After a while, the marketing materials that land in the mailboxes of high school seniors all kind of look alike.
There are pictures of impressive buildings. There are smiling students in college sweatshirts with backpacks over their shoulder. In many cases, the focus is on buildings rather than experience.
That is part of the reason why the “Auggie Field Guide” that was sent to about 2,000 members of the 2009 high school graduating class stood out. There was a bright orange cover, great photos, and a storyline that tried to explain to high school students what being an Auggie is really like.
The admissions material, however, did more than encourage prospective students to consider Augsburg. It also won awards from both the Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE) and from the Higher Education Marketing Report.
CASE awarded Augsburg’s office of marketing and communication a silver medal in its Student Recruitment Publications Packages category while the Higher Education Marketing Report presented the College with a certificate of merit in its Admissions Advertising Awards.
The marketing materials including smaller pieces that are distributed at college fairs and the full view book—explain that life at Augsburg is about more than simply going to class. They also build on the “Auggies are…” branding that is prominent across campus.
“It gets at who we are as a community,” said Carrie Carroll, assistant vice president for admissions. “We’re about experiential education, service to the community, study abroad, living in the city. It feels real and genuine.”
Carroll said that until a year ago, new students identified an Auggie as either the mascot or a baby eagle. Now, however, students are using the term to describe themselves.
“We asked the same question this past fall and the answers we got were very different,” Carroll said. “They said an Auggie is a person who lives outside their comfort zone or someone who tries new things. It has given us an identity that people are grabbing on to.
“The words are helping them understand who we are and who they want to be.”