Recruiting Students From Near and Far!

College or university is a big step for someone to take in their life after they graduate high school or the equivalent of high school. Usually when one thinks of college, they think of the “big name” schools like USC, UCLA, Harvard, Princeton, and Yale. For international, one usually thinks of Oxford and Trinity. So how does Northern Arizona University recruit its students, considering it is a smaller, less known school?

Charles Harvey, Vice Provest for International Initiatives, sheds light on this topic. “For recruiting international students, the main method that we use in recruiting them is information sessions that are held at the schools abroad.”

Much like how national students are recruited, international students are recruited in a similar fashion. High schools in America will have the counselors discuss schools based on the students criteria of what they are looking for, but schools also offer college fairs. What a college fair is a convention of a sort. Representatives from schools all around the country will come to these college fairs with flyers and information packets for high schoolers to look at while considering schools, and they will answer any questions that students might have.

Mandy Hansen, Director for International Admissions & Recruitment, says that, “international students are recruited in a very similar manner to American students. Not only do we do the fairs, but we also conduct virtual information sessions with students abroad and with partners like EducationUSA. We also rely on word of mouth.”

Word of mouth is a very effective technique in this new age. It’s a powerful thing that people have in their hands. One word can destroy or praise anything now. Word of mouth was the technique that brought Colorado student Lexi Gibson to NAU.

“I heard about NAU from one of my mothers friends. She was asking me about the schools I was applying to when I was a high school senior and when I was done she asked me if I had heard of NAU. I hadn’t and she told me that I should look at it since she heard great things about it from one of her other friends son whose goes to NAU,” says Gibson.

Word of mouth is a proven technique, but what pulled Swiss exchange student Lisa La Bianca to NAU, was the information sessions. While it was hard to understand her through her thick accent, she provided some useful information into the student side of international recruitment.

“My school back home had an information session with representatives from NAU that spoke to us about the exchange program that they offered. What pulled me in was the chance to experience the American culture and to study in America,” says La Bianca.

The information sessions may have pulled La Bianca in at first, but what helped her solidify her decision to go to NAU were the virtual sessions. “When I was looking into NAU after the initial information session, the advisors made themselves available to me through virtual sessions when I had any questions,” La Bianca clarified.

NAU is rapidly growing in its student size every year, and a main impacting reason is the hard work of the recruiting teams and all that they do for the students.

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