The BYU-Idaho Admissions Office is expanding its reach through social media to better connect with the next generation of college students.
"Social media allows us to showcase what BYU-Idaho is all about," said Admissions Coordinator Brady Nordfelt. "Research tells us that prospective students want to know key things about the school they are interested in."
The Admissions Office has researched questions, concerns, and interests that prospective students might consider as they decide on their plans of attending an institution of higher education. This research has helped Admissions determine what things to emphasize to potential students on social media and other marketing materials.
"They want to know that there is a place for them, that they will find people like them, that they will be safe, have fun, and that they will receive an education that will prepare them for the career they are interested in. Social media is the perfect platform for us to showcase that we can meet all these needs," Nordfelt said.
Over the past year, Admissions has developed a more focused campaign using social media. The office regularly holds social media contests and utilizes hashtags to reach out to new students.
For example, with the hashtag #byuibound, students will post pictures of themselves and their acceptance letters. Students also will use #off2byui to post pictures of themselves packing and leaving for BYU-Idaho.
Admissions representatives visit LDS stake centers across the U.S. and put on firesides for youth in the Church.
"The firesides often draw huge crowds with a lot of energy," Nordfelt said. "They allow us to not only connect with prospective students, but parents and Church leaders as well."
Admissions, in conjunction with BYU and Seminaries & Institutes, put on fireside presentations to encourage youth in the Church to either study at CES schools or to enroll in Institutes of Religion at the college or university they are attending.
"While out on firesides, we often visit Pathway sites and local institutes as a way of helping more people learn what BYU-Idaho is all about," Nordfelt said.
In 2016, the group of CES representatives traveled to 37 locations in the U.S., hosting 284 stakes, with a total of 15,451 people in attendance. The firesides focus on teaching students the importance of education and receiving spiritual instruction through religion courses.
BYU-Idaho Admissions also joins with other universities traveling to high schools across Utah and Idaho. In 2016, BYU-Idaho Admissions representatives visited 163 high schools and talked to 3,642 prospective students face to face.
In an effort to help familiarize prospective students with campus and encourage them to receive their education at BYU-Idaho, Admissions also provides campus tours for these students and their families. In 2016, Admissions gave tours to more than 5,700 people.