Creating Your School’s Virtual Admissions Center

During the past few months, school leaders have had to pivot and innovate.

None of us have been trained in how we should lead admissions or marketing during a pandemic. For some reason, this chapter was missing in our manual.

We have all had to shift gears. Working at home has created opportunities that has forced us to move our admissions effort to a virtual format. Even after the pandemic is over, these innovations you have made now can become a lasting part of your future strategy.

The team at Pulaski Academy in Little Rock, AR, were one of the early adopters of this strategy through the creation of their Virtual Admissions Center. Since prospective parents can’t visit the school or call the admissions office, it was important for the team to develop an alternative and innovative approach. Gregg Ledbetter, Head of Enrollment and Financial Aid, worked with his team, including Matt Pulley, Assistant Head, and Erica Gregory, Digital Story-Teller, to develop this site. Thanks for leading the way for many other schools.

This virtual admissions center offers prospective parents the opportunity to discover more about Pulaski Academy in a virtual way. Through this center, the prospective parent can access the admissions experience as alternatives to an on-campus visit in several ways:

  • Live Virtual Campus Tour
  • Attend a Virtual Open House
  • Schedule a Phone Meeting with an Admissions Staff Member
  • Schedule a Zoom Face-to-Face Meeting with Admissions Staff
  • Schedule a Zoom Chat Meeting with an Admissions Staff Member
  • Access the Pulaski Academy Webinar Site (On-Demand Webinars)
  • Connect with Social Media Channels

Many other school leaders have followed this example and have implemented their own virtual admissions center. You can check out some examples below from several schools that have been part of my Enrollment Catalyst Program:

Your virtual admissions center should be a key menu item on your website for prospective parents to experience your school. Through personal contact with the admissions staff by phone or Zoom chat, a virtual tour or a live or on-demand open house, you have the opportunity to continue engaging with prospective families.

One of the key features of your admissions center should be a virtual open house. Recently, I wrote a blog post on how you can launch your school’s virtual open house in five steps. In addition, you could also include your Live Broadcast recordings in your virtual admissions center. You can be creative and add stories, information, videos, broadcasts, virtual tours, and more!

The key is that you need to make sure you have adjusted your online strategies to reach parents in a virtual world. This virtual experience should be part of your strategy now and in the future.

How are you currently trying to reach parents in your admissions section? Are you still inviting parents to visit your campus?

Have you developed a virtual admissions center on your website?

Also, in case you missed my Live Show this week, you will want to watch the recorded interview with the Portsmouth Christian Academy team. During the show, they discussed some of the innovative strategies they have implemented including virtual tours, virtual open houses, variable tuition, and more!