5. Best Study Spots on Campus
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.
If you want your students to get a better look at the community around them, take a page from UT Austin and include a few off-campus study spots, such as coffee shops and bookstores.
6. School Project Highlights
Initially used by the University of New Mexico, this idea is 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. You can even include faculty research in these highlights, as Towson University did, and use this as a way to get student talent into research opportunities with professors. It’s a win for all concerned.
7. Day in the Life
Your prospective students do care about this. You can find endless DITLO content on YouTube, like this video from a student at Wake Forest University. The key to success is to ask several different students to document their day-to-day. Remember, going the extra mile for popular college-oriented media students will not go unnoticed.
8. Sample Semester Schedule
Along the same line, give students a clear idea of what a sample semester course schedule may look like. 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, or even record a Q&A-style panel to turn long-written posts into condensed video posts instead.
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. Colorado State University provides a good example of what something like this should look like: readable, easy to find and informative.
10. Experience with Studying Abroad
In 2020-21, the total number of U.S. students who studied abroad declined by 91%. The next year saw a renewed interest in international programs and a significantly greater number of U.S. undergrad students planning to study abroad. Cater to the undergrads that plan to study abroad and you’ll see the overall number of students who end up abroad increase as well.
11. Life as a Part-Time Student
For many schools, this is an ever-increasing subset of the student body. 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. Fewer than one in five part-time students graduate within the traditional four-year term, so fostering a strong support system that understands everything they’re handling will be crucial in keeping them content and enrolled.
12. Life as a Night Student
If students who take night classes are an important audience for your institution, be sure to document any programs that might be helpful for these non-traditional students. Old Dominion University provides a solid example of creating something that documents university resources while maintaining a tone with which students can align.
13. Exploring ‘The Gap Year’
During the 2020-21 academic year, many students elected to take time off of school versus going fully remote, thus missing up to a full year of traditional in-person education. This isn’t likely going to apply to a large percentage of your audience, but if you cover the topic, you’ll make those few students feel seen.
SUBGROUP B: ADVICE FOR PROSPECTIVE STUDENTS
14. Advice for Move-In Day
Few events conjure up more mixed emotions than a 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. As mentioned in blog idea #7, countless examples of these are made by independent creators on YouTube, Twitter and Instagram.
15. How Students Chose Their Majors
You probably don’t need me to tell you this, but many prospective students don’t know what they are going to major in at college. Others pick majors but do so half-heartedly and later change their minds. This type of blog can help prospective students identify with current students, learn more about the majors your institution offers and learn about the process of choosing a major. Bonus point, it can also help you create a larger bullhorn for on-campus resources, such as a freshman advising staff and student development departments.
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.
Incoming student-athletes can even be a target audience. Ohio University outlines simple habits and routines that can help prime incoming students for their upcoming busy college schedules.
17. What I Wrote About in My College Essay
Perhaps no aspect of the college application process is more feared than the college essay, and it will continue to be unless artificial intelligence makes this requirement obsolete. Have your admissions team mark some of their favorite essays and have those students talk about the thought process behind selecting their topics or what they hoped to accomplish in the essay. This can also help shed a little more light on what your admissions office wants to see out of their students, washing away some of the mystery and “crapshoot” mentality that many students face when sending their applications off to schools.
18. Student Success from the Waitlist
For some applicants, being waitlisted at their university of choice is almost worse than being rejected outright. That feeling of not being quite good enough can have lingering effects on the students who are ultimately granted admission. Find a successful student who was originally waitlisted and have them share their story. Note that this blog idea can be transferable to deferred applicants as well.
19. A Firsthand Account of the Admissions Interview Process
With the rise of virtual communication, such as Zoom and Cisco Webex, virtual interviews are now making college interviews significantly more available for colleges of varying selectivity in the United States. Although this type of content is useful from an admissions office viewpoint, getting a behind-the-scenes viewpoint from a current student may have a profound impact on your prospective students.
20. Remembering the Moment They Chose Your University
Find your current students who remember making their commitments 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. New York University shows us that this can be a great way to present content in both written and video formats.
21. Balancing Full-time Student Life While Employed Part-time
Let’s face it, outside work cuts into all aspects of a student’s life, socially and academically. Take a few students who are in this position and have them share their stories or day-to-day schedules. This will help students who are in the same position balance out their activities and provide a mini manual for collegiate success.
22. Letters Back to Themselves (During Their First Week) Written on Graduation Day
Now is the time to get graduating students to write letters to the version of themselves that first stepped foot on campus. Throwback social media and blog content are always entertaining, and your incoming students will gobble this up. 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 plenty 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. Good outlets for these types of posts can be utilized through your college-backed websites or even social media platforms such as Reddit.
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 seasoned students create the ultimate packing list and get creative with how you share the information. For example, come up with an infographic or a checklist to post on platforms such as Twitter and Instagram.
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. Maybe take inspiration from Boston University and present this advice via digestible fast facts that anybody can look at for a few minutes and find key takeaways.