The average millennial applies to eight colleges, and schools must find a way to stand out from the pack. Some colleges are turning to novel new ways to accept students–Snapchat, anyone?–while others are turning to data analytics to improve recruitment prospects.

Ohio Wesleyan University (OWU) recently announced that it’s rolling out a highly engaging Web- and mobile-based prospective student experience that seeks to foster a meaningful affinity between student and school. For its new platform, OWU selected Evolution Labs’ S360 Recruit platform.

“We have students from many different backgrounds and the platform allows us to map content to meet the diversity of our applicants,” said Susan Dileno, vice president for enrollment of Ohio Wesleyan University. “The S360 Recruit platform has an innate flexibility which allows our application process to have a greater degree of success and fluidity; it helps us better understand our applicants from day one and vice-versa.”

The S360 Recruit platform uses data collected from students, including intended degree focus, personal interests and demographics. Considering that 77 percent of student respondents to a Wakefield Research survey said they want their schools to use their personal data to create an optimized college experience, OWU’s use of student data is on target for what perspective students want from their university. The S360 platform uses student data to engage students through a customized multichannel environment, achieving students’ desire for an optimized college experience

Students are now able to engage with OWU in an immersive way that is tailored to their interests. Prospective students can follow OWU student ambassadors by major or concentration,  join discussion groups, play OWU trivia games, take a branded OWU selfie, see the university’s event calendar, and watch videos. The platform also enables prospective students to connect with OWU’s official school social media feeds as well as those of current enrolled students who serve as ambassadors.

“The S360 Recruit platform speaks directly to the millennial generation’s need to be constantly connected on a personal level and this remains true as they apply to college,” said Peter Kraft, co-founder of Evolution Labs.

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Kate Polit
Kate Polit
Kate Polit is MeriTalk's Assistant Copy & Production Editor covering the intersection of government and technology.