Enrollment Strategy Development
Developing an effective enrollment management strategy means integrating admissions, retention, research and marketing. Our projects begin with an assessment of the necessary research that will enhance a school’s understanding of its current and potential new markets. We do this by identifying relevant economic, demographic and education trends, by evaluating the current admission operation and by making recommendations to strengthen and expand institutional marketing efforts.
Our electronic surveys, focus groups, and in-depth interviews provide an effective means to gather “directional” feedback from internal and external constituents. We most often recommend a comprehensive strategy that includes surveying the entire parent and student bodies. Analyzing attitudinal feedback from current parents and students plays a critical role not only in more fully understanding a school’s enrollment picture, but also in viewing an institution’s strengths and weaknesses through an enrollment management lens.
Once tailored to a school’s specific circumstances, the quantitative research collects data that allows school leaders to compare constituent satisfaction levels and the strength of a school’s programs. We segregate respondent answers by demographic subsets of the school’s population: full pay students/financial aid recipients, day students/boarding students, and lower/middle/upper school students. Using this research, a school can bring clarity not only to how it is regarded by its own families, but also how the school is perceived in the broader market. Our research identifies economic and demographic trends in the education marketplace. Understanding both constituent satisfaction levels and broader market trends is critical for effective strategic planning, for the development of mission statements, the coordination of effective print and web messaging, and the conducting of successful fundraising campaigns.
Our recommendations are designed to assist the school leaders in framing how, by using the media and its improved understanding of their markets, it can plan effectively for the future. Given the recent national downturn in admission activity and enrollment, our research can inform immediate tactical adjustments and longer term strategic direction.
Our research provides school decision-makers with answers to specific enrollment management and marketing questions, and positions them well to guide their school’s internal decisions regarding admission and retention, financial aid allocation and tuition discounting, as well as marketing and public relations efforts.
“While the process was, at times, arduous, one cannot help but be amazed at the positive results. We contracted the Baker group for a multi-month engagement that focused on our admission and enrollment management processes, along with a strategic review of marketing and financial aid. The creation of action plans to improve operations infrastructure and develop “best practices” in student enrollment has been incredibly useful in fulfilling the school’s strategic goals in this vital area. A hearty thank you to Chris Baker and her team!” – Head of School