Thanksgiving is quickly approaching and not only is it a time for families to gather together, eat turkey and give thanks, it is also a time for students to gather with their old high school friends. It is the first extended length of time many of them will have together since they started their college experiences in August.
The discussions will certainly include asking each other how they like the school they have chosen, they will see who is excited about where they are and who is not so happy. They will listen and start paralleling their experiences with those who seem most satisfied and anxious to get back.
This is the time when your college must take the initiative to remind students how much they are appreciated. It is not too late to send out an email this week to tell students how happy and honored you are that they chose your college to further their academic pursuits. It would also be an opportune time to send a letter to the student’s home reiterating your appreciation of their choice and what a pleasure it is partnering with them at this important time in their lives. Share some of the exciting events that will be occurring when they return to give them something to look forward to and talk about with their peers. And give them the name of a personal contact at the college to call if they have any concerns, questions, or issues they need addressed.
Now is the time when if the student is not happy, they will begin to start thinking of transferring after the Christmas break. Now is the time, you need to remind everyone on campus staff how hard recruitment worked to get students to enroll and attend your college. Wouldn’t it be a shame to lose them and start all over?
It costs 5 to 7 times more to get a new student than to keep the student you have.