High school seniors aren’t the only ones competing this fall and winter in the high-stakes college admissions game. Institutions of higher education are fighting among themselves for the best and brightest students — as well for those who can afford the rising tuition at top schools.

And in metropolitan areas where there is a high concentration of applicants, positioning your institution to attract students increasingly requires marketing and advertising smarts. It’s important to know that parents of college students today are older than in previous generations, more involved in the application process, and more prone to pass their anxiety and stress onto their children, according to numerous sources .

But they’re also the most important influencers for prospective students. A few timing and content tips can help colleges and universities market to them:

  • Engage with parents when their students are starting sophomore year in high school.
  • Focus initially on academic fit and general costs.
  • Keep in mind that during the decision-making process, parents are focused on detailed costs and other practical considerations.

The best strategies for institutions of higher learning to attract students from the New York metropolitan area involve effective engagement with these parent-influencers. The following statistics and findings from Nielsen PRIME Lingo can help:

  • Target emails and social media posts to them, keeping in mind that the vast majority of parents use cellphones and other mobile devices to access messages and the internet.
  • These influencers also use their phones during parent-specific events, such as campus tours.
  • 79 percent of this same group are on social media.
  • 27 percent look for advertising inserts in newspapers and magazines.
  • 36 percent access local news online, where they might read stories that use press releases from local colleges and universities as sources.

We can help in a multitude of other ways. Studio 1847 is a nationwide marketing agency that can position your institution and drive enrollment.