Due to circumstances brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, we have a new, unique audience: those that opted to delay admission by a semester or a full year.

These students have been admitted and want to come to UIUC. Together, OUA and the college in which the student has been admitted, can reinforce the student’s decision to choose UIUC by effectively communicating up until they decide to attend.

Below you’ll find OUA’s comm plan for this audience, and helpful tips for colleges as they choose to engage.

OUA Comm Plan

Spring 2021 Students

Email 1
Timing: Mid-October
Topic: New Notification of Admission

Email 2
Timing: End of October
Topic: Excited they’re joining us/COVID safety response

Email 3
Timing: 1 week after email 2
Topic: Next steps (accept offer, claim NetID, admitted checklist, etc.)

Fall 2021 Students

Email 1
Timing: Mid-October
Topic: Excited they’re joining us/COVID safety response

Additional Emails
Timing: Mid-February-May
Topics: Standard admitted communications (same as newly admitted students)

College Comm Plan Ideas/Tips

  • Remember, this audience has already decided UIUC is the college they prefer. That only needs to be reinforced. They don’t need to be convinced UIUC is great, because they already agree with that. They already went through the application and admit process.
  • This group chose to delay — there is a reason for that. Perhaps that reason is COVID, a health concern, a family issue, or economic conditions. Those concerns do not need to be addressed head on, but it makes this audience unique.
    • COVID communications are mostly unnecessary since OUA is sending one and students will be encouraged to sign up for UIUC emails, which would include campus massmails.

What might be a good idea to send?

  • Invitations to virtual sessions. Events provide a reason to make connections and reintroduce them to the process of coming back to campus.
  • Opportunities to connect with other students. This could include other prospective/deferred students or current students. Maybe a Q&A panel or a video answering an FAQ. Draw inspiration from the melt page we used over the summer.
  • Warm and fuzzy communications from your unit(s). Do you have stories about students succeeding in your programs? Stories of students overcoming challenges? A kind welcome letter? Feel free to borrow some stories from the Journey’s site as well.