When prospective families are shortlisting schools, they're usually running through a list of desirable criteria in their head and looking to see how your school stacks up. Your admissions team has the huge responsibility of drawing those criteria out of parents and then demonstrating that your school is a great fit. In fact, this responsibility is so big, it's almost impossible for your admissions team to complete the job alone. Enter your school's secret weapon: student ambassadors.

What are student ambassadors?

Student ambassadors are handpicked by your school's leadership team to represent the school in a number of public settings. They're usually chosen because they actively demonstrate your school's values, and can talk positively about their own experience of attending your school.

Student ambassadors are often present during key moments in your admissions process. Some will welcome families to open days or check them into key school events. Others might attend information evenings, or appear on live Q&A school webinars. They may even lead school tours for prospective families. 

How do student ambassadors help my admissions program?

Student ambassadors are one of the best ways to encourage families to enroll their children in your school. We've mentioned it before and we'll mention it again — there are three big things that families are looking for when it comes to enrolling their child:

  1. Authenticity: they want to feel like they're getting a real sense of your school community, rather than simply your glossy marketing version
  2. Personalization: they want to feel that you understand who their child is, and you're tailoring the enrollments process to their needs and interests
  3. Values alignment: they want to ensure there's a good match between their values and yours

A single conversation with a school ambassador has the potential to deliver on all three of these things far better than your most strategic marketing campaign.

Families are afforded the opportunity to hear about a day-in-the-life experience of a child attending your school (there's that authenticity!). You can also support your student ambassadors to ask the families questions about their children and provide their own insights and thoughts about whether their child might enjoy attending the school (there's that personalization!). Finally, you're able to demonstrate to families what a student who attends your school acts (there's that values alignment!).

How to start a student ambassador program at your school

Hopefully, by now we've convinced you that implementing a student ambassador program is a fantastic way to support your admissions team. Here's how you can get started.

1. Choose your student ambassadors

Sit down with your admissions team and other school leaders and think about the types of students that you feel best represent your school. Some important characteristics of student ambassadors are:

  • Professionalism: they're able to speak confidently and respectfully to families, and answer any questions that they might throw their way
  • School involvement: they participate in a number of programs within your school, and can speak to their experiences within them
  • A positive attitude: this is key! You want to ensure that any students you choose will speak enthusiastically about the school and its teachers.

2. Train your student ambassadors

It's not enough to pick the right students to represent your school. You'll also need to provide them with a little training so that they know how to speak about your school to prospective parents. Run them through your school's values and ethos and make sure they have a full understanding (bonus points if you show the student how they themselves demonstrate those values!). Give them clear instructions about how to perform the tasks they're being assigned and answer any questions that they have. You might also ask them to perform the task for you and provide feedback.

3. Introduce your ambassadors into your admissions process

Once you're confident that the students can perform the role you've assigned them confidently, it's time to get them involved in your processes! Ask families to provide feedback about the student ambassadors who assisted them to ensure the program is working at your school. Always be prepared to make changes, but try to keep an open mind. Sometimes the most left-of-field experiences might be the best thing you can do to nudge enrollments! 

Wrapping it up

Have you tried implementing a student ambassador program at your school? How did it go? What did you learn? We'd love to hear all about it. Email us at marketing@digistorm.com and tell us about your experience.

Published November 17 2021