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Differentiate Yourself, Improve Recruitment

Higher Education: Differentiate Yourself, Improve Recruitment

Krystal Paisley

July 21, 2017

College enrollment is projected to increase only at a third of the pace of the past decade.


As a whole, the pace of college enrollment has slowed. This issue has led to some universities down-sizing, merging, and even closing its doors.


Imagine being a high school graduate, sifting through what seems like never-ending options as to what you’re going to do after you receive that high school diploma. There are many questions that would go through your head. Will I go to college? Should I go now or take some time off? What major? Will I get any scholarships? Which college will I attend?


There are more than 7,200 post-graduate institutions in the United States.


Students are faced with a seemingly never-ending amount of options upon graduation. Filtering through brochures, applications, and college visits is a daunting task. As a college or university, how do you stand out? What will make one student choose your institution over another?


Colleges and universities are competing to attract students. The key to standing out among the 7,200+ other options is differentiating your educational institution.


How can a college or university stand out?


  • By offering different majors? 75% of students go to college undecided or change their major.
  • Promoting its prime location? Nearly half of students stay closer to home, opting for in-state institutions.
  • Ranking high on national lists? Rankings may be a key factor when it comes to considering colleges, but when it comes time to select, a ranking is just a number. Only 18% of students said that this was a factor in their college selection. This falls behind academics, finances, location, social activities, and a campus visit.


Offering many majors, having an ideal location, and making the top of the rankings doesn’t guarantee student enrollment. So how does the higher education field stand out?



A key factor is the campus visit. Often times, this is a make or break for a student’s selection. In fact, nearly half of students reported that the campus visit influenced their final college selection.


The campus grounds and facilities provide the backdrop for the entire campus visit!


Upgraded student housing and indoor practice facilities are big differentiators for college and university campuses. They showcase where the student will spend his or her next four years living, learning, and socializing.


Projects like Youngstown State University’s Watson and Tressel Training Site (WATTS) are assets to the campus and local community. YSU’s WATTS has been beneficial to the university. Some highlights include:


  • Increased interest in the university, both student athletes and non-athletes
  • Better athletic performance overall
  • Increased enrollment
  • Community resource for local youth organizations and high schools
  • Now the location for the Horizon League Indoor Track & Field Championship
  • Focus on sustainability efforts as one of the first LEED buildings on campus
  • Community involvement during winter months


“When a recruit comes to our campus and walks in this facility, there’s a ‘wow’ factor, correct? I can assure you of this: The future at YSU looks bright.”

– Eric Wolford, Former Head Football Coach, Youngstown State University



The higher education landscape is more competitive than ever. ms consultants knows that campuses must provide the best facilities with the latest technologies to attract and retain students. From modernized student housing to state-of-the-art indoor practice facilities, we design spaces that give your campus a competitive advantage.


Ready to get started? Contact Jerry Miller, Director of Building Systems, at or 614.898.7100.