As spring rolls around, colleges and universities begin to send out acceptance letters. Seniors typically receive letters in the mail, haha letters, and you’ll clearly know if you have been accepted based on the package size. The bigger the package, the better. However, this doesn’t guarantee that the student will even attend the school.

So the question is, how do you get an accepted student to enroll in your university?

You won’t find Ivy league and alike schools doing anything creative due to their status. After digging around the internet, I found the same generic means for most school. Tours, phone calls, answering questions, social media, etc. None of this really stands out.

I may be partially biased here, but The University of Akron has recently addressed this in an impressive manner. The University partnered up with Unbox Akron, to send out special packages/boxes to prospective students accepted into the various colleges across the university. The University of Akron sent two rounds of these boxes, totaling over 3,000 sent, to these accepted students. The students selected to receive this unique marketing piece have the higher GPAs, higher ACT scores, and were accepted directly into the specific college they applied to.

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The boxes are filled with items from a variety of local businesses, such as samples from Akron Coffee Roasters and Jif peanut butter from Smucker’s. There’s even a pair of Google Cardboard in there. Each student also gets a unique URL address. If they confirm enrollment through the link, they get a bunch of free tickets to local events and entertainment venues, such as the Akron Rubberducks.

The UAkron box shows students and their parents what Akron can offer as a city, and as a home for a university.

It’s well known that UA’s enrollment is down as of late, but President Matt Wilson’s efforts and the rest of the leaders in the Admissions Dept. have been tremendous. This is a step in the right direction and a very clever tactic to turn those numbers around and improve the feelings people have about the university.

Here’s one of the prospective students’ thoughts on this project:

As I continued my search to find what other schools do, I was stumped. I couldn’t find anything “out of the box” from other schools. It was the same old, super cool tours, answering questions, giving out freebies, etc. But when a university goes that extra mile, it sheds some light on the right decision. After all, that’s why I choose The University of Akron.

By: Alex Siminoff