Using academics in chapter recruitment

As college-based organizations, academics are the reason our members come to our campus and the core of why we exist. Regardless of why your members joined your chapter, one of our main priority should lie in helping your members excel academically. The beauty of this though is that academics can also be used as a method for recruitment, no matter what your chapter circumstances.

Currently there are two options for incorporating academics in recruitment depending on your circumstances and present reality. These choices include using either current academics plans or the potential for academic improvement as recruitment tools. As mentioned, how you will discuss academics will primarily rely on where your chapter stands in academic progress, but no matter your present reality, it never should stop you from letting academics playing a role in recruitment. Two methods of using scholarship in recruitment are below.

Sell Chapter Academics as a Foundation of the Chapter

In this scenario, we’re assuming your chapter has got it. Your members have some of the highest GPA’s on campus and you are ready to go. It is a fact that your chapter supports academics and your members make a point of excelling scholastically. Your organization has a scholarship program that is the envy of everyone and through this program any of your members excel.

Using this in recruitment and when attracting new members, sell them on your scholarship. Make sure your GPA is not only addressed but also be sure that you are selling your recruits on how you got this GPA. Clearly detail what your chapter has done to reach this pinnacle of success and share your chapter scholarship plan during recruitment.

Even better, invite potential recruits to come and work with your chapter on their scholarship. Do not just make it a part of what you are saying, but allow these individuals an opportunity to engage in the doing aspect as well. This not only helps recruits feel engaged with the chapter but it allows you a time to assess their values and abilities to meet chapter qualifications. When you use scholarship as a recruitment tool it gives you the option to both sell and assess an individual.

Last, make sure you are sharing this information with outside stakeholders who have an influence on potential new members, especially parents and teachers. Parents care about their children’s academic success. By sharing what you are doing to reach your chapter high GPA, you are demonstrating that for your chapter, grades are not something that just happened by chance but instead something you invest time in.

Use Methods for Academic Improvement to Recruit Members

The other method for academic recruitment assumes your chapter is not where it wants to be academically. This is okay and never something you should shy away from. Instead it just means that you are willing to acknowledge you want to grow and improve. (Note, it is important that if your chapter has a high GPA but this just happened by chance you recognized you also fall into this category. Chapter academics are something we sell when they happen because of an organization wide effort and not the luck of recruiting the right individuals. In selling scholarship you must sell how you got the GPA, not just an end result.)

If your chapter does not have an academic program you can share or you feel like your academics need improvement, make this a part of the recruitment experience. Be upfront that you are attempting to improve. Use the outline of intended goals to help recruit individuals who are up to a challenge of improvement.

Additionally, seek out members through scholastic means. If your chapter is attempting to improve, do not hesitate to recruit members who have already proven themselves in these capacities. Intentionally go to places where people on campus that are built around studying. Make academics a priority in your recruitment.

Use resources such as on-campus tutoring services, libraries, and even professor office hours as a method for recruitment. Do not be passive in hoping that people who care about scholastics are going to just appear on your door. Seek out the individuals who have a proven track record of academic success and recruit these individuals accordingly.

When attempting this method though, be sure you have a written outline of how you hope to improve. If you are selling scholarship, make sure you have the process that clearly demonstrates how you plan on improving. Don’t leave academics up for interpretation but make these a clear part of your recruitment.

For more information on how you can provide results-driven programming for your members, visit Recruitment Boot Camp at

Credit // Author: Tim Mousseau