The University of Utah is hoping to parlay a 60-minute football game into years of enrollment growth.
The upcoming Rose Bowl game puts the entire university in the national spotlight and the university has a plan to capitalize on all the attention.
“Football is frickin’ awesome and the Utes are doing amazing this season” says alum Olivia Woolley.
Millions of people will watch the Utes take on Ohio State University in the Rose Bowl game on New Years Day.
“It’s a great way for us to get in front of students who may not of heard of the university of Utah” says Steve Robinson, the Senior Associate VP for Enrollment Management.
Its, in part, Robinson’s job to fill the university’s classrooms and says the Rose Bowl is one of the strongest student recruiting tools out there.
To take advantage, Robinson says the school is ramping up social media, will have a commercial during the game broadcast and sold out a recruitment seminar, two days before the game, in the Los Angeles area near where the Rose Bowl is played.
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“I’ve never seen an event fill up that fast and I think it’s part of the excitement being generated by being in the rose bowl” Robinson says.
Robinson knows getting on the national stage more regularly is key in assisting student recruitment.
He says interest in the school spiked shortly after last year’s Vice Presidential debate hosted at the U adding “we don’t have to be in the Rose Bowl every year but notoriety on the football field does translate back into more interest in the institution.”
Opportunities like this are so critical because in 2025 the number of graduating high school seniors is expected to drop — making recruiting harder.
“We need to make sure that we’re ready for a declining number of potential students that we can recruit in future cycles” Robinson says.
The last two years, the university has set records for the incoming freshman class.
Nearly 5,400 freshmen started last year.