La Salle University is a private, Catholic institution with approximately 3,300 undergraduate students. Located in Philadelphia, La Salle was founded in 1863 by the Brothers of the Christian Schools, a Catholic teaching order that operates about 1,000 other secondary and postsecondary institutions across the world.

Challenge

Like many mid-sized institutions, La Salle faced recruitment challenges, especially attracting students who were a good fit. Prior to their partnership with Intersect, La Salle’s recruitment strategy was primarily “boots on the ground,” with admission staffers visiting high schools across the country to meet with students. Recruitment was largely supported by traditional college search list buys from a variety of standardized testing agencies. University leaders knew that they were missing opportunities to reach the students they were looking for and who would thrive on their campus.

In 2020, La Salle faced additional challenges due to the coronavirus pandemic. Campus visits, events, admission interviews, and high school visits switched from in-person to a fully virtual format. “The scariest part is that, at first, we didn’t know how to do it; like so many others, we were trying to figure it out as we went along,” says Jim Plunkett, Executive Director of Admissions. Since La Salle relied heavily on these in-person activities, it was critical to make a successful pivot.

Solution

A long-time Hobsons partner, La Salle began using Intersect’s unique recruitment solutions to reach the best-fit Naviance students the campus was missing. Tasked with a goal to grow La Salle’s recruitment footprint, the admission team used Intersect Advanced Awareness and Connection to expand in their tertiary markets. The platform identified students who were interested in La Salle’s competitors, and the team used engaging messages to reach these students.

“Tertiary markets take a while to grow, but it’s a growth we’re willing to invest in long-term, and Intersect has allowed us to get a jumpstart in these markets,” says Mr. Plunkett. La Salle also concentrated on strengthening its reach within primary and secondary markets.

Responding to the challenges presented by the pandemic, La Salle was able to quickly pivot by using its Enhanced College Profile in Naviance to ensure all their information was updated for students and promoted their new virtual visits and events with students. Additionally, in partnership with their Intersect account manager, La Salle’s team analyzed markets in which they were currently reaching students and identified additional markets and programs based on university goals. They set up campaigns with competitive and major specific messaging to engage Naviance students in those markets.

Results

For the Class of 2020, La Salle generated 2,356 student connections through Intersect. An astounding 78% of those connections submitted applications. “Compared to other search tools, it’s a percent or two of prospects that apply, so we’ve definitely seen the power of hand-raisers from Intersect,” Mr. Plunkett added. The seamless integration to flow student connections into their CRM has allowed La Salle to quickly reach out to students once they’ve requested to connect in Naviance.

RepVisits also has had a profound impact on the La Salle’s efficiency. Through RepVisits, admission reps were able to effectively plan their in-person or virtual visits, maintain relationships with high school counselors, discover new high schools to visit, and save time from the traditional back-and forth of scheduling. This tool allowed them to focus on other responsibilities of their jobs.

“I’m very proud, and La Salle is very proud to be affiliated with Hobsons. It’s been a long-standing relationship, and it’s one that we’ve grown every single year that we’ve been a partner. I’m very appreciative of what Hobsons has done and continues to do for La Salle.”

“RepVisits has revolutionized the undergraduate admission rep travel process.”

Jim Plunkett,
Executive Director of Admissions

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