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Boston University: School of Choice

Posted in: Education/Cultural, Marketing Profile & Segmentation, Qualitative Exploratory

Boston University: School of Choice

Challenge: As part of a long term, ongoing initiative to make Boston University the “school of choice” among qualified prospective college candidates, BU wanted to answer three key questions: How could it best appeal to future qualified prospects? What is the student profile of the prospective student most inclined to choose BU? What factors are most important for parents when deciding on a school with their child?

Objective: To identify high-performing prospect segments that would be most inclined to choose BU, and determine which segments offer the greatest opportunity for BU.

Solution: Three studies were conducted: a Qualitative exploratory (in-depth phone interviews among students admitted to BU as freshmen, both enrollees, and those who chose a competing college), a Quantitative parent return on investment study (online surveys among parents of admitted BU students), and a Quantitative prospective student segmentation study (online surveys among a large scale sample of prospective BU students).

Result: Results identified naturally-derived student segments. The size of each segment was identified and according to the drivers of a college decision, each was profiled and analyzed for its relevance and prioritized by the opportunity it represented for BU. Based on the collection of studies, recommendations were made for developing targeted messaging and programming to most effectively attract high opportunity prospect segments, ultimately to drive high value enrollment to BU.

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