Colleges and Universities Turn to Online Communities to Boost Enrollment Yield

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EducationDynamics' web-based UPeers program cultivates engagement rates as high as 70 percent, resulting in enrollment increases.

It's exciting to see our incoming new student class meeting each other online before they actually meet in person on campus--many are finding compatible roommates and discussing various topics of importance well in advance of the fall semester. UPeers offers the very best attributes of any social networking site, and in turn has positively affected student engagement and enrollment.

Citing numerous success stories and impressive statistics, higher education institutions are increasingly turning to private online communities like EducationDynamics' UPeers to boost student engagement and enrollment yield. Universities that implement UPeers experience student participation rates ranging from 30 to 70 percent, and admits who participate in the program are up to three times more likely to enroll than non-participants.

A product of the Enrollment & Retention Services Division of EducationDynamics, UPeers creates a private-labeled, online social networking site designed to lock admitted students into a community of their peers early in their decision-making process, and build a sense of engagement in the university from the beginning. A safe, secure, and fun interactive online environment, UPeers allows admits, current students, and alumni to learn more about their peers, share interests, build relationships, form study groups and communicate with mentors.

"Emerging proprietary online communities like UPeers have been tremendously effective in increasing enrollment yield through the cultivation of student participation and engagement," explains Peter Tomassi, senior vice president of product development for EducationDynamics' Enrollment & Retention Services Division. "UPeers enables admitted students to begin interacting from the moment of acceptance, building relationships and forming a dynamic that can woo students who are 'on the fence' on their decision to enroll at a particular school."

Harding University has reported tremendous successes in participation and increases in enrollment yield only a short time after implementing UPeers.

  • Of the nearly 1,000 accepted freshmen for the 2008-2009 academic year, nearly 700 have already logged on and created profiles;
  • Nearly 50 discussions take place on the website each day; and
  • More than 5,000 messages have been posted since the launch of the site.

"We are incredibly pleased with the level of participation fostered through our UPeers program," says Glenn Dillard, assistant vice president for enrollment management. "It's exciting to see our incoming new student class meeting each other online before they actually meet in person on campus--many are finding compatible roommates and discussing various topics of importance well in advance of the fall semester. UPeers offers the very best attributes of any social networking site, and in turn has positively affected student engagement and enrollment."

Several other schools, including Corban College, Loyola University - New Orleans, Marist College, Mercer University, University of Maine, University of Missouri and Valdosta State University have also reported increased student participation rates and benefited from the higher enrollment yield cultivated by their respective UPeers programs.

For more information about UPeers or other enrollment and retention products and services provided by EducationDynamics, contact Tracy Howe at 201.377.3318.

About EducationDynamics
EducationDynamics, a portfolio company of Halyard Capital, is the leading marketing and information services company dedicated to helping higher education institutions find, enroll and retain students. Its content-rich and highly visible education websites, including EarnMyDegree.com, elearners.com, GradSchools.com, StudyAbroad.com, and its more than 50 special interest microsites, make EducationDynamics the premier provider of qualified prospective students for colleges and universities. In addition, the company offers a full suite of web-delivered services proven to drive enrollment growth and reduce student attrition. For more information, visit http://www.educationdynamics.com.

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