Three reasons students return to their former college

The work of an FE college is never done, but at this time of year it really starts to pile up as recruitment turns into enrolment and the new academic year begins.

How many of your enrolments for this year have come from former students returning to the college? Alumni recruitment can really take the pressure off your overall targets, so why do former students return to their old college?

You can offer courses relevant to them

In today’s tough jobs market, more and more people are realising the value of lifelong learning and continued professional development throughout a career.

If you can offer courses or training that are relevant to former students and of value to their career, be they industry-accredited qualifications or adult learning courses, you’ll be able to attract them far more easily.

Former students are always going to prefer the familiar surroundings of their old college to somewhere new; it’s just a case of making sure they know you have something worthwhile to offer them.

You’ve maintained a healthy relationship with them

Most students will have positive memories of their time at college, but if you haven’t maintained a relationship with them since they left then it’ll be harder to turn those fond memories into a re-enrolment.

Nurturing a healthy relationship with your former students, through regular alumni communications or a dedicated association, will ensure those feelings of goodwill are maintained and built upon.

When the time comes for a former student to be thinking about professional development, or just about picking up a new skill or hobby, their former college will be the first place they think of.

You know where they are

We’ve spoken already about the importance of relevant courses in attracting former students back to your college, and knowing where your alumni are can help make your range of courses as relevant to them as possible.

Alumni-based destination analysis can help you build an accurate picture of where your students go after college, and what courses helped them get there.

This type of comprehensive destination analysis will enable you to target alumni with courses that are relevant to them, at a time in their career when they’re most likely to find them useful.

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