How to collect parent information in the admissions process

2 min read

If you want to collect parents’ email and phone numbers (and you should, given the impact of parents on the decision process), you have to ask for their information. Perhaps the most effective way to do this is to make some small changes to your RFI form and any other time you are asking for personal information. Here’s how:

> STEP 1 Add a parents section to your RFI form

The parents section can be small — all you really need are fields for a parent’s first name, last name, mobile phone and email.

> STEP 2 Give parents a reason to share their information

Parents want details about financial aid and other key areas, so let parents know that you’ll be sharing this type of valuable information. For example, you can add a line to your RFI form that says, “We highly recommend that parents sign up for updates about deadlines, financial aid and other important topics.”


If a student is filling out the RFI form, let them know why they should provide their  parents’ info. Students are often hesitant to give out their parents’ personal email and  phone number — but if they know that it will help Mom and Dad get information about  financial aid and deadlines, they may be more willing to share.

> Step 3 Encourage parents to sign up for texts

Nearly 3 out of 4 parents want texts after completing the RFI form. Give the people what they want. (And yes, as a non-profit organization, you can probably legally text parents if they give you their mobile number; read our blog post — to learn more).

> Step 4  Make sure your RFI form is mobile-friendly

You should be doing this anyway for students. But if you need another reason, know that up to one-third of parents complete an RFI on a mobile device. (And yes, it’s often parents who are filling these out; 90% of parents admit to contacting colleges on behalf of their kids.)

Want to learn more?

Our full report on parents covers everything from which topics are important to parents, to the most effective communications strategies for parents of Gen-Z students.  

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