October’s 2020 Town Hall meeting on Tuesday focused on the Division of Enrollment and the Office of Marketing & Communication.
Vice President of Enrollment and Marketing and Communications John Veilleux led the talk on changes in Texas Wesleyan’s marketing and recruitment strategies that have led to an increase in enrollment for the fall 2019 semester.
“I want to share with you some of the good early successes that we’re having to show you that it is working,” Veilleux said in the meeting, which was held in the ballroom of the Nick and Lou Martin Center. “Our freshmen enrollment coming into this year was up 7%, our transfer enrollment increased 18.9%, international student enrollment was up 33%, and all student enrollment for Wesleyan together was up 13%.”
Veilleux mentioned five different things that have been changed in the two departments: the addition of the new freshmen academic scholarships, the creation of the Smarter U Scholarship, early recruitment of college and high school students, heavier marketing from September to December, and increased digital marketing on platforms like SnapChat, Facebook, Instagram, Pandora, Spotify, SoundCloud, and streaming TV. All of this was done to better target people ranging from 13 to 17 years old.
“It’s no accident that you see us directly talking about the cost,” Vellileux said. “We have to get people past the sticker price (of private university tuition) which this messaging and discount price is designed to do.”
According to Veilleux, it’s important to talk about the cost because out of the 300,000 Texas seniors that went to college last year, only 4.9% of them choose to go to private universities. Therefore, many of Wesleyan’s ads focus on scholarships that make Wesleyan’s private education more affordable in order to get the university to stick out from other private institutions.
“At the end of the day I want to stop and recognize our teams (enrollment and marketing and communiations),” Veilleux said. “I want to say thank you to them for the sacrifices they make and the hard work they’re doing.”
Following Veilleux’s report, President Frederick Slabach announced that Neph Rivera, the university communications specialist, won the staff hero award for October.
“It feels really neat to be recognized,” Rivera said. “We all work hard in the marketing in communications office. It’s really a team effort because we all work together to get stuff done and none of us work alone. I share this (award) with the entire team.”
Slabach then made a few university announcements before talking about how the increase in freshman, transfer, and international enrollment has increased net tuition revenue.
“Net tuition per student was up over $2,000 per (new) student this year,” Slabach said. “The financial aid models that we’ve implemented are definitely working. This translated to more than $2 million in net revenue this year over last year.”