It’s hard to beat the impact of meaningful face-to-face conversations. We know that digital has its advantages, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t a place for in-person strategies in your recruitment plan.

Whether or not your institution is currently pursuing high school visits, it can help to understand why they’re important, as well as tips for targeting so that you’re getting the most bang for your buck.

Why High School Visits?

In a recent survey of counsellors in Canada, we found that in-person recruitment strategies were considered to offer the most value to students, with in-school visits topping the list.

While it’s common practice for universities and colleges in Canada to visit high schools in their surrounding areas, these visits can also be beneficial to international and out-of-province schools. By bringing the school to the students, recruiters can build interest and connect with prospects who might not otherwise be able to visit their campus. 

High school visits are also a great way to reach students earlier in their educational journey. According to a 2022 study by educational consultant Ruffalo Noel Levitz, 51% of students (PDF) in the US start their college planning between grades 9-11. Considering many programs ask for prerequisite courses, connecting with students at an earlier age can help to decrease barriers to applying later down the line. Reaching younger students can also provide an opportunity to build a relationship with them over a longer period of time, which can create trust and a sense of personal connection with the school.

How To Target the Right Schools and Cities

When planning an in-school visit, it can be a challenge to identify the most promising cities and high schools. It’s important to find and target the high schools with students who are most likely to pursue higher education in the country or province of your institution to make the most of time and budget allocations. By strategically selecting high schools based on these factors, schools can increase their chances of attracting motivated and well-suited candidates.

Here are 2 tips for identifying your target audience:

1. Analyze your Lead and Applicant Data

Your own database is a great place to start! Are there any patterns in the regions your leads and applicants come from?

Tip: you can download your leads from our Client Centre to see details including the city that your leads live in and the high school that they are attending.

2. Utilize Resources from the SchoolFinder Group Knowledge Base

We love data and are constantly publishing research and guides to help schools plan their marketing strategies. 

With high school visits in mind, we recently dove into our community to rank Canadian high schools based on their student’s interest in studying in different provinces and territories, and countries outside Canada.

You can view the reports below:

If you would like further information on reaching these students or how you can download a list of the schools, email us at

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