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Directional Signs on College/University Campuses are Critical for Student Recruitment

Directional Sign on a College Campus

Directional Sign on a College Campus

Who ever would have thought that a sign company could help the Director of Admissions at a College or University? If you know your high school graduate demographics, the national graduation rate peaked in 2008. It will continue to decline through 2014. It will not reach the 2008 levels again until 2018. The White/Non-Hispanic demographic declines through 2022 (I don’t have the statistics beyond that). In other words, when the demographics for high school graduates does recover the ethnic mix of students will be skewed heavier towards Hispanics. That is a different population than most colleges and universities have traditionally focused on.

So what does this have to do with signs? I’m getting to that, but first I must also point out that some people are predicting that higher education tuition is the next “bust” for our economy. Similar to the mortgage crisis a few years ago. These two factors; less kids and perceived less value, are causing Admissions Directors to lose sleep. Especially, Admissions Directors at our nation’s smaller colleges and universities where 10-15 students that don’t show up in the fall or return at semester break can make a huge impact on their annual budget.

A critical practice for most Admissions Departments is to get prospective students to visit their campus. The reason for this is that the prospective student must “get a feel” for the place before deciding to spend 4, 5, or more years pursuing an education. I’ve informally talked to many college students over the years (I’m a member of the Board of Regents at Concordia University – NE). One question I always ask is; “Why did you choose to go to such-and-such college or university?” Inevitable they respond by saying that once they got on campus it just “felt right.” They really can’t articulate why other than they were real comfortable walking around, meeting people, viewing the campus, etc.

Boom! There’s my signage connection. If a prospective student shows up on a campus for the first time and found it hard to follow the signs from the interstate (if any exist) and then could not find the student union, the admissions office or heaven forbid the football field for that star athletic recruit, how are they ever going to “feel right” about choosing that college or university?

Sign companies have a great opportunity to be an impartial consultant for colleges and universities by pointing out buildings that are not marked appropriately (inside and out). Also, by walking around campus and pointing out where directional signage could be improved. The last thing an Admission Director wants to hear is that their prospects arrived and were immediately lost because they could not find their way around. If signs saved 5-10 prospects from a poor first impression, the increased tuition would pay for the signs in a heart beat. Have you seen tuition rates lately?!

Please contact us at Victory Sign Company (816)368-5361 for a free on-campus consultation to improve your directional signs.