In today’s technology driven world, it has become easier than ever for institutions to communicate with prospective students but harder to connect with them. Michigan Technological University (MTU) is no exception to this new dilemma. MTU prides itself on providing all of its prospective and current students with a high-touch personal experience from inquiry through graduation. In the effort to maintain that environment—to not only assist admitted students but also expand its reach to more prospective students—it turned to Unigo Live.
By partnering with Unigo Live, MTU received an online video broadcasting platform, which allows them to easily stream live events. From seminars explaining financial aid and scholarship applications to housing placement and orientation, MTU uses Unigo Live to ease the transition from home life to campus life for admitted students and help prospective students in their college selection process. Since January of 2016, Michigan Technological University has had 681 prospects attend at least one online session, with 597 of attendees applying after just their first session and 423 enrolling to the institution—a conversion rate of attendees to enrollees of 62 percent.
Preparing students to shape the future
Founded in 1885, Michigan Technological University is a public institution nestled in Houghton, Michigan, approximately 200 miles north of Green Bay, Wisconsin. Its main 925-acre campus, which is home to 5,827 undergraduate students, sits on a blu overlooking the pristine Portage Lake. Originally established to train mining engineers to operate the local copper mines, the University quickly evolved into a nationally-ranked institution offering more than 120 undergraduate and graduate degree programs. MTU’s mission is to create a just, prosperous, and sustainable world through technology.
However, for years Michigan Technological University relied on an antiquated and complicated third-party technology to host online events. As a result, MTU wasn’t seeing a strong or meaningful engagement rate with their attendees. Additionally, the third party that controlled the platform dictated the frequency, size, and audience of each event. Allison Carter, Director of Admissions at MTU, knew that there must be a better way to connect with prospective and admitted students. “Along with my Associate Vice President of Enrollment Marketing and Communications, we knew a better alternative existed but weren’t sure where to look,” said Carter. “It was only by a stroke of luck that we received an email from Unigo Live about their web-based event-hosting platform.”
After a few conversations with Michael Beattie and the team at Unigo, Carter knew she found the solution she had been looking for. “Unigo Live is great. Our admissions staff can easily set up as many events as we would like, whenever we would like. And since the platform is so simple and intuitive for both our staff and the attendees, we’ve seen engagement shoot up.”
By partnering with Unigo, Michigan Technological University now has a robust and flexible online event-hosting platform at a fraction of the cost they were paying to their previous provider. Unigo’s out-of-the box features allow MTU to host unlimited events, invite as many attendees as they would like, and even include multiple presenters from within their institution. “We now host at least one event per month, which is three to four times more than we were doing in the past. Some of the event topics include: Financial Aid, Scholarship Information, Housing Placement, Orientation Information, Student Panel Discussions, and Virtual Guidance Counselor visits. We even record many of the broadcasts and repurpose them for marketing collateral or to upload to other parts of our website,” explained Carter.
Unigo also provides continuous support to Michigan Technological University, ensuring they are getting the most out of their subscription. “Working with the Unigo team has been a truly wonderful experience. They are responsive to all of our requests and are extremely knowledgeable about Unigo Live,” Carter says.
A connection built to last
With the help of Unigo Live, Michigan Tech has been able to maintain its commitment to a high-touch experience for its prospective and admitted students, which Carter believes is a key differentiator for students considering the university. In the highly-competitive world of undergraduate student recruitment, institutions can no longer simply communicate with their prospects; they must connect with them. Carter says, “We’ve had prospective students from 24 states connect with us through Unigo Live, many of which applied without ever visiting our campus.”
“We have no plans of leaving the Unigo Live platform,” says Carter. “In fact, we’ve been looking for new and innovative ways to leverage the technology, such as including faculty in some of our online events to help us reach our undergraduate enrollment goals.”