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.