USI launches recruitment campaign in Indianapolis

Rachel Christian

The university focused some of its latest recruitment efforts on the Indianapolis area, where 100 promotional billboards were installed recently.

The billboards feature a website targeted specifically to high school seniors in the area.

Currently, 337 students from Marion County, where Indianapolis is located, attend USI, which is about 3.4 percent of the university’s total population.

President Linda Bennett shared USI’s new recruitment efforts during the Board of Trustees meeting Nov. 6.

When enrollment dropped this fall for the second year in a row, administrators blamed the decrease on higher admission standards. As standards continue to rise, recruiting from places beyond the Vanderburgh County area may become more of a priory.

“USI is closer than you think,” the header at the top of usi.edu/indy reads.

The website features a slider of 10 different students from the area, along with the high school they graduated from and why they chose USI.

The rest of the site mirrors the university’s admissions page, with links to a tuition and fees calculator, as well as a list of academic programs USI offers.

Vice President for Marketing and Communications Kindra Strupp said the billboards were a good opportunity USI didn’t want to pass up.

“The people who own the billboard company offered us 100 billboards for the price of only two or three,” Strupp said. “So we definitely were happy to take them up on that offer.”

Strupp said the billboards have the potential to be viewed 22.4 million times while they’re on display.

The marketing team decided to take a personal approach by focusing on the stories of ten USI students from Marion county.

“We wanted to show individuals from that area that our students look like them, sound like them and grew up in the same community, or maybe even attended their high school,” Strupp said.

Megan Sink was asked by the student ambassador coordinator in September if she would like to participate in the campaign.

When she first stepped foot onto USI’s campus during a tour her junior year of high school, she said she knew she was home.

Sink was drawn to the university for several reasons. She liked the smaller size of the campus, she said. Learning USI is the only university in Indiana to offer a bachelor’s degree in dental hygiene was another selling point.

But when Sink actually saw the campus, she knew where she was going to college.

“It was everything I wanted in a school,” she said. “It was far enough from home that I felt independent, but close enough that I could go back if I needed to.”

Hailing from Indiana Creek High School in Morgantown, Sink said she is glad the university is making an effort to promote itself around the Indianapolis area.

“I really think of USI as a hidden treasure,” she said. “A lot of people up there don’t know about it, and they should. It could be a perfect fit for them like it was for me.”