11 January 2006

Admit package envy?

To say that this is something you don't see every day would be a little bit of an understatement. MIT admitted approximately 1,500 students last year -- about 15% of their applicant pool. In theory, fewer than 2,000 students this year will open their mailbox and get "the tube."

Marketing has always been a fascination of mine. I love the Super Bowl -- I love the Super Bowl ads equally. I know why our school has to work so hard on marketing -- the number one reason is that we're NOT MIT. Our biggest challenge is not that we have a bad reputation, but it is that we have no reputation. Even that is a stretch -- we have a very good reputation with companies that hire our students, in specific industries where we excel. But, until we get a Division I football team playing on ESPN every Saturday, we are going to have some challenges with noteriety. I know other similar colleges have that same problem (I know plenty of students who have no idea what Harvey Mudd College is -- or what makes it different from Bob Jones University).

Anyway, our admit package looks nothing like this. We send a congratulatory letter -- and some somewhat technical college enrollment information. Hmmm...

The poster is one idea -- and one that I think MIT got from Olin. Hey -- they all can't be 100% original, right? I like the branding that comes across there. MIT is a destination college, and this helps connect the student applicant to the university immediately. MIT gets a very good yield already, so you don't really know if they get a good yield because they have good marketing or if they get a good yield because they are MIT.

Either way, I think that there are some things that we could learn from their packet. I really like the Cerificate of Admission that they send. Gaining admission to MIT is something beyond special, and it is nice for that to be recognized in some small way. I am going to see if we can add that to our admission packet for next year.

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