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By: Stephen App

75 Blog Ideas for Your University or College

Coming up with blog content is tough. So, we came up with a few blog ideas for your university or college. 75, to be exact. Read up.

Marketing & Branding /
By: Stephen App

17 minutes

Creating a blog for your university or college is a no-brainer; blogs are an essential part of any school’s content marketing strategy. Coming up with content on a weekly or daily basis for that blog, however, is another matter. The cyclical nature of higher education is a blessing and a curse; it can make it easier to plan content around the calendar year and upcoming annual deadlines, but it can also leave blog editors struggling for fresh ideas, especially if their blog is more established.

With that in mind, we’ve come up with 75 blog ideas for your university or college blog. For added convenience, we’ve organized these content ideas into four categories based on the suggested author of each blog post: current students, alumni, faculty, and admissions professionals. We’ve also included a fifth bonus category, which contains content from other author groups, such as your enrolled students, career services office, etc.

Jump to Section:

Category 1: From or Featuring Your Current Students 

Subgroup A: Student Life

1. Check-ins From Summer and Semester Internships

We all know going to college is about more than going to class. Talk to your career services office, get a few recommendations on students with interesting internship placements, and then ask them to write about it, either periodically throughout the summer or semester, or after the internship is over and they’ve had a chance to reflect.

2. Recaps of Student Events on Campus

When I was considering colleges, I learned about our school’s “midnight madness” event, a student event that started at – you guessed it – midnight, and helped kick-off the start of basketball season. Don’t let these events go private. They’re excellent content opportunities.

3. Coolest Work-Study Jobs on Campus

I have to give a shout-out to Princeton University for this idea. To many students, work-study jobs are a necessary part of campus life. I love the concept of taking something that isn’t traditionally a selling point and making it one. Well done, Princeton.

4. Spotify Playlists

This idea comes courtesy of Duke University, and what I love about this idea is how it expands the scope of what you consider “content.” Spotify playlists are a trendy way to showcase what your students are into. If you’re looking to go down this road, consider making different playlists for studying, homecoming, graduation, etc.

Two people working on a computer in a cool study spot on campus
5. Best Study Spots on Campus

I’m borrowing inspiration from Duke again, but I know that other schools are creating similar content around this theme. This concept works because it’s technically a blog post for current students, which expands its reach, but it’s a sneaky way to showcase your campus and its buildings. Pro tip: consider posting the photos of the study spots on Pinterest, and then embedding the Pinterest board into the blog post.

6. School Project Highlights

This one comes to you via the University of New Mexico. I could see this really taking off with art schools and STEM programs. Your students are doing incredible things on campus; tap into that and share those projects with the world. Not sure how to find these content opportunities? Consider creating an avenue for faculty to recommend projects for expanded coverage. It’s a win for them, the student, and the university.

7. Day in the Life

You may read this headline and think that your prospective students don’t care about this, but they really do. The key to succeeding with this type of content is to ask several different students to document their day-to-day.

8. Sample Semester Schedule 

Along the same line, give students a clear idea of what a sample semester course schedule may look like for them. When do students go to class? What do they do at night? Do students have classes on Friday? Consider asking students from different class years and different programs to write these posts.

9. Stories About Student Organizations

Prospective students want to get involved on campus. Showcase the different organizations they can join, and document the exciting things those organizations are accomplishing.

10. Experience of Studying Abroad

Did you know that fewer than 10% of all U.S. undergrad students study abroad? I guarantee you more than 10% of incoming U.S. undergrad students plan to study abroad. Cater to the latter group.

11. Life as a Part-Time Student

For some schools, this may not be a large subset of your student body. For others, part-time students are a key demographic. Part-time students are hard-pressed for time, but I’ve found that they are also more inclined to want to help out future part-time students by documenting their experiences.

12. Life as a Night Student

Part-time student does not always equal night student. If part-time students are an important audience for you, be sure to document any and all part-time programs.

13. Exploring “The Gap Year”

Internet searches for “gap year” spiked considerably in May 2016. You can call it the “Malia Obama effect.” This isn’t likely going to apply to a large percentage of your students, but if you cover the topic, you’ll make a big difference for the students for whom it does.

SUBGROUP B: ADVICE FOR PROSPECTIVE STUDENTS

14. Advice for Move-In Day

Few events conjure up mixed emotions like move-in day. Feelings of excitement and anxiousness abound as students say goodbye to bedrooms and parents and hello to roommates and dorm rooms. Boost the excitement and quell the anxiousness by having current students share their best advice with incoming students.

15. How Students Chose Their Major

You probably don’t need me to tell you this, but a lot of prospective students don’t know what they are going to major in at college, while others pick a major but do so half-heartedly and later change their mind. This type of blog post can help prospective students identify with current students, learn more about the majors you offer, and learn about the process of choosing a major.

16. Advice/Experience of Being a Student Athlete 

Employers love student-athletes, because they’ve demonstrated that they can balance two full-time commitments while in school. Tap into their wisdom and set your future student-athletes up for success.

17. What I Wrote About in My College Essay

Perhaps no aspect of the college application process is more feared than the college essay. Have your admissions team mark some of their favorite essays, and then have those students talk about the thought process behind selecting their topic, or what they hoped to accomplish in the essay. Your prospective students are starving for any content than can help them write a better college essay, and sometimes, the creative light bulb goes off after seeing an example of someone else’s.

18. Student Success from the Waitlist

For some applicants, being waitlisted at their university of choice is almost worse than being rejected outright. And that feeling of not being quite good enough can have lingering effects on the students who are ultimately granted admission. So find a successful student who was originally waitlisted, and have them share their story.

19. A Firsthand Account of the Admissions Interview Process

If interviews are still a part of your university’s admissions process, this type of content is a must. And while this type of content is useful from an admissions office viewpoint, getting a behind-the-scenes viewpoint from a current student may have a bigger impact on your prospective students.

20. Remembering the Moment They Chose Your University

Not all students have an epiphany where they magically select a university, but some do. Find your current students who can remember making their commitment and ask them to share how and why they chose your university. It’s just the type of emotional content that resonates with admitted students who are still on the fence. Pro tip: this is an excellent piece of content to add video.

21. Letters to Themselves (on Graduation Day) Written During Their First Week

When I worked at a law school, I was always blown away by the hopes and dreams of incoming law students, ready to take on the world and win. Capture that ambition and passion by having students write letters to themselves to read on graduation day. Then, play the long game and have those students read those letters, on video, on graduation day.

22. Letters Back to Themselves (During Their First Week) Written on Graduation Day

We’re going in the opposite direction here, but this time for the benefit of your enrolled students. Now is the time to get graduating students to write letters to the version of themselves that first stepped foot on campus. Your incoming students will gobble this up. Update: You can see a version of this concept from the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School of Business

23. What I Learned My Freshman Year of College

Continuing on the advice theme, incoming college students have a lot of questions about starting their academic careers on the right foot. Answer those questions with blog posts from successful upper-level students who can share advice for not just surviving, but thriving, as a freshman.

24. Packing List

Here’s another move-in day suggestion. No matter how much incoming students prep, they are bound to overlook something they’ll need for dorm life. Have your students create the ultimate packing list, and then get creative with how you share that. For example, come up with an infographic or Pinterest board.

25. Advice for First-Generation Students

This is pretty simple. Some incoming students have parents or siblings that they can lean on for college advice. Others don’t. Make sure you’re helping your incoming students in the latter category.

A college or university dorm room with a bed and a teddy bear on it

Subgroup C: Campus Living

26. Dorm Room Tours

Prospective students, and their parents, want to see dorm rooms. Don’t just showcase the best rooms on campus either. Try to showcase dorm rooms in different buildings, and students with different living arrangements. This is another great opportunity to add video.

27. Dorm Room Decoration Inspiration

We all knew that friend in college who thought their dorm room was the best designed on campus. Find that student at your university, and give them a platform to share advice on decorating dorm rooms and making the most of limited space. Not sure how to find this student? Consider hosting a contest where students can enter. They’ll be more likely to do so than you think.

28. Dining Advice on Campus

Ask any admissions student ambassador about their most frequently asked questions, and I guarantee you that dining options are on the list. For some schools, this is pretty straightforward, but for others, this type of content could get pretty complex. If the latter describes your university, consider putting together a custom Google Map of dining options on or around campus.

29. Advice for Getting Around Campus

When I arrived on campus for my freshman year, I was blown away by the number of students using Razor Scooters to get around. I had no idea that was a thing. If you have a large campus, make sure you’re sharing what options are available for current students, from busses, shuttles, and even scooters.

30. Tips for Living with Roommates

For many prospective students, college will be the first time they have shared a bedroom with another person, or group of people, in their life. Be sure to share best practices and advice from current students on sharing a living space, whether that’s with one student or several.

31. Living Off-Campus

It seems like the new trend in college living involves apartments that aren’t actually property of the university or college. If that’s true at your college or university, make sure to share the ins and outs of living in these independently-owned buildings.

32. Exploring the Surrounding Area

Whether students choose to live on or off campus, be sure to share information about the neighborhood beyond your university. That may involve a look at the hottest restaurants and museums in a big city, or just where the local CVS or grocery store is. Either way, that sort of practical content can be incredibly helpful to an incoming student who, at the end of the day, is going to be living in a new location for the next four or so years.

Related: Attract students to your school with blogging. Download our complementary eBook.

Category 2: From or Featuring Alumni

33. Career Advice

Your alumni have successfully navigated the transition from college student to professional, and they’ve certainly learned a thing or two along the way. Ask them to share that advice, whether it’s about job interviews or resumes or work/life balance.

34. Career Highlights

One of the key aspects your prospective students are evaluating your school on is their career prospects. Identify some of your biggest alumni success stories, and profile those individuals. In this win-win scenario, you earn appreciation from your alumni and demonstrate proof of success to your prospective students.

35. Day in the Life

Earlier this year, we documented how Bentley University used Snapchat to share the day in the life of an alumni. I loved the concept as a social media idea, but I also love it as a blog post that prospective and current students can return to day after day.

36. Oral Histories of Great Moments in University History 

Oral histories are fascinating, and I guarantee you that your university has a moment in its rich history that is begging to be explored from new and diverse vantage points. Pick a moment, and interview alumni, administrators, and faculty about their memories from the event. This is a great way to put a new twist on documenting your university’s past.

37. What I’d Do Differently

I mentioned that your alumni have learned a thing or two from transitioning from student to professional. Most alumni will be very willing to share those lessons, even if they learned them the hard way. Publishing content that’s humble in nature humanizes your brand and resonates with all audiences.

38. #TBT Photos and the Story Behind Them

#tbt has become stale. Most universities just share photos of the quad or old buildings. Ask your alumni for fun pictures from their time on campus, and then share those images with the stories that explain the photo. This concept could be a lot of fun.

39. Why I Chose This University

This concept is pretty self-explanatory. The power behind asking your alumni to write the story is that it’s one thing to be happy with your college choice while you’re still a college student, but remaining satisfied with your choice of college years later says something entirely different.

40. Alumni Events Recaps

Consider publishing these types of posts during alumni events in different cities, or around campus events like homecoming. You may think the content won’t resonate with your prospective students, but demonstrating the power and community inherent in your alumni network is important.

41. How I Used My College Network to Land a Job

This concept is especially relevant for graduate and professional schools out there. Your prospective students are coming to you for one reason, and that’s to better their career. Make sure you’re demonstrating that others sought the same thing and succeeded using their college network.

42. Advice for Reaching out to Alumni 

During an admitted student day, I once overheard a current student share how she networked with an alum of the school to land a coveted internship. Your students may love the idea of reaching out to alumni, but may also be too intimidated to do so. This type of blog post can help them overcome those anxious feelings.

43. What I’m Looking for When Hiring New Graduates

Consider this idea a large tree with many branches. What are employers looking for in cover letters, resumes, and Linkedin profiles? What are they looking for during interviews? What extracurricular activities do they look for? How about internships? How important are grades? Do they research a candidate’s social media activity? The list goes on and on and on…

Two college girls studying at a picnic table outside with their notebooks and pens

Category 3: From or Featuring Faculty 

44. Faculty Research Topics and Their Impact in Laymans Terms

You have three options when it comes to publishing content regarding faculty research. You can (1) not publish it, (2) publish it in its jargony glory, or (3) share it in an interesting and tangible way that prospective students can understand. Follow Temple University’s lead and choose option 3.

45. Highlights of Specific Majors 

We’ve covered the theme of choosing a college major a few times on this list, but I think having faculty members discuss the merits of different majors can be a good starting point for students who are still unsure of what to study.

46. What Faculty Love About Teaching

Faculty are too often stereotyped as research addicts who only teach as a requirement to researching. For many faculty, that’s just not the case. Give them a platform to talk about what they love about teaching, and then share that content with any prospective or admitted students in your database that are considering studying in that school or major.

47. How to Succeed in My Class

My father is a college professor, and he’s pretty clear with students about what it takes to succeed in his class: attendance. Your faculty are probably also clear about what it takes to succeed in their classes too. Don’t keep that information from students until the first day of class.

48. Advice for Not Just Surviving but Thriving in Your First Semester 

I included this topic above in the current student section of this blog post, but your faculty will have a much different vantage point on this than your students.

A professor teaching a college class in front of a projector screen
49. How They Came to Teach and Study Their Area of Focus

This type of content is all about humanizing your faculty members and helping students identify with them. When you publish this type of content, you build a connection between your prospective and current students and your faculty, and that’s a big part of a student’s decision to enroll in your university.

50. Ways to Get Involved with Undergraduate Research

This is a helpful blog post for current students, but there is a secondary benefit to prospective students who have a clear picture of their future plans once enrolled in your university. Make sure you target faculty members who are working on especially interesting projects to maximize the marketing impact of this content.

51. Get to Know the Dean

If you decide to tackle this topic, be aware that the gold standard comes from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, who launched the incredible “Perls of Knowledge” video series in 2014. (Check out the original videos. They are comedy gold.) You don’t need to mimic this idea exactly, but get creative. You’ll instantly stand out from the crowd.

Related: Download our eBook, “The State of Digital Marketing in Higher Education,” and discover how higher ed marketers are approaching blogging, social media, email marketing, and more.

Category 4: From Your Admissions Staff 

52. Student Ambassadors Answer FAQs 

Inbound marketing, and blogging in particular, is really all about becoming a trusted resource for your target audience. I can’t think of an easier or better way to do that in higher education than asking the students who interact with your prospective students on a daily basis to answer the questions they are most frequently asked.

53. Important Deadlines

Sure, you have this information on a web page and your admissions brochures. You still need to make sure you’re blogging about upcoming deadlines as they approach. Don’t assume your prospective and admitted students are setting alerts and reminders throughout the admissions process.

54. Guide to Making the Most of Your Rising-Senior (HS) Summer 

This idea comes from the University of Michigan, and it’s a clear example of what I’ve described above in terms of answering the questions that your prospective students are most often asking. If you’re a graduate or professional school, tweak this content appropriately.

55. Guide to Writing College Essays

I included this topic in the current students section above, but I think it’s’ a topic worth writing about from multiple perspectives. Your prospective students will appreciate reading what your admissions staff is looking for in a college essay, and then seeing examples of successful college essays as a next step.

56. The Right Questions to Ask at College Fairs

Have you ever had a student walk up to your table at a college fair and ask “So, tell me why I should apply to your school?” It’s the worst. Set them up for success by publishing content about what they should be asking at college fairs instead.

57. Understanding the FAFSA 

You may think you’ve covered the FAFSA process, but I guarantee you that there is some aspect of the form or process that you haven’t covered.

58. Understanding the Admissions Process 

This is pretty high level content. You don’t have to go into crazy detail here, but be transparent about what the process for gaining admission is at your institution. What forms are required? How long does it generally take to review applications, and who reviews them? When are scholarship decisions made, and are they based on different criteria? Be as open and transparent as possible with you prospective students here.

59. Advice for Standing out on Your Application 

Your admissions staff is probably asked this question all the time. But it’s a frequently asked question for a reason. I know you have a holistic process for reviewing applications, but surely there are things that students can do that signal to your admissions team that they are a good fit, right? Label those actions and share them with your prospective students.

60. Explain Any Unique Aspects of Your Admissions Process 

When I worked in admissions, my institution had an additional, optional, writing essay that applicants could submit. If your school or college has something similar, make sure you are sharing what that unique aspect is and what students, if applicable, should include it.

61. What Does A “Holistic Review” of Applications Mean to Your Institution?

We’re returning to the idea of the “holistic review” of applications. As much as possible, go into what this means at your institution.

62. Guide to Acing College Interviews 

Yes, we covered this above with current students, but again, your prospective students will appreciate hearing different perspectives on this potentially crucial part of the admissions process.

63. Advice If You Land on the Waitlist 

Earlier in this list, we suggested sharing success stories of students who were originally waitlisted at your university. This example, however, is about sharing information on the process. If students are waitlisted, do they need to submit any forms to display interest in the school or college? Is there a general time of the year when they may hear back from the admissions staff? Is there anything they can submit to increase their odds of being accepted?

64. Guide to Visiting Campus 

Campus visits are a crucial part of the admissions process. Make sure your prospective students, and their parents, know what to expect and how to make the most of their visit. This may include a campus map, buildings to see, accommodations near campus for families traveling from afar, etc.

65. Must-Take Photos During Your Time on Campus 

Some campuses have particular statues, buildings, or viewpoints that are simply a must-see on campus. If you’re lucky enough to have one of these assets, share them with your prospective students and get them feeling a little school pride before they’ve even enrolled.

66. Where to Find Scholarships

Just because an admitted student didn’t receive a scholarship from your university, doesn’t mean there aren’t other options out there. Help these admitted students out by sharing external options for discovering scholarships.

67. Guide to Orientation 

While the topic of making the most of orientation is probably best left to your current students, who have gone through the process fairly recently, you should also be sharing logistical information about the event. Consider deadlines, directions, activities, packing lists, etc all fair game here.

68. Advice for Move-In Day

The rationale for this blog post is the same as the guide to orientation idea just discussed. Logistical posts aren’t sexy, but they matter.

69. Infographics/Overview of Each Year’s Entering Class 

This content will be a big hit with your incoming class and their families, who are as excited as it gets about the journey that lies ahead. Capitalize on that sense of excitement by sharing some visually dynamic content about your incoming class.

Category 5: College Campus Potpourri 

70. Enrolled Students: Making the Decision to Enroll

Don’t wait until your admitted students have arrived on campus to utilize them as ambassadors. As students submit deposits to your university, have them share their reasoning for enrolling. That type of social proof can be very persuasive to those students still on the fence.

71. Career Services Advice for Entering Students 

At the law school where I previously worked, entering students were always told that their legal career started on the first day they entered law school. Make sure your students know that your career services office can be a resource to to them before they reach their senior year of college and need a job.

A student studying at a desk in the university library with shelves of books on either side
72. Professionalism 101

This idea is an extension of the previous topic, but it’s especially relevant to today’s college students when you factor in the rise of social media. Make sure your students know that the internet is forever, but without coming across as a concerned parent. After all, for some students, social media may be their ticket to a rewarding career.

73. Campus Building Tours

You create campus maps and campus tours for your prospective students, but make sure you are digitally sharing tours for each building. This is especially helpful for larger campuses, where students of particular majors may spend much of their time in buildings that aren’t covered on a traditional campus tour.

74. Campus Safety on College

Yeah, I know. This is a tough topic to cover. But students, and more importantly, their parents, care about this stuff. Don’t bury your campus safety reports, and don’t avoid talking about this subject. That makes you look like you have something to hide. Instead, talk about the steps you take to make your campus a safe environment for your entire community, students included.

75. Meaning Behind the Mascot

I love hearing stories about how campuses came to adopt their mascot. College sports are an incredibly influential part of students’ decision about where to apply. By sharing the story of your mascot, and how it relates to your school, you can create a bridge to learning more about your university for a student who only arrived on your website because they just watched a successful hail mary.

Whew! We did it75 blog ideas for your university of college. I hope you’ll take these ideas and run with them. Have some fun with these topics, and experiment with different storytelling techniques when you can. Finally, remember that while the topic or audience may change, the main goals of any university or college blog is to create content that educates and resonates. If you can do that, you’ll be well on your way to attracting new web visitors and developing those visitors into prospects and ambassadors.

If you liked this post, download our eBook to learn how inbound marketing can empower higher ed marketers to attract the right people, convert prospective students, close applicants, and delight alumni.

Stephen App

Stephen App

Account Executive

Stephen App helped pioneer our content marketing strategy here at eCity Interactive. As part of our higher education team and as the founder of the Hashtag Higher Ed podcast, he brought higher education marketers together and built a unique community that has continued to flourish. Although he is working in new pastures at CampusSonar, we look forward to Steve’s contributions to Volt. You can connect with Steve on Twitter @StephenApp, where he considers himself a power user.

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ndemi
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ndemi

Marvelous! These are nice ideas i had not initially thought of. Thank you for sharing.

Emanuel
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Emanuel

Hello,
Thank you so much for sharing this with us,,I appreciate because now I know what the employers look for during interviews.

Sashakt Singh
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Sashakt Singh

Thank you for such a great site:)

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