Public Knowledge . . . Or Is It?

Carnegie Higher Ed Sep 15, 2014 Carnegie Higher Ed Persona The Visionary Frontrunner

It’s no secret that most high school students face a deluge of offerings from colleges and universities starting as freshmen and sophomores, all the way through senior year. Although my daughter is only in 6th grade, I’m already starting to hear “college” thrown around more and more frequently—sometimes it’s even coming from me.

Although students may not be thinking about the college they want to attend as 6th graders, their college search is starting earlier than ever. Many students are researching colleges their freshman year in high school, and almost all have had some kind of contact with a school by the end of sophomore year. I can’t help but think about how much has changed in the 20 years since I went through the process.

Today the college search is one of websites, virtual tours, electronic applications, live chats, e-mails, texts, Facebook, Instagram, direct mail (lots and lots of direct mail), PURLs, QR codes, hashtags (#Exhausting), and much more. If you ask any college-bound student in the middle of their junior year, they will have no problem showing you their giant box of college letters, postcards, and viewbooks . . . usually with an overwhelmed look on their face.

Of course, as the ways in which schools can recruit students have exploded, it’s become that much harder to rise above the chatter. With public universities especially, the challenges have never been greater, as states continue to slash budgets and tuition is on the rise. It’s more important than ever to recruit out-of-state students without breaking your budget, and now that they are looking as early as freshman year, you better not get left behind. So how do you stand out from the crowd and not get lost amongst the viewbooks and hashtags? How do you reach students and parents in a cost-effective way? How do you get results that yield more students? #Keepsalladmissionpeopleupatnight

That’s where Carnegie comes in! For 30 years Carnegie’s PC&U Platform has been an invaluable tool for students and parents and a constant leader in the ever-changing world of Student Search. It’s a marketing cornerstone that continues to garner accolades from parents and students, amaze those who measure results, and earn respect from anyone who decides to give it a try. The Public Colleges & Universities arm of PC&U has become Carnegie’s best-kept secret, outperforming all expectations. I would challenge anyone to find another way to reach over 1,000,000 students nationwide for less than a penny per name, starting as early as their freshman year. (Hint: there isn’t one!) Nowhere else can you find a source with unparalleled access to virtually every college-bound student nationwide.

Since its introduction into the PC&U family four years ago, Public Colleges & Universities has provided participating schools with 18,000 leads a year on average, with many schools receiving much more! One thing that makes the PC&U Platform unique is that the print component also reaches parents directly in their homes. Carnegie receives e-mail after e-mail from parents who are so thankful to have had the great articles and advice in PC&U to reference while going through the college search process. And with the magazine also visible in admission offices, it’s not uncommon to have a current college student pick it up and say, “That’s where I first heard about ABC State University.” Did I mention that Public Colleges & Universities reaches over 1 million students with biweekly electronic outreach, a full online profile on, and a print publication sent directly to homes? There is nothing else like it—the perfect marriage of marketing, branding, and lead generation that year over year produces exceptional and measurable results.

The 2014/2015 edition of Public Colleges & Universities will start reaching students in November, so don’t miss your opportunity to be included. Current participants range from smaller regional schools to Big 10 and SEC universities. But the results are the same for everyone: exceptional. Don’t get lost in the crowd of hashtags or dumped in the big box of letters. Have your message delivered directly to parents’ and students’ hands—and the front of their minds. #ContactCarnegieforPricing

You can follow me on Twitter @JLawnchair or on Google Plus as Jennifer Lonchar.

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