Do Local Students ‘Think’ They Know You? Get Creative with Campus Tours

In a recent episode of the podcast, The Higher Ed Marketer, hosts Troy Singer and Bart Caylor interviewed Collin Palmer, director of undergraduate admission at The University of Toledo — a Capture Higher Ed client. The discussion covered a range of innovative recruiting tactics including some unique new campus tours at UToledo geared toward local high school students.

The idea for the new tours — Twilight Tours and Dog Tours — came out of conversations with high school counselors in the region who sometimes struggle to convince their students to visit and tour UToledo’s campus.

“Many of these students think they know what they need to know about the institution,” Palmer explains. “I think many of us in higher education run into that same problem with students in our own back yard. So we thought, well, how do we make it different? How do we keep them engaged? How do we pique their interest?”

Twilight Tours

One way they’re trying is offering Twilight Tours. Different than a typical campus tour, these are scheduled during the “golden hours” of summer (6:30 – 8:30 p.m.) — ideal for visiting students who want the perfect photo, video or Tik-Tok op. These tours also take on a festive atmosphere, beginning with activities and food trucks in the football stadium parking lot.

The actual tours are more of a behind-the-scenes experience, showing prospective students places like the roof of the football stadium’s press box, the fifth floor of the library and other areas around campus that they won’t see on a typical tour.

Dog Tours

UToledo also began their new Dog Tours this summer … inviting prospective students and members of the community to bring their dogs for a lawn tour of the campus. These include stops outside of the student union, The Glass Bowl (the football stadium) and the admissions building.

Cookies for humans and dogs are included, Palmer says.

“Again, it’s just a fun and unique way to do something a little bit different and also bring people on campus to see the University of Toledo in a different way than what they probably experienced in the past,” he says. “It’s also very Covid safe because we aren’t entering any of the campus buildings or anything like that.”

To hear Palmer’s entire interview with The Higher Ed Marketer — during which he also discusses his team’s use of behavioral intelligence and other tactics  check out “Dog Tours & Tik-Tok Sessions: Getting Creative with College Tours.”

By Kevin Hyde, Senior Content Manager, Capture Higher Ed