Hispanic recruiting is always a part of an admission office’s marketing strategy; however, it often goes overlooked. In my personal experience, Hispanic marketing is confusing to many business people, let alone those in higher education.
Spanish media Nielson ratings in all outlets of communication seem to have doubled and businesses everyday are creating Hispanic communication budgets to tap into this dynamic market.
So what is the first lesson in Hispanic recruiting for colleges and universities? Creating trust by building relationships.
As simple and straightforward as this may seem, there is definitely more to this concept when you are establishing relationships with Hispanic families.
A recent AP-Univision poll showed that 87% of the Hispanic population expressed that they value higher education as a crucial steppingstone to success.
What does this mean for colleges and universities? Some enrollment officers point to these survey results as a key indicator that needs to be addressed in the future. For example, Regent University, which has a current undergraduate Hispanic enrollment of 6%, has set a goal to reach 15% within the next three years.
In an article titled “Making ‘la Diferencia’: How to Bring Hispanic Students to Your College” from The Chronicle of Higher Education, President of Regent University, Carlos Campo, emphasizes that college and university admission offices need to “Reach out to Hispanic parents. Many will not come to your campus, so work with social services in your area to throw a block party in their neighborhoods, and make sure you have bilingual recruiters handing out brochures with the tacos and empanadas.”
Regent University is comprised mostly of a specific generation of Hispanic students – first-generation – and President Campo has identified this prior to establishing his recruitment efforts. This is important when you consider that not many institutions truly understand the complexities of their local Hispanic student population.
Hispanic families need to trust and know your institution’s recruiters, administrators, and institutional leaders. This can be done through engaging them in Hispanic cultural community events and other social outlets available in both your primary and secondary recruitment markets.