WKU reaching nationally for new students

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Associated Press

Posted on December 25, 2013 at 12:02 PM

BOWLING GREEN, Ky. (AP) — Western Kentucky University is extending its gaze and reach far and wide in a quest for new students.

The university in Bowling Green recently purchased 83,000 names from ACT, a national student testing service, and about half of those students will be targeted right away with direct mail promotion

Chief Marketing Officer Stacey Biggs told The Daily News (http://bit.ly/1cm2XS9 ) the new advertising campaign slogan is "It is all within my reach."

The campaign augments other student recruitment efforts, including dual enrollment agreements with colleges in the Kentucky Community and Technical College System and agreements out of state in Indiana through WKU-Owensboro and Volunteer State Community College in Gallatin, Tenn.

Personalized letters from Western Kentucky will also go out to prospective students in Kentucky, Georgia, Illinois, Florida and Tennessee. There is also an effort to seek students in North Carolina and in northern Georgia, said Sharon Hunter, WKU coordinator of college readiness.

Purchasing the names is a new strategy for WKU. The university paid $29,000 for the ACT names, about 38 cents a name.

WKU Provost Gordon Emslie said that cost translates to about two out-of-state students paying tuition.

The university is targeting students who scored 20 or higher on the ACT.

"We want them to know that we want them here," Hunter said.

WKU also has established relationships with high school students through college courses offered on high school campuses in south-central Kentucky.

The pubic relations campaign is being expanded with print, digital and billboard ads.

The billboards are in Bowling Green, Louisville, Lexington, Nashville, Somerset, Columbia and Russellville. There are ads on Facebook for WKU. Certain programs at WKU, such the Honors College, are targeted in print ads.

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Information from: Daily News, http://www.bgdailynews.com

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