Case Study

Gen Z College Admissions Marketing

Navigating Generation Z's Educational Expectations

Quinnipiac University (QU), known for its comprehensive programs, partnered with data-driven marketing leader KORTX to address shifting attitudes of Generation Z towards higher education and improve undergraduate recruitment.


Generation Z, unlike the Millennials before them, approached higher education with a unique set of ideas, expectations, and concerns. For future students and parents, the traditional narrative of the university experience continues to be scrutinized.

Pressing questions include:

  • Is the enormous college debt worth it?
  • Are traditional four-year programs the only route to a successful career?
  • How does higher education translate into practical, real-world skills?
These students demand guarantees that the university route delivers value and practical career outcomes. Furthermore, they prefer experiential learning and close connections with potential employers.

Over 40% of high school students and more than 70% of college sophomores have already identified potential employers. Universities need to adapt their approach to student recruitment.

How could QU effectively target and engage Gen Z students and parents with messaging that addressed their specific concerns?
QU aimed to leverage KORTX's expertise to transform its digital advertising strategies, promote the adaptability of its career tracks, highlight its connections to businesses, and emphasize the practical skills and real-world experiences students could gain through internships and co-ops.


Drawing from the extensive experience KORTX had garnered through its relationships with higher education clients, an audience-centric digital advertising strategy was developed. This strategy was unique to Quinnipiac University’s needs and objectives.

With a budget of $650K over the partnership period, KORTX crafted a comprehensive, data-driven campaign using a variety of media channels, including Display, Online Video, Social Media (Facebook/IG/TikTok), Rich Media, Connected TV, and YouTube.

Reaching Parents and Teens

In order to target both parents and prospective students, KORTX examined how each age group utilizes social media. It became clear that students (blue) were active primarily on TikTok and Youtube while parents (gray) predominantly browsed Facebook and Youtube.

Personalized Messaging, Increased Relevance 

KORTX’s proprietary technologies, Axon Audience Manager and KORTX Intelligence, enabled personalized advertising by differentiating between audience types and capturing additional events. KORTX Intelligence analyzed vast amounts of data to refine audience analysis and segmentation. 

Creative content and landing pages were aligned with audience interests, emphasizing QU’s adaptability, shorter completion times, experiential learning, and industry connections. 

KORTX also offered supplemental services like SEO audit, marketing tag mapping, creative ideation, and custom dashboard creation. These efforts ensured tailored advertising showcasing QU’s offerings’ relevance to Generation Z’s expectations.



We successfully managed campaign messaging across seven media channels, controlling reach and frequency to prevent oversaturation and ensuring users received tailored creative messaging aligned with their career interests, avoiding irrelevant MBA ads for prospective students.

Our tailored approach was significant: the strategy drove over 6,000 applications, surpassing initial expectations.





Average Applications per Enrollment Period


Media Channels Integrated

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