The fall—it's the time of year when schools go into full swing. Colleges and universities are no different. And in honor of today's festive recognition of National College Colors Day, it seems fitting to take a look at how your own school's pride, and the pride that's shared amongst alumni, current students and even observing fans, can positively boost your enrollment opportunities.

Let's take a look at the ways in which school pride can be a boon to your recruitment efforts.

Crowd-Source Your Pride

High-profile campus events need to be seen—capitalize on the vast social networks of your students and alumni by promoting a hashtag to aggregate quality visual content. Ask students, "What makes you proud to be a <insert school mascot here>?" Show off your results on your visual-based social accounts, such as Instagram—six out of 10 students uses social networks when researching potential universities or colleges.

(Pro tip: Take your crowd-sourcing a step further and have your most excited of student fans stage a takeover of your social accounts—especially Instagram and Snapchat. Get some grassroots, first-person marketing sure to capture the attentions of high school sophomores and juniors who follow you.)

Get Some Swagger

There's nothing like free marketing—your biggest brand fans should be serving as mobile billboards for your school's pride. The best way to do this? Employ truly awesome swag and spread them across prime student-recruitment events, such as college and career fairs. Aim for swag that is actually useful to today's student (i.e., phone cases, hats, sunglasses, eco-friendly totes, etc.). And don't simply slap your logo on a t-shirt—stand out a bit and offer up some lightheartedness and even humor in your shirt design. Push your brand standards a bit for the sake of getting your consumer to want to wear your shirt out and about—and often.

Incentivize Pride

Generation Z values people-focused imagery more than any generation before them—they live and breathe through digital platforms, and they want to see what life is truly like on your campus. But how do you find grassroots imagery that doesn't scream "staged photoshoot?" Incentivize. Create an opportunity for current students to share their best photos of their favorite places on campus or their favorite professors or favorite spot to grab some coffee or a bite to eat. And make it worth their while—assign a hashtag, and offer a giveaway for the best of the best photos you receive.

Commune at Homecoming

Your homecoming events are some of your most rampant for boosting your school pride profile. Take advantage by not limiting yourself to just current students and alumni—especially when you're situated in a populous city or region. Invite the community into the pride, and give them a reason to think of your college or university as theirs. Host events off-campus that will draw the right kinds of community members—live music, free food, giveaways, contests, etc. Everyone knows someone who's at college-selection age, so don't miss an opportunity with your locals.

Higher Education Freshman Insights Infographic Download

Source: Enveritas Group