46% of respondents from 2017’s National Clearing Survey were enrolled in a Post-92 Institution, making them the largest respondent group when broken down by university type. So, who are these students? And how can you get under their skin to ensure you’re on their radars during Clearing?
Historically, Post-92 Institutions have been more inclined to focus their marketing efforts on the more traditional Clearing students (those who had not achieved the grades they needed to get into the university where they were holding an offer). And who can blame them when the largest segment (37%) of the National Clearing Survey enrolled at Post-92 institutions was the Traditional Student?
However, the Survey suggests that you’d be missing out if you didn’t broaden your reach and focus on Direct Applicants too. Indicative of the changing face of Clearing and the rise of the Direct Applicant, this profile type accounted for 34% of respondents enrolled at Post-92 Institutions.
So, you’d be clever to do more than just target every 18 year old under the sun. It’s more important to develop campaigns that appeal to a broad and diverse audience. And to do that, you need to know exactly who these students are that go on to enrol at Post-92 institutions…
Their demographics and socio-economic status are different than other groups, showing a distinct contrast to those who attend Russell Group institutions:
- Post-92 institutions had the oldest average age at 21.1 years, versus 20.1 years old overall.
- Household incomes were lower than other institution types (except HE at FE) and significantly lower than Russell Group respondents.
- Post-92 respondents mostly attended state sixth form college/school sixth form (57%) or state FE college (19%). Only 10% attended private sixth form or grammar school. Contrast this with Russell Group respondents where only 6% attended state FE college and 25% attended private sixth form or grammar school.
- The majority of Post-92 respondents (70% in fact) took A levels, although this group were also more likely than the overall group to take BTEC qualifications (27% vs 14%).
So now we know who they are, did they know who you were during Clearing?
Unless their friends or peers were telling them about your institution, awareness before A level results day was lower in Post-92 respondents than overall (76% vs 81%) and significantly lower than Russell Group students (91% of which said they were aware of their Clearing institution before results day).
Friends and peers, on the other hand, were the most important way that this group found out about their Clearing institution (23.2%). So, ensuring your campaigns are well meshed within the networks of prospective students – including their teachers and tutors – is important to raise awareness and add credibility as a Clearing choice.
And how can their actions on A level results day influence your future Clearing campaigns?
Again, Post-92 Institutions were more likely than the overall to only contact one institution (47%) and to receive one offer (59%). But, this doesn’t mean Clearing isn’t competitive for Post-92 Institutions. The majority (53%) were still contacting multiple universities, so you need to make sure your marketing, processes and interactions with prospective students on the day are positive and meeting their needs and expectations.
There also appears to be some disparities in how students would like to contact their Clearing institution versus how they actually did on the day. 89% contacted their chosen institution by phone, whereas only 65% actually had a preference for using this method. 12% used live chat and 6% opted for face to face interactions. However when asked their preferred methods, 34% of respondents would have liked to of used live chat, and 26% would have preferred face to face conversations.
Understanding your target audiences’ preferences is essential to tailor the experience in a way that will suit them and give them a positive experience of your institution. If you’re offering a broader range of ways for prospective Clearing students to contact you, you might be able to convert a greater number of students.
The National Clearing Survey, now in its third year, is jam-packed with insights and data to help you tailor make a winning Clearing strategy. So, if all these insights have whet your appetite, download your copy of the report here.
And don’t forget, you can always get in touch with our student marketing experts to discuss your Clearing strategies. Get in touch.