes they can expect by attending Drake.”
The billboards will say many things including, “#1 in Iowa for alumni earnings,” which was researched by both The Economist and The Brookings Institution.
These billboards will also attract attention from visiting students from other states during various athletic events and competitions.
The Office of Admission counselors have also had recent success bringing in prospective students with new tactics and elements that make the admissions process more individualized for each student.
By hiring student search vendor Fire Engine Red, the Office of Admission is able to reach out to students nationally in order to target prospective students more effectively.
“Fire Engine Red believes in quality over quantity. While the previous company used to cast the net wide with possible prospects for Drake, many of them were not good,” said Office of Admission counselor Lilianna Bernstein. “Fire Engine Red provided Drake with a trimmed down group of prospects — but they were better matched to Drake.”
This new tactic has proven effective because the Office of Admission is investing time in the students who are actually interested.
“The admission staff has had less applications to manage, which has resulted in more personal contact with all of these strong prospects who have applied,” Bernstein said. “We think this narrower focus means we are spending our time with the best-matched prospects this year.”
Many students who are considering Drake find the application process unique from other schools.
“They made the process about me by sending emails and letters and being friendly but not pushy like other colleges,” said prospective student Jessie Jilovec.
Prospective students are also intrigued by the opportunities Drake provides for experiencing the school first-hand.
“I enjoyed the overnight visit a lot and I think it helped me get all my questions answered about the college,” said Catie Kerr, a prospective student. “Drake has a lot of opportunities to see the campus and learn about the school. I also really enjoy the number of students that Drake has.”
Aside from these tactics, the Office of Admission is focusing on the new additions being built at Drake and future opportunities for students who decide to come to Drake.
“It is fun to talk to prospective students about our upcoming new buildings that will be both beautiful facilities and offer the best in technology in the classroom,” Bernstein said. “But even more importantly, we are having great conversations with students who are passionate about science, math, and education — and are excited about the new majors Drake is launching.”