Faced with the massive disruptions caused by a worldwide pandemic, staffing shortages, an economic downturn, and a looming demographic cliff, higher education enrollment and marketing leaders have been forced to adapt quickly and constantly over the past few years.
As you finish up 2022 and accelerate recruitment efforts to secure your 2023 class, it’s important to pause and reflect on what is working and what you can do over the coming months to meet your goals.
Capture Higher Ed’s end-of-the-year white paper, It Takes a Campus: Ten Critical Strategies for Maximizing Enrollment Success in 2023, can give you some ideas. As the title implies, the ten strategies stress the importance of using your entire campus community in your recruitment efforts.
A recent report by cloud-based CRM provider, Salesforce, Inc., emphasizes this importance. According to the company’s Connected Student Report: “Only a third of students surveyed report having a great university experience, indicating that institutions have room to improve.”
If you have not already done so, it’s time to work closely with key campus influencers — faculty, staff, alumni and students — to establish campaigns, success strategies, and critical messaging to help prospective students make the best selection for them. Messaging done well, with consistency and insight, will ensure that any shifts in student behavior can be addressed quickly to maximize your success.
Uncertainty in the enrollment market has caused colleges and universities to scramble. When budgets are strained, and competition is high, it is essential that enrollment and marketing leaders think strategically about where they spend their marketing dollars. They must leverage their data to maximize their spending and focus their teams in a way that generates the highest returns for 2023, 2024 and beyond.
The time of recruiting students for only 18 months is over. Enrollment management is now a long-game art and science where smart leaders invest thoughtfully in the future. Achieving enrollment growth during this turbulent time can seem daunting and unrealistic, but it can be done through thoughtful and meaningful recruitment and marketing strategies. Keeping focus on your data and embracing the need for marketing automation, coupled with effective admission counselor work, will maximize your enrollment success
The 10 strategies outlined in the white paper are by no means exhaustive, but if you take the time to research and implement them, they can give you an edge. All of them rely on this undercurrent of truth: It takes an entire campus to enroll and retain students.
By Christopher Harris Ed.D., Senior Enrollment Strategist, Capture Higher Ed