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This Westchester-based college (with campuses in Manhattan and The Bronx, too) is on a mission to make a secondary education available to anyone with enough determination to earn one, regardless of background or income. Founded by socially conscious nuns in the 1960s, the school holds true to this mission today.

Not only does Mercy College maintain one of the lowest undergraduate tuition rates for any private college in New York, they provide personal attention and guidance for each and every student by way of a unique mentorship program. These are just two of the ways Mercy proudly serves a large number of first generation college students and other disadvantaged populations.

The ProblemEmail marketing example from Mercy College

Mercy ran into the same headwinds many colleges face. With costs spiraling upward and diploma mills harvesting demand from their core market, it became difficult for them to make the case for students to apply. Following the recession, admissions tanked.  That led them to do some soul searching.

The college hired a world-renowned branding firm to help them forge a new identity in a crowded higher education marketplace. This brand would be built on the history and mission of the school in an attempt to appeal to students who have more determination than discretionary spending. They encouraged those with a passion to get ahead to apply. Once the direction was set, they turned it over to Mercy and let them run with it.

Initially, the college’s internal communications department struggled with the change in voice. Recognizing this, Mercy turned to Digital Pudding for help bringing the brand to life.

How We Helped

Our copywriters and strategists worked with the in-house marketing department at Mercy to execute enrollment campaigns within the new brand voice. We revisited all enrollment communications, including emails, websites, postcards, brochures, even email signatures for important faculty. We even added new campaigns never before attempted in an effort to increase enrollment in key areas.

The Results

This past September, the first fall admissions period using the new brand voice, we overshot our budget for new students. In fact, Mercy College had to cap enrollment for the first time in the school’s history. We continue to work on increasing the student count for graduate programs as well as across the college’s diverse campuses.