Ideas, insights and inspirations.

Elliance, a higher education enrollment marketing agency, has built a reputation by both increasing and significantly growing graduate student enrollment for more than 50 colleges and universities. Following are some of the most successful strategies that our university clients have activated to unleash enrollment growth in the past two decades: 1. Invest in branding. In the sea of sameness, brands win. When the University of Delaware College of Business and Economics wished to create a rising tide for its vast portfolio of graduate business programs, Elliance crafted and paid off their new brand line “Opportunity, Inc.” It worked attracting students from across the nation and across the globe. 2. Bake research about student behavior and what they value into website, microsite snd landing pages. When we reflected GMAC research findings into Carnegie Mellon’s MS in information systems management program microsite, its applications grew by 118 percent within one year. 3. Tell a better story. Romance prospects and show that the … Continue reading

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Elliance, a higher education enrollment marketing agency, has increased and significantly grown graduate student enrollment for more than 50 colleges and universities. Founded on the principle of right-fit matchmaking, our recommended strategies revolve around four core beliefs. First, if they can’t find you, they can’t buy you. Second, if they do find you, you can’t bore them into buying from you. Third, the students must be able to see themselves at your institution. Fourth, you must pursue right-fit students at all cost. All our recommended actions revolve around these core beliefs: 1. Know that you become the story you choose to tell. It’s how institutions make meaning from the arc of their history, and operate with a sense of destiny to create purpose that propels them into the future. This story is what students and employers buy into. You must articulate your story so it’ll appeal to your right-fit students.  2. Celebrate students, not the institution, as the real heroes of your … Continue reading

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In anticipation of the looming 2025 demographic cliff when college bound undergraduate students will begin to shrink, colleges and universities have started investing in launching and growing graduate programs to diversify their revenue.  Our clients have started asking us to prepare a playbook for successfully recruiting and growing graduate student enrollment. In increasing and significantly growing enrollment for graduate programs for the past 25 years for over 50 colleges and universities, we have learned two things: First, students can’t buy your programs or buy-into your university unless they can find you; Second, you can’t bore students into enrolling in your university. To achieve success with recruiting graduate students, universities must start with the right portfolio of programs, assess the environment, and deploy a balance of the marketing air-game, boots-on-the-ground game and follow-up contact strategies. WIN BEFORE YOU WIN Start by creating distinctive, in-demand graduate programs in areas where your college can claim indisputable competitive advantage. Fight the temptation to start … Continue reading

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The stakes are high when higher education institutions launch new academic programs. According to Burning Glass, a market research firm, the estimated cost of sustaining a new program over a four-year period is around $2M and only a third of them succeed. When launching new programs, college leaders are looking for recipes to ensure success and avoid failure. Here at Elliance, we advise our clients to consider the 7 P’s: program, price, place, prospects, professors & program chairs, promotion, and process. Here is what we recommend: P R O G R A M New program launches follow the law of supply and demand. The higher the demand for program graduates and lower the supply of colleges offering the program, the higher the chance of success. Analyze data from the Department of Education and the Department of Labor to assess the competitors and the demand for your new program’s graduates. On rare occasions, if you have an insider’s view of a … Continue reading

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Clients with limited budgets often ask me, “Which programs should we focus our enrollment marketing efforts on?” The answer, I tell them, lies in the four Ps. People are at the core of any successful graduate and adult program. Engaged students require an engaged faculty. All successful programs have dynamic faculty and always have a program champion. The best program champions carry the torch on all academic and enrollment marketing efforts. Products are the items that satisfy a student’s needs or wants. You must determine how your product – your degree offerings, for example – is unique to the market and who is most likely to want what you’re offering. A great example of this is one of our clients, Concordia University in Irvine, CA, which was the first to market eight years ago with a master’s degree in Coaching and Athletic Administration. Today the program enrolls over 500 students online across the nation. Performance is based on the outcomes … Continue reading

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