SIU revamps recruitment material to increase enrollment

CARBONDALE, IL — A local university has revamped some of its recruitment tools in hopes of increasing enrollment.

Southern Illinois University Carbondale is sending out new brochures aiming to highlight students’ experiences. SIU sent recruitment materials to 40,000 prospective students for next year.

Across the country, people are opening their mailboxes to find a Saluki. That’s exactly what the SIU admissions office is hoping for.

LaDerek Guyton is a junior now. He said the presentation of a university’s recruitment material is very important. That’s what got him to chose SIU.

“The one I saw, it had West Campus with a lake. I thought that was cool. This school has a lake,” said Guyton.

The recruitment magazines include standard information, but the school also wants prospective students to really be able to envision themselves on campus. Associate Chancellor of Enrollment Management Jennifer Dehaimers said that’s why they decided to include more pictures and less text.

“It’s kind of instant information. You can get a feel for what you’re trying to portray looking at a picture as opposed to reading two blocks of text,” said DeHaemers.

That’s not all that’s new.

“We have recently purchased and put into play a new piece of equipment for printing. It allows us two to personalize our communications, so when we send postcards coming up about our open houses in the spring semesters, we can actually address it to Jennifer or to Tom,” said DeHaemers.

DeHaemers said so far these personal touches have been working, and they are on track with increasing their enrollment numbers. There 2019 enrollment goal is 2,200 new and transfer students.

“It’s greater use of technology for personalization, and that’s what people seem to want,” said DeHaemers.

Guyton said he likes the new way SIUC is reaching students.

“I like to see a lot of people interacting with each other,” said Guyton.

SIU is also looking to revamp parts of its admission process to make it easier for students to apply and allow the university to process applications quicker.

The university says it has also seen an increase in interest at one of its big recruitment events — SIU day. The next SIU Day is April 26.