Monday, July 16, 2007

Summer Anything But Quiet at ConnectEdu

July 16, 2007 - A month ago I was writing about my excitement due to the ConnectEdu team’s record number of high school implementations: over 100 new high schools in each month since March. Deploying Connect! to improve access to higher education is our primary goal here at ConnectEdu and our work continues. This July, we have more than doubled the number of Connect! users from a year ago and are continuing to build on our utilization figures. Each week more students are logging in to access Connect! than the week prior – that’s right these young people are taking advantage of the summer to get an edge up on their college planning. Good for them!

As we stop today and take a short breath, I’d like to congratulate the ConnectEdu Team for continuing to set the bar higher each month. The growth of the Connect! Network (a Quarter-Million Students!) is exciting as we work with counselors, admission officers and countless others to empower students as they take control of their futures.

Let’s keep it going… we’ve only just begun!

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Recruitment 2.0- A New Era of Electronic Recruiting

July 11, 2007- This week, Lindenwood University in St. Charles, Missouri, became the first private university in the state to join the Connect! Network. For Missouri high school students using Connect!, this means direct access to our eleventh institution of higher education in the state. For ConnectEdu, the partnership represents a new frontier in Missouri.

Up until now, our college partners in Missouri have been large public universities seeking innovative technology to reduce application costs by exchanging electronic transcripts.

This benefit will never change and continues to drive the market.

But Lindenwood, like Clark University and a handful of other private colleges in the Connect! Network, has put value on another Connect! feature that is making noise and providing meaningful savings. They now have the ability to identify and meet prospective students from within the gated Connect! Network, a safe, online environment where colleges can develop relationships with students in a location dedicated to the "going to college" process.

We know from reports that private colleges spend on average 4 times more than public universities to recruit a single student and the cost is rising each year. Ask a high school junior or senior how they feel about all the glossy brochures and the bells and whistles that stuff their mailboxes every day. They're not impressed, and statistically 80% would prefer an electronic communication first. A generation that lives their life in new media has new expectations. Colleges that don't embrace Recruitment 2.0- the new era of electronic recruiting,­ will clearly find it difficult to keep up and will certainly suffer when it comes to building relationships with this generation.