Covid-19's Effect on Student Recruitment

Director Dr. Brian Jones and his team in Admissions had the almost impossible task of rethinking the ways in which they operate and how to convey their message to incoming students in a world full of uncertainty.  


Jones shared that, “Students were more tuned into things that were so much more important than things they’ve ever had to be tuned into before. Everything from mental health, the importance of family, the challenges they were facing, life, death, the value of an education.” University Admissions pivoted with their messaging and support for prospective and admitted students to meet them where they were at. “The message we had to convey to students kept changing. It was nonstop trying to figure out what students needed to make the right decision about their future,” Jones states. 


Even with all the attention to supporting these admitted students, the decision to attend Minnesota State Mankato declined. “In the fall of 2021 we had the biggest decline in first year students that I have ever experienced in my 20 years here in admissions just from all of the uncertainty…there was an existential crisis that students were experiencing,” says Jones. Like any learning organization, lessons were learned, new ideas generated, and innovative approaches to sharing more about Minnesota State Mankato’s impact. Amidst the uncertainty of the pandemic, Jones and his team were able to convey a message that ensured students safety and overall well-being at Minnesota State University, Mankato by emphasizing the topic of mental  health as a top priority. Since then, interest and new student enrollment has increased as Jones and his team continue to put their best efforts forward to navigate through these consistently changing times in higher education. Their efforts have been so successful that new first-year student enrollment increased by 9 percent for the fall of 2022.


You can learn more about our Undergraduate Admissions here: Admissions & Aid – Minnesota State University, Mankato