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Validating Higher Education Visionaries

When to include parents in the admissions process

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Start sooner, since parents’ influence is the strongest earlier in the process

Parents are typically most influential at the start, when families are deciding which schools might be right for the student. Once the consideration set of schools is established, however, students tend to have more influence in terms of choosing their top schools and then making the final choice.

The early bird gets the attention

If you’re one of the first colleges to contact a parent — before their mailbox and inbox are overflowing — you’ll have a better chance of breaking through the clutter. Parents are often most excited about the process at the beginning, when anything is possible for their child — and before they’re dealing with hassles like financial aid forms and application deadlines.

Remember that parents’ engagement increases over time

Even though parents have less influence as the process goes on, they become more involved. This makes sense when you realize that students often need their parents’ help to manage the logistics of visiting campuses, applying for financial aid, and all of the other steps involved. For example, while 80% of parents of sophomores have acted to support their student’s enrollment (which is still a high number), 98% of parents of seniors have done so.

Opportunity >>> Focus less on “selling” your institution to parents at the end of  the process, when they’re often just trying to look up deadlines, find forms and gather  additional information forms or other [post-decision] information. Instead, make it  easy for parents to complete these tasks. For example, Xavier University asked parents  of admitted students if their child was likely to deposit; if a parent said “maybe,” Xavier  asked them what additional information they needed to support their child.

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. 

[ Free Guide ]  Communicating with Parents of Prospective Students Download Now

Texting templates are critical because (and be careful not to fall off your seat) not all staff are wonderful copywriters. In working with over 400 institutions to help develop their texting content strategies, we have found that a content strategy is only as good as the templates provided to staff. This cannot be understated.


View the recording of our webinar hosted by Mongoose’s President, Dave Marshall, about the value of attending this year’s ELEVATE user retreat. Learn reasons why you should attend, how you can convince your boss it’s a good idea, and what to expect when you visit Buffalo this August. 

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[ Free Guide ]  Communicating with Parents of Prospective Students Download Now
ELEVATE 2018 USER RETREAT August 5-8 Buffalo, NY