6 Steps To Perform Student Enrollment Management In Higher Ed

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Enrollment management refers to the ability of institutions of higher education to exert more systematic influence over the number and characteristics of new students, as well as influence the persistence of students to continue their enrollment from the time of their matriculation to their graduation. The emergence of enrollment management as a new administrative structure within institutions of higher education originated in North America, but it has also been employed in Europe, Africa, and Asia.

The Concept

Enrollment management can be viewed as a synergistic organizational concept that can be used to link several administrative functions within a college or university in order to optimize institutional enrollment goals. Examples of this approach can be found among the financial strategies of many college campuses, where important linkages have emerged between senior enrollment managers and chief financial administrators. Both private and public colleges use some of their tuition income to fund campus-based scholarships for students. Tuition revenue accounts for millions of dollars, and campus-based financial aid has become a large expenditure at most four-year institutions. Enrollment management efforts have therefore become closely linked to budgeting and campus financial planning. Successful enrollment management strategies and practices must also consider the growing importance of university and college rankings. For many institutions of higher education, enrollment management has come to involve a combination of student enrollment strategy, budgeting strategy, and institutional positioning strategy.


1.  Set goals for enrollments

Setting up realistic goals and working in that very same direction to achieve them is the first necessity of systematic enrollment management for an institute. It is a crucial step since it involves market analysis and calculation of the expected rate of growth.

2.  Resource requirements

To identify the need for the required resources according to the set goals is the next step in the roadmap for enrollment management.

3.  Campaigning and recruiting plan

It is important to create a target focused marketing plan for move in the right direction and reach the set goals. The right kind marketing mix may help you get to the right target audience which would ultimately help us meet enrollment management goals.

4.  A strong follow-up on your marketing and recruitment activities

Tracking your activities is a must in the process of enrollment management to get the results. Following steps can be followed to keep on a regular check on these activities:

1) Identify which metrics to track.
2) Know how to track the metrics you identified.
3) Guide your decisions with the data you collect.
4) Monitor the effect of your efforts and adjusting accordingly.

Having a solid set of marketing and recruitment metrics you can track allows you to benchmark your efforts from year to year and make crucial decisions on allocating resources and strategies.

5.  Systematic communications within the process to develop and implement the right strategy.

With the seemingly chaotic mix of print, e-mail, Web, and social media, there may not seem to be much “flow” with recruitment communications. As with student qualification, though, building a communications flow remains a bountiful recruitment strategy if it is handled strategically.

First, you still must think through the communications at various enrollment stages—inquiry, applicant, admit, deposit. Regardless of where a student enters the flow, progressing them to the next enrollment stage remains the goal.

Second, focus your electronic communications wisely. Having a Web site that engages students is paramount. You want to invite communication in addition to delivering information. Give students opportunities to provide their e-mail addresses or even opt in to text messaging. Do the same with social media but be careful not to go overboard. You are better covering fewer social media outlets well rather than spreading yourself too thin.

Finally, get parents and guardians involved in the flow. According to our E-Expectations research, 60 percent are involved with the college research process. Target them with communications and make them ambassadors for your campus.

6.  Award financial aid so students get what they need and expect to enroll

The ability to afford a college education has emerged as the biggest roadblock to attending college. Perhaps nothing will turn away a prospective student faster than a feeling that they cannot afford your institution. You must address this concern immediately and accurately.

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