A lot of people are used to thinking of school as a regular part of everyday life, an essential part of growing up that all people will go through, no matter what. This dulls the senses to the genuine and very fierce competition that exists in the world of education today. The desire for school choice, increasingly supported by public policy, is only growing more fervent, which means schools have to step up their game.
The key to succeeding in the ever-more cut-throat world of school admissions is to identify and promote your school’s unique selling proposition (USPs), a way to differentiate your school from others. This business term may be anathema to some educators who don’t regard their field as a business, but the reality is calling, making clear it needs to be heard.
What USPs are powerful for schools?
If you are wondering what your USPs might be, then take a look at the following ideas. These are areas that you might consider when thinking about what to focus on in your marketing strategy:
Beyond the marketing, the keywords, the school spirit, and branding, facilities are a visible and tangible part of your school’s appeal. Brick and mortar speak more loudly than many other factors when it comes to attracting families, so highlights of your facilities are always a big plus when looking for what sets your school apart. You might have fantastic fitness and sports facilities, an extensive library, spacious and comfortable student accommodations, unique architecture, and beautiful landscaping. It all offers something to that marketing story.
2. Voice & Brand
Many parents are keen for their kids to experience diversity in their school life, both cultural and intellectual. Having a rich and diverse community is a big plus that helps the school increase its appeal. Furthermore, it would be best if you showcased highlights from your school community, such as student achievements. Making current students a part of the story and letting prospective families hear their voices and stories is another big string to your marketing bow.
3. Teachers’ Qualifications
Another tangible and practical USP is the professional background of your faculty. Some schools will heavily promote the fact, for instance, that 100 percent of their faculty members have a master’s degree, or that a high percentage carry a doctorate. Prospective families are happy to know that their child’s education could be fueled by such knowledge and expertise.
4. Graduation Rates and College Acceptances
More great data is your graduation rates, average scores on standardized tests (and how far they are above the national average), and college acceptances. You can also include data on how many students receive scholarship offers from their college choice. These numbers are easy to read and give a quick and impacting picture of academic excellence.
5. School Philosophy/Ethos
Finally, your school’s guiding philosophy can be something that sets you apart. Many families are looking for schools that don’t just offer strong chances of academic achievement, but also schools that share their values. For example, your school may place a strong emphasis on community service, or the physical fitness of students, or on test preparation. Any of these might appeal to particular families who have certain expectations of their school of choice.