Make Your Class: 6 Strategies to Help Drive Enrollment

OK, take a breath. The travel season is over. You have made major name purchases. Inquiries are flowing in. Prospective students are visiting. Applications and transcripts are being reviewed and ISIRs have now started to arrive in your financial aid office. You’re doing what’s necessary now to make your class.

But, no matter who you are, or where you are, you are in the same seat as the next enrollment manager when you ask yourself, “What’s next? And how can I tackle this?”

As we head toward Thanksgiving and the Holidays, let’s outline six strategies you can employ right now that will help you 10 months from now when you welcome your new class in August.

No. 1 – Leverage behavioral data to drive your communication strategies.

If you are not measuring every interaction with a prospective student’s behavior beyond the Open and Click-Through rates, then you are simply missing the boat. Every student counts. Every interaction counts. Get the tools necessary to be successful.

No. 2 – Communicate with Consistency, Clarity, and Compassion.

The Three C’s,” when delivered on multiple channels to prospective students and their influencers, raise your institution’s value propositions above the rest.

No. 3 – Develop your admissions team.

They are your most important resource! No matter the size of your institution, your admissions team needs to understand the messages you are trying to convey. They must understand the process (inside and out) to help families navigate this process. And they must connect your campus to those prospective students. Teach them how to have hard and easy conversations with families.

No. 4 – Improve and over-communicate your financial aid and scholarship process.

Cost is a top-three reason for making a college choice for prospective students. Maximize your communication and outreach by delivering relevant and timely messages — on multiple channels — to parents and others who may have influence. Ensure your message projects your value and affordability position.

No. 5 – Launch a robust transfer and reenroll campaign focused on students who have already shown interest in your institution.

The use of data from the National Clearinghouse combined with previous behavioral data can help you segment your message and increase your speed-to-relevance with this crowd.

No. 6 – Solidify buy-in from your campus influencers.

Providing detailed results of your activity to your faculty, staff, and student influencers will have great impact on your success. These influencers can help “bring the campus to life” through their interactions with your prospective students. Maximize their efforts by utilizing behavioral data (not just an application status) to provide personal interactions which lead to results.

This is the time in the enrollment cycle when you can make your class! While you will still get more applications — and more students visiting — those who are engaged right now are strong candidates … that is, IF you keep in mind that these prospective students expect a personalized and relevant exchange of information.

If you are relying on large calling, texting and emailing lists to get your message across, you are creating more work for you and your team. When you inject behavioral intelligence into your approach, your communication gets stronger, your predictive models become more concise, and every interaction you have with a prospective student will make a difference.

By Christopher Harris, Ed.D., Senior Enrollment Strategist, Capture Higher Ed