The Power of LinkedIn Ads for Graduate Recruiting

The Power of LinkedIn Ads for Graduate Recruiting

Posted on May. 21, 2021
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By Cordelia Miller

Whatever your goals for graduate recruiting—from expanding geographical brand awareness for an online program to generating leads for an open house to increasing the quality of your applicants—LinkedIn can help you get after those objectives. 

Prospective graduate students are a specific, yet rich segment of the population. Depending on the subject and location of your program, you may be targeting some combination of undergraduate students and working professionals; domestic and international students; ranging in age and socioeconomic backgrounds. And, a huge number of them are on LinkedIn.

In comparison to undergraduate recruiting, which may adopt advertising on social media platforms like Instagram and Facebook that are primarily used for personal purposes, graduate recruiting is uniquely positioned to utilize ads on LinkedIn, a platform where prospective students are likely already going to network and cultivate their careers. And not only can you meet those students where they already are, the rich targeting offered by LinkedIn allows universities to talk to exactly the students they want to target and not the ones they don’t–allowing schools to use their budgets wisely, while nurturing personal connections with students right from the beginning of the admissions cycle.

The stats below show that not only are an overwhelming number of students and recent grads on LinkedIn, but also that targeting LinkedIn members could result in a significantly higher graduation rate–likely because LinkedIn members are engaged and proactive in their careers as well as their academics.

By the Numbers

  • 64M students & recent grads + 90K Institutions on LinkedIn
  • Students on LinkedIn prior to enrolling have a 2.5x higher graduation rate

Each social media platform collects slightly different information about its users when formulating profiles. Although some platforms, like Facebook, do give the option to list education and work, that isn’t the center of the user’s identity as it is on LinkedIn. This is the advantage of LinkedIn ads–being able to target based on user information including location, company, education, and even interests.

When setting up an ad account, LinkedIn allows you to target based on location.

Let’s look at a couple of hypothetical examples. University A has a thriving in-state population, but are looking to attract talented students from out of state. As seen in the image above, it’s easy to target ads to a certain location–either where prospective students live permanently, or a location they may have recently visited, perhaps indicating some expressed interest in that location.


Similarly, you can also target based on attributes including company, demographics, education, work experience, and interests/traits.

Another example would be University B, which is launching a new program and wanting to target prospective students with a certain undergraduate major and who have a few years of work experience as they would be the best fit for the program. LinkedIn ads can target those exact attributes, so that the university is increasing the quality of its applicants–and getting the most bang for its buck when it comes to ad spend. 

While banner ads across the web can often be extremely generalized in their scope, meaning that ad money is spent on people who would never pay for a certain product, LinkedIn allows graduate programs to target exactly the students they’re looking for and use their money wisely–a valuable function in a time when many institutions need to get creative with their budgets, and recruiting grows increasingly competitive.

Does this seem like a lot to manage? Viv Higher Ed has LinkedIn experts on our full-service team who can help your school maximize the potential of LinkedIn advertising to achieve your goals. Contact us today for a free consult and see how we can help. Schedule a consult now.