Office of Enrollment Management
College tuition has risen exponentially in the last decade, making it difficult for many students to attend college and earn a degree. Making a university education more affordable has been a priority for the University of Michigan for a number of years, and in 2017 the university increased its efforts by announcing a two-tiered affordability initiative. The goal was to increase communication of U-M as an affordable, high-value institution that is within reach to qualified in-state students at all income levels.
In order to increase awareness of the initiative and encourage in-state students to apply to U-M, Michigan Creative worked closely with the Office of Enrollment Management and OVPC to help launch the new initiative.
The “Go Blue Guarantee” (GBG) was developed to help make U-M more affordable to Michigan students by offering full tuition to those with family incomes of $65,000 a year or less.
Students whose families have higher incomes also frequently need help with tuition. The second phase of the campaign, “You Can Go Blue” (YCGB) offered defrayed tuition costs to those students whose annual family income is $180K or less.
Michigan Creative was tasked with developing a strategic campaign to help increase awareness among four primary audience segments: high school students and their families, high school counselors, community-based organizations, and current U-M students who might be eligible to receive additional aid. MC developed the look and feel for the GBG/YCGB brand, creating a series of branded graphic assets that could be used in many media. In partnership with other units in the Office of Communications, the multi-platform awareness campaign included earned media/news coverage; social media posts and a paid social campaign, as well as original video content created for social; cinema ads; in-stadium and marquee ads at The Big House; websites and splash pages; and print collateral materials that included retractable banners, table tents, and flyers.
As a result, the initiative garnered more than 220 stories in news outlets nationwide; national media coverage in Chronicle of Higher Education, Forbes, and USA TODAY; and 4,844 visits to the GBG and YCGB forms pages. In addition, the #GoBlueGuarantee hashtag received 6.93 million impressions. The campaign reached 1,846,806 unique users, who undertook almost 517,000 actions (likes, views, clicks, shares, etc.)