In the past, when colleges and universities were looking for prospective students, the focus was really just on generating leads. Today, the focus has shifted more to finding high quality prospective students who will not only start school but go on to graduate and become gainfully employed.
Pauldine will participate on the panel “It’s All About the Jobs: Where Online Education and Placement Cross Paths.”
“In the past, we were paying for leads and inquiry counts were up,” he says. “But we weren’t sustaining growth. There needs to be a discipline for seeking out truly qualified students.”
Institutions like DeVry have chosen to stop paying for low converting leads from aggregators, he says, noting there is a cost factor involved in having staff dredge through low quality leads.
“What we want are students who are truly interested,” he says. “Oour survival is dependent on students who start, finish, pay off their loans and become contributing members of society.”
Of course, notes Pauldine, not all lead aggregators should be tarred with the same brush. But there are some folks who are developing leads in ways that aren’t in the best interest of marketers or consumers. This includes selling the same inquiry at the same time to multiple institutions, using enticements like free groceries or iPods for information, or using college logos in unacceptable ways.
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