Case Study

Creative Strategy: Increasing Enrollment Among
Non-Traditional Students

Non-traditional students now account for more than 38% of the college students in U.S. colleges and universities. York Technical College in Rock Hill, South Carolina asked me to develop a plan for helping attract and retain students in this demographic. What follows is my creative brief which outlines my strategic, creative, and tactical approach as well as design solutions.


Download the Creative Brief

Overview Overview

Non-traditional students, loosely defined as students over 25 years of age, accounted for 38% of the 18 million students enrolled in colleges and universities in 2007. Indications are this group will remain steady and perhaps even grow a bit. Still there are barriers to continued growth: Costs and lack of confidence being two of the main impediments. Many non-traditional students believe that the cost of a college education is out of reach for them in their current economic state. Others believe that they lack the confidence to take on college-level work due to the fact that they have been out of school for an extended period of time or have never attended a college or university. My creative brief will address both of these concerns and serve as the basis for the creative campaign.


The objective of this campaign is to increase enrollment for “Non-Traditional” students (those students 25 and older) by positioning York Technical College as an institution that recognizes the unique market dynamics posed by this group. Design direction is based on both technical and empirical data.

Creative Strategy

This campaign will feature actual, non-traditional York Technical College students. Various headlines will reflect one of the two target points and the testimonial copy will tie-in with the headline. Visual elements will suggest happiness, excitement and a sense of engagement. The face of the campaign will be a 29 year-old mother of two, named Christina. The rationale for making Christina the face of the campaign is because female students account for 56% of non-traditional students compared to 53% of traditional students. The primary media mix will consist of print, web, and outdoor/environmental applications targeting York County, Lancaster County and Chester County residents.

Creative Design Campaign Targeting Non-Traditional Students