During our summer freshman orientation sessions, we had the opportunity to learn what attracted students to UHV. Nearly 250 students participated in the marketing survey. The results of the survey gave us insight into our target’s demographic makeup, helped us learn what influential factors led our target to UHV, showed how the students learned about UHV opportunities, and identified other institutions in their consideration pool.
These discoveries will assist us in improving our marketing and recruitment strategies of the underclassmen target.
Most UHV freshmen (76%) have traveled a distance of more than 50 miles from their home to attend UHV. UHV was the top choice for freshmen over all other institutions. Students applied to an average of three institutions. University of Texas-San Antonio, Sam Houston State University and Texas State University were identified as competitive choices where students also applied. Victoria College and the University of Houston main campus also received a significant number of applications from UHV freshmen. The top choices in each of the three markets also were identified.
The factors that had the most influence on freshmen to select UHV were “being a part of the FIRST freshman class,” UHV’s academic reputation and admission standards. Finances and cost of education were very important to freshmen and their families. This was supported by the finding that most (56%) came from households with annual incomes of under $49,000. The majority also indicated
that the small size of UHV was important as well as the help they received from recruiters. Seventy-five percent of freshmen were strongly influenced by their parents “wanting them to attend UHV.”
Marketing vehicles that have the most impact on how students heard about UHV were mail pieces, e-mail messages, referrals from other websites and Google searches. Recruitment events and high school counselors were strong resources for students to learn about UHV. All of these resources contributed to the No. 1 method by which students learned about UHV: word of mouth. Ninety-seven percent of freshmen found the website helpful in learning more about the university.
Survey participants are primarily from the three Texas markets where we focused our marketing and recruiting efforts: Houston, San Antonio, South Texas (Victoria Donut, Corpus Christi and the Valley) and “Other” Texas (students who reside outside the four geographic markets). The largest number of participants (46%) was from the South Texas market.
The majority of participants came from homes owned by their parents (68%).
Education of Parents
34 percent of the students surveyed have a parent with a college degree. 15 percent of the parents did not graduate from high school. Another 26 percent began a college degree but did not complete it.
* Includes a bachelor’s degree, some graduate work, master’s degree or higher.
The most significant finding in this data was
that one-third of the survey participants have household
incomes of less than $30,000. On the other end of
the spectrum, nearly 20% of the participants
indicated annual household earning of more than
(10% of the participants declined to answer this question.)
Distance from Home
Seventy-six percent of all survey participants are attending UHV more than 50 miles from their
Recruiting efforts outside of our traditional
markets are attracting a large percentage of Hispanic
students to UHV. This shift could help UHV move
closer to a Hispanic-serving institution
The majority of the participants (76%) live in
households with one sibling or less.
of the students are the only 19-year-old or younger
in the household
- 31% of the students have one other
sibling (19 or younger) in their household
Very Important Influential Factors
Influential factors leading freshmen to select
UHV include a combination of marketing messages,
university attributes, experiences with UHV
(recruiter, tour, website) and external influences
(teachers, counselors) to name a few.
“Being a part of the FIRST 200 freshmen” was the
most important influential factor that attracted
students to UHV. “Academic reputation of UHV”
and the “cost of attending UHV” tied for the second-most important factors. UHV-bound students
also were strongly influenced by other factors that
were reinforced by marketing and recruiting efforts.
Note: Percentages will not equal 100% due to the participants' ability to select more than one factor.
Other Noteworthy Factor
Seventy-five percent of the participants
indicated that “parents wanting them to attend UHV”
was a “very important” or “somewhat important”
influence on their decision to attend UHV.
The No. 1 way students learned about UHV was by
“word of mouth.” It is important to note that this
method is influenced by all forms of marketing. In
most cases, marketing messages are passed on from
second- or third-generation resources. For example,
the original recipient of a marketing message may
have read a story (generated through a press
release) that was then past on through word of mouth
to an interested party (parent or student). Although
“recruitment events” and “mail pieces” came in
second and fourth, respectively, in the overall
rankings, they are first and second when it comes to
controllable marketing and recruiting strategies.
Influenced by all marketing and recruiting strategies
Note: Percentages will not equal 100% due to the participant’s ability to select more than one factor.
Nearly all participants (97%) found the UHV
website to be a resource that was “very helpful” or
“somewhat helpful” for learning more about the university.
To indentify other universities that students
were interested in attending, we explored the
responses to two questions. The first question
revealed other schools where students also applied.
This data also indicated that students applied to a
total of three institutions, on average. The second
question helped to identify students' first-,
second- and third-choice schools. The data below focuses only on their first
choice. Responses to these questions were grouped by
market to identify the competition in Houston, San
Antonio and South Texas (Victoria Donut, Corpus
Christi and the Valley). Although Victoria College
is not considered a competitor, it is worth noting
that 21 percent of the applicants from the South
Texas market also applied to VC.
Houston Market - Applications
- 39% also applied to UH main campus
- 30% also applied to UTSA
- 23% also applied to Sam Houston State
Houston Market - First Choice (Top 4)
35% indicated UHV as their first choice
10% indicated the UH main campus as
their first choice
9% indicated Sam Houston State as their first choice
indicated UTSA as their first choice
San Antonio Market – Applications
- 51% also applied to UTSA
- 31% also applied to Texas State
- 23% also applied to the University of Incarnate Word
- 23% also applied to Alamo Community College
San Antonio Market – First Choice
- 46% indicated UHV as their first choice
- 9% indicated Texas Lutheran as their first choice
- 9% indicated UT-Austin as their first choice
- 6% indicated UTSA as their first choice
South Texas Market – Applications
- 21% also applied to Victoria College
- 9% also applied to Texas A&M-Corpus Christi
- 7% also applied to UTSA
- 7% also applied to UT-Brownsville
South Texas Market – First Choice
- 67% indicated UHV as their first choice
- 4% indicated Texas A&M-Corpus Christi as their first choice
- 3% indicated Victoria College as their first choice
(Note: There was a six-way tie for fourth on the
list. The numbers are too small to be considered
Click here to view the Freshman Survey Form