How Lessons Learned in Higher Ed Help K-12 Schools

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High school students and their families today are inundated with emails, texts, and snail mail all sent with one intention: recruitment. As soon as students start taking standardized tests like the PSAT, ACT, SAT, or CLT, colleges and universities begin their marketing campaigns. The ThinK-12 team learned a lot from our work with institutions of higher education, helping them to stand out among the crowd and be seen and heard by prospective students and their families, thus boosting enrollment. Now we’re taking what we learned in higher education and applying those lessons to K-12 schools.

Family Ambassadors

Of of the first things colleges and universities do to reach out to prospective students is to use their greatest asset: current students. These ambassadors call and email prospective students to answer questions about the school, help them learn more about what it’s really like to attend that school, and share authentic, positive stories about what it’s like to be a student there. ThinK-12’s Family Ambassadors do the same thing for K-12 schools. Prospective families are easily able to connect with a current family member, ask questions, and hear real stories. Then, those ambassadors continue to connect prospective or new families throughout the enrollment process.

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Q&A Videos

Colleges and universities post videos on their websites, and on social media, and send those videos directly to prospective students. So does ThinK-12. With actual students, teachers, parents, and staff as the stars, Q&A videos give prospective families the opportunity to hear real stories from real people. As they view these short videos, parents begin to imagine their child and family attending the school and experiencing the same successes.


Colleges and universities do more than list the majors students may choose. They celebrate their successes, in the classroom, in research, in their communities, and on the playing field. So should K-12 schools. With greater school choice options for families, schools must do all they can to differentiate themselves from the school down the street. What better way to do that than to showcase your school’s students, teachers, and staff and all their amazing accomplishments? Show prospective families how their children can succeed if they enroll at your school.

At ThinK-12, we want to take the lessons we learned helping colleges and universities across the country boost their enrollment and retention efforts and share them with you.

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