In recent years, Monmouth College has been recruiting more and more international students. Technology has made the recruitment process quick and easy. I interviewed Bren Tooley, Coordinator of International Recruitment | Admissions; Coordinator of the Grants Program | Development & College Relations, to find out how she and Monmouth College have been using technology to find more students.
Tooley claims that the main way Monmouth College recruits international students is through websites that offer scholarships specifically for students who are looking to study abroad. The main websites that do this are EducationUSA and IIE Funding for U.S. Study. On these websites, the potential student enters the qualities that he or she wants the school to have and runs a search. Monmouth College would be a result if it matched what the student wanted. The page then provides for different ways to contact MC.
Tooley communicates with international students mainly through email and social media websites such as Facebook, Skype and Twitter. Here, potential students can send her messages through each site's private messaging system. While I was interviewing Tooley, she was actually in the middle of a conversation with a student on Facebook. She showed me how the last five people that she had talked to on Facebook were all potential or committed international students at Monmouth College.
After showing me how she chats with students online, Tooley scrolled through the pages, showing me how other pages link to hers. On both Facebook and Twitter, Tooley posts pictures and information about Monmouth College and the students who go here so that potential students can get a look at the student life. She was very proud of the fact that, in a matter of a few hours, anything that she posts on one of these websites could be seen by students all over the world.
For countries that do not have Facebook or Twitter, such as China, Tooley showed me an alternative page. It was on China's equivalent to Facebook, Sina Weibo, and it contained all kinds of information about Monmouth College in Chinese. She told me that she has an intern who translates the language for her.
Anas Karkout, Vice President of the International Club at Monmouth College, told me about his experience in finding a school in the United States. Karkout is from Syria and, due to the war that started there three years ago, he could not study higher education in his home country.
Karkout turned to EducationUSA-Syria to look at schools in the US and found Monmouth College as a recommendation for him. An employee from EducationUSA-Syria put him in contact with Tooley through her email and she chatted with Karkout frequently. The applications went through speedily and Karkout soon became a Monmouth College student.
I interviewed another international student, Sujith Santhosh, to find out how he found Monmouth College. It turns out that Monmouth College had a booth at an educational fair at his school in India. He filled out the information packet that was given to him and forgot about it for a couple of months. Then, he got an email.
The email gave him the information that he needed to apply to the school, and he soon sent it. One week later, Santhosh was notified that he was accepted into Monmouth College - and it took a week for his information to get there by mail! After that, there was a lot of communication via email.
To meet other students who would be starting in the fall, Santhosh also joined the Monmouth College Incoming Freshman of 2013 page on Facebook. He even talked to his roommate there.
Santhosh and Karkout are both very happy with the speed in which Monmouth College sent and accepted applications. They also seemed found online communication very easy. While the old ways of setting up booths has not been done away with completely, technology has undoubtedly made the entire application process much faster and easier.