You’ve Enrolled the Class . . . Now What?

Carnegie Higher Ed Sep 22, 2015 Carnegie Higher Ed Persona The Visionary Frontrunner

So, your fall class has arrived. Right now you might be feeling very proud of all the hard work you and your staff put in to enroll a class that met or exceeded your goals. Congrats—that’s a big accomplishment these days! Or you may be sitting at your desk staring out the window trying to figure out your next move because you came up short of your enrollment goals. Trust me, I’ve been there!

Either way, you have to move on and focus on the next class. The biggest question you have to ask yourself is “what am I going to do differently this time?”

Even if you were fortunate enough to meet your enrollment goals this year, I’m sure there are already talks on your campus about bringing in more students next year and increasing the academic profile with the same budget (sounds familiar, right?). This means you can’t take your foot off the gas and rest on your laurels.

So where are these magical extra students going to come from? I often wondered this when I was asked to bring in a larger class (I’m a former Director of Admission, if you couldn’t tell). Will you need more prospects? More applicants? Do you need to yield a higher percentage of your accepts? The answer is yes, yes, and yes! But how do you plan on doing it? I used to sit at my desk pondering this very question. In hindsight, the answer was right in front of me, but I was too blind to see it: the phone calls and e-mails from potential vendors offering ways to help me do my job just a little better could have made all the difference—and probably helped me sleep a little better at night.

Here are three things you can use to shape your higher education marketing efforts to achieve your enrollment goals (and sleep a little better at night too):

  • PC&U: This will help you get more prequalified prospects—traditional high school, transfer, international, and graduate students, as well as some specialized academic areas. It delivers proven results and helps both public and private colleges and universities build their funnel.
  • Digital marketing: Use digital marketing strategies like geotargeting and geofencing to target feeder schools, drive traffic to your open houses, and more. You can even promote your accepted student days directly in the homes of your accepted student pool with IP Targeting. (IP Targeting is a no-brainer for your yield events.)

If there is any advice I can pass along to any admission director who is reading this at their desk right now, trying to figure out how to find those magical extra students, I would have to say, don’t be afraid to ask for help. We are all here to help you do your job better and achieve your admission goals. Don’t hesitate to contact me; I can share the challenges I faced and may also be able to offer some advice on how you can overcome yours!

Follow Kevin on Twitter @KevinRoane

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