Colleges spend a lot of time and money marketing to kids. They all promise wonderful educations and experiences. But when schools all make the same promises, colleges all start to sound the same. So here's an idea for those in charge of college marketing efforts.
Why not prove it to your prospective students by showing–not telling–them?
All colleges claim to have great professors. What if your best math professor did a ten-minute video once a week for a semester to show high school kids just how easy trigonometry can be? What if your most popular writing instructor gave weekly tips to help high school students write better papers?
Your Nobel Prize-winning faculty member could help 11th graders make sense of chemistry. Your most published history professor could help kids be more prepared for the AP exams. Spanish, French and German professors could make basic language instruction more memorable by sharing subtleties of the vernacular that are common knowledge in the respective countries not normally taught in the high school classroom. A drama or music professor could share tips on how to nail on audition.
If your school claims to have great services to LD kids, why not have that office produce a monthly newsletter sharing ways kids can overcome test anxiety, or advocate for themselves, or better manage their disabilities? Would the students (or their parents) who became reguarly viewers be much more likely to apply later?
Even admissions officers could get in on the act and teach kids instead of marketing to them. You could show students what goes on behind the scenes of an admissions office. Let them hear your version of why "Soccer taught me to commit to me goals" is a cliche topic, or why you ask kids to write an essay about how they would contribute to the campus community, or ways kids could better choose their teachers to write letters of recommendation.
Any college who did this would build a willing audience of students who come back week to week to learn from you. Show them you can teach them now, and you'll spend less time and money telling them why you should be the college that teaches them later.