Backgrounder: Student Recruitment at Marshall

Marshall2020Logo_squareThe following is the first in a series of informational articles describing the key functions in operating a university the size of Marshall.




Among the most important activities in running Marshall University is the student recruitment process. The university is always looking for outstanding potential students, and keeping our numbers high is important in fulfilling our mission and preserving our financial health.

VanHornandParticipants_FreshmanPreviewDayBeth Wolfe, director of recruitment, leads a team of five recruiters, who travel to 11 states and make more than 100 high school visits each year. They also participate in college fairs—for example, since Sept. 1 and continuing through Nov. 30, they will have done nearly 100.

Wolfe’s office responds to online information requests, manages the student referral page, and submits Marshall’s information to college search engines. The latter is of primary importance in getting to “top of mind” among prospective students, as the majority use the search engines to start narrowing down their college choices.

Wolfe encourages all members of the Marshall community to alert Recruitment about students for whom Marshall would be a good fit. A new student referral page ( serves as a convenient way for faculty, staff, current students, and alumni to connect prospective students with the recruitment process.

For students who have questions or need specialized assistance, Recruitment uses several methods of communication. Electronic methods such as e-mail, text messaging and social media are popular with high school students, so the recruitment staff uses those methods often. Electronic messages are complemented by judicious use of U.S. mail and the telephone.

Recruitment also conducts the campus tour program, so that prospective students (and their families) can see firsthand what Marshall is like. There’s also a video tour led by current and former students.

Other events on the Huntington campus include Green and White Days, Preview Days, the Day on Campus Program and the SCORES Academic Festival.

Recruitment also manages New Student Orientation, for incoming students who have made the commitment to Marshall.

All in all, when each year’s recruiting season is finished, Recruitment will have contacted 35-45,000 high school seniors (not to mention countless students in grades K-11) in some way. .. “spreading the word about the Herd.”




Photo: Don Van Horn, dean of the College of Arts and Media, speaks with participants in Freshman Preview Day earlier this year.