How Successful Schools Build Brand Trust
By Rachel Seitz
Online reputation / public reviews
The first step many students take, once they decide that they want to go back to school, is to research their options. Just like reading reviews of a product before buying it, or looking through travel guides of a place before visiting it, checking what previous students have said about their experience is crucial to helping ensure they’ll benefit from the education you offer. Make sure there is an ample, honest collection of public reviews, so students can feel secure about a decision to enroll in your programs.
Since the goal of going to school is to build knowledge and skills, as well as increasing hireability, it’s important to provide data illustrating how your school can help students achieve these goals. Being open about graduation rates, job placement rates, and growth potential in certain fields will help future students feel confident they’re making a worthwhile investment in attending your school. In fact, several of our partner schools, such as General Assembly, Wyncode, and Hack Reactor, have their outcomes reports publicly available online!
Offering value without the expectation of getting anything in return
We spoke with Enrollment Resources, who are pretty much the experts when it comes to building quality school brands. One suggestion they had was to offer potential students value without expecting to get anything from them:
"When a prospective student invests their time into completing your online survey to find out if they are a good fit for your school or program (and if you’re a good fit for them), their personalized report should be emailed to them as soon as they hit “submit.” Sharing that information with them (their information!) should not be dependent on whether or not they speak with an advisor, book a tour, or complete any other action. The report generated by their answers to your survey should not only qualify them into or out of your program. It should also offer some insight into the next steps the prospective student can take toward their goals - whether it’s with your school or otherwise."
Industry Partnerships and Valuable Affiliations
Joining industry affiliations—like Career Education Colleges and Universities (CECU), Commercial Vehicle Training Association (CVTA), and American Welding Society (AWS), to name a few—not only increases access to valuable partnerships, networking, and resource sharing, but it also adds credibility to your school and value for your students. Through these affiliations, you can provide employer connections for your students and alumni and be keyed into industry news, enabling you to tailor your programs to fit future industry needs.
Finally, there is third-party validation. Being endorsed by an objective, outside organization illustrates your school’s commitment to quality and its recognition by others. Receiving accreditation is one such way to do this. And here at Climb, we conduct an extensive ROI evaluation on schools before partnering with them, in order to validate all Climb-financed institutions.
In doing this analysis, Climb relies on data from public sources and schools. Climb has no ability to independently verify this information and offers no representation or warranty as to the accuracy or completeness of any data. Inaccuracies in the underlying data will have a corresponding result in Climb's analysis. Climb reserves the right to change its ROI analysis in its complete discretion, at any time, without notice. Climb's ROI analysis provides no representation, warranty, or guaranty that any individual will achieve any particular outcome at a given school. All prospective students should do their own analysis of the costs and benefits of attending any particular school.