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This manifesto for effective enrollment management is a distillation of our key learnings from our team serving more than 100 colleges and universities in the last 25 years.
Admission numbers are trickling in. Highly selective and less selective colleges are both missing their enrollment targets. We believe that enrollment VPs and college presidents ought to be examining their shared, but ineffective habits, instead of blaming the usual suspects: unfavorable demographics, increased sensitivity to the rising cost of college, society questioning the overall value of a college degree, reduction in international student applicants, and students applying to multiple colleges. Not that these forces can be ignored, but the real test of leadership for enrollment leaders is to claim an outsized share of an uncertain and dwindling market. In our view, Enrollment professionals share, and must break, the following ineffective habits: 1. Buying names of high school seniors and juniors instead of cultivating names of right-fit prospects. Instead of attracting right-fit prospects with inspired marketing, they are employing tired enrollment tactics from firms who buy names in large numbers, then throw commoditized direct mail/email at prospective students, hoping to snare a … Continue reading
Enrollment managers at colleges and universities are running a machine. Whether it has a soul or not depends on the mindset they bring to their jobs. The most admired enrollment managers are running a humanized enrollment system. In serving more than 100 enrollment managers, we have gleaned the following best practices: 1. Balance Institutional Priorities and the Greater Good. Create a healthy school culture by enrolling the best-fit students. Honor institutional priorities by enrolling legacy students, full-pay students, donor students, athletes and other priority students. Create a sustainable society by recruiting and providing support for both under-served and under-represented students. 2. Invest in First Impressions. Brand your college because in the sea of sameness, brands win. Speak with one brand voice to all audiences striking different notes for each audience segment. Tell a better story. Fortify every touch point – including websites, social media, open houses, information sessions, grounds, classrooms, tours, and admissions office décor. Celebrate your star students, alumni … Continue reading
As a leading enrollment marketing services agency in the country, clients have often asked us to share our best practices. Here they are: 1. Start with Strategy: We prioritize and always lead with strengths. We don’t try to be democratic. We bet on champion and star programs. We let the star programs create prosperity to sustain others. 2. Surround and Engage Prospects: Depending on client’s target audiences and budget, we smartly allocate budget between traditional and digital channels so prospects see our clients at every turn. 3. Game Plan for Every Stage of Admissions Funnel: We know what prospects need at every stage of the admissions funnel, and cater to their needs. 4. Create a SEO Keyword Guide: We rely on the SEO Keyword Guide to inform all our content creation. The Keyword Guide consists of keyword clusters in various buckets. 5. Fix Your Website: We know that a website is a conversion machine or your #1 lead and application … Continue reading