Recently, I spoke with an undergraduate student interested in graduate school. Chris will graduate Summa Cum Laude with an impressive list of internships and volunteer work on her resume. In short, she is an excellent applicant for any graduate program in her field.
Prior to our meeting, Chris submitted inquiry forms to a handful of online graduate programs. During our conversation, she revealed that one of the schools called her several times each day. She was surprised at the hard sell tactics employed by the “admissions specialist” and complained that it took her an hour to get him off the phone during one of the calls.
I explained to her how some graduate colleges have outsourced the promotion of their online programs. They hire outside companies to market their programs to prospective students in exchange for 50% or more of their tuition fees.
She was shocked to learn that enrolling in one of these graduate programs would mean half or more of her tuition dollars could go to the people pestering her with unwanted phone calls and emails.
The intrusive tactics employed by contracted marketing agents are similar to the way for-profit colleges hound potential applicants. However, in these cases, telemarketers are not working for Phoenix, Capella, or Grand Canyon. They bombard people with phone calls and emails using the names of respected nonprofit academic institutions.
Sadly, when students ask specific questions about program content, professors, potential occupations post-graduation, etc. they often receive vague answers and are quickly steered back toward submitting an application. Telemarketers operating under the guise of “admissions counselors” appear to be more concerned with increasing application numbers than ensuring potential applicants receive the information they need to make informed decisions regarding their future studies.
I assured Chris, at Drury our graduate programs’ marketing activities are handled in-house. Potential applicants are not harassed by telemarketers after requesting information. We will gladly connect potential applicants with the highly-respected professors who direct and teach in our programs.
“An important step for many graduate college applicants is to make sure they are selecting the right program. Some already have a clear view of which degree is right for them, but we are happy to help the applicant talk through that choice. Sometimes a discussion about career goals and professional interests can really help the applicant achieve more clarity and move forward with confidence.” – Dr. Asikaa Cosgrove
Here’s how Drury’s application process is different:
- Our online inquiry forms include the ability for prospective students to choose their preferred method of contact. Call, email, or text. We leave it up to the person inquiring.
- A member of the Drury College of Graduate Studies staff responds to all inquiries. Our staff knows well the details of Drury’s programs, professors, and post-graduation employment potential. We answer all questions promptly and accurately.
- After the initial contact, we wait at least several days before following up.
- If requested, graduate studies staff will be happy to arrange a phone call or face-to-face meeting with the director of the program of interest to the potential applicant.
- Drury offers those seeking information the ability to opt-out of receiving further communication at any time.
- All tuition dollars go to Drury and are used to improve the university’s educational offerings.
- Drury staff does not disappear once the application is submitted. The same people who provide information about programs, application materials, etc. remain available to assist students as they progress through our programs.
Drury’s staff and faculty take pride in their work with potential applicants, from the initial request for information, through the hooding ceremony on graduation day, and beyond.
Chris thanked me for the information. She let me know that she will be in touch if she has additional questions while considering which college and program is the best fit for her. Whether she chooses Drury or a different institution I will happily provide all the help I can.
After all, that’s the Drury difference.