Colleges Market Easy, No-Fee Sell to Applicants

Topics: Personalized Marketing, Direct Mail
Publication: The New York Times
Date: January 25, 2010

Colleges are using direct mail to increase applicant pools.

RICHMOND, Va. — Over the last few years, the tiny College of Saint Rose in Albany has seen applications increase at least 25 percent annually, minority admissions rise and its standing in the U.S. News and World Report rankings climb more than 20 rungs.

Its secret? Lifting a page from the marketing playbook of credit card companies.

Last fall the college sent out 30,000 bright red “Exclusive Scholar Applications” to high school seniors that promised to waive the $40 application fee, invited them to skip the dreaded essay and assured a decision in three weeks. Because the application arrived with the students’ names and other information already filled in, applying required little more than a signature.  Full Story