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Practical Strategies for Enrollment Management Peter J. Partell, Director of Institutional Research Sandra Starke, Vice Provost for Enrollment Management.

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Presentation on theme: "Practical Strategies for Enrollment Management Peter J. Partell, Director of Institutional Research Sandra Starke, Vice Provost for Enrollment Management."— Presentation transcript:

1 Practical Strategies for Enrollment Management Peter J. Partell, Director of Institutional Research Sandra Starke, Vice Provost for Enrollment Management Binghamton University State University of New York July 2001

2 Today’s Activities Introduction Why get involved? Old and new models Definitions Tools (Practical Stuff)

3 Introductions Name and Institutional Affiliation What are your primary tasks related to enrollment management? Name at least one of your institution’s enrollment goals. Open or Selective Enrollment?

4 Why Should Institutional Researchers Care About Enrollment Management? – A way to contribute to one of your college’s or university’s primary strategic goals. – It allows you another avenue to be involved in influencing policy and decision making on campus. – It is interesting and fun. (read “stressful and anxiety-producing”).

5 Traditional Model- The Islands Independent Offices sometimes working on common goals, sometimes not. Admissions Financial Aid Student Services Institutional Research Faculty/Deans, etc.

6 Traditional Model Independent Offices sometimes working on common goals. Examples: 1. Admissions wants to bring in the right number of new students. They may not be doing this with an eye towards student retention. 2. Financial aid interested in access and making sure new students have “need” met. May not be in line with the Admissions goals of quality and quantity.

7 Traditional Model- More Examples 3. Orientation office interested in registering students for courses and not concerned with summer melt – making sure the students have a good experience and attend in the fall. 4. Institutional Research may report demographics or yield rates without understanding how they can help influence them.

8 Traditional Model 5. Little concern for the impact their office has on another. 6. Financial aid packaging fairly first – first come first served. (Access and quality can be contradictory) 7. Setting office hours for staff convenience as opposed to student convenience. 8. Lack of understanding of the value of retaining a student.

9 Traditional Model 9. Lack of understanding how their office can contribute toward the common good. 10. That is not my job. 11. I don’t recruit students – Admissions does that 12. Students have a full course load – nobody gets what they want at any school.

10 Traditional Model You get the picture…

11 Traditional Model Institutional Research can provide the analytical focus that gets all of these offices working toward common goals. Why?

12 Institutional Research Already does … (or could do) Research to support marketing admissions analyses financial analysis (tuition discounting, revenue/enrollment projections) alumni satisfaction surveys Outcomes assessment cohort analyses (retention/graduation) student opinions/attitudes surveys evaluating program effectiveness These are all related to enrollment management

13 The Continent of Enrollment Management A holistic view for the institution.

14 The Continent of Enrollment Management Offices working together toward a common cause. Offices looking at data and seeing how they impact student behavior. Recognition that you all have a common goal.

15 Definitions of Enrollment Management “Enrollment management is an organizational concept and a systematic set of activities designed to enable educational institutions to exert more influence over their student enrollments. Organized by strategic planning and supported by institutional research, enrollment management activities concern student college choice, transition to college, student attrition and retention, and student outcomes.” --Don Hossler

16 Definitions of Enrollment Management “Enrollment management is the coordinated effort of a college or university to influence the size and characteristics of the institution’s student body... enrollment is “managed” through a variety of strategies including admissions, pricing, financial aid, and advising. Well designed and well executed institutional research is the key to successful enrollment management.”--Craig Clagett

17 Goals of Enrollment Management (from Dixon 1995) “Define the institution’s nature and characteristics, using both objective and subjective techniques” “Incorporate into marketing plans and activities all relevant campus sectors, making sure that all parties recognize that institutional goals are being served”

18 Rebecca Dixon: Goals “Make strategic decisions about the role and amount of financial aid needed to attract and retain the right students, making certain that this expense serves the institution’s goals” “Make the appropriate commitment of human, monetary, and technological resources”

19 Who does EM in the new world? Admissions Financial Aid Student Services Institutional Research Faculty/Deans, etc. Career Development Groundskeepers Campus Police Housing Orientation Athletics University Relations Registrar Alumni Relations Cafeteria Workers and so on and so on...

20 Let’s skip to the practical part...

21 The Strategic Importance to your Institution Reliance on revenue - for both Private and Public Institutions Financial stability Reputation - enrolling the students and collecting that revenue to enhance programs/services that bolster the reputation of your institution Retention – it is easier and cheaper to keep a student than to recruit a new one

22 Enrollment Management-Data Sources You may already have the tools, the new model means you look at them differently -- your goal is to tie the entire campus together

23 How do you “do” Enrollment Management? Chances are, you are already doing some of it, remember these? – Research to support marketing – admissions analyses – financial analysis (tuition discounting, revenue/enrollment projections) – alumni satisfaction surveys – Outcomes assessment – cohort analyses (retention/graduation) – student opinions/attitudes surveys – evaluating program effectiveness

24 How do you “do” Enrollment Management? The key is to use the data that you currently have at your disposal and look at it in different ways. Analyses need to be guided by your institution’s strategic plan so that all the offices involved work towards the same goals.

25 Identify the Strategic Goals of Your Institution Increase enrollment revenue? Improve quality? Change demographics? (diversity – geographic and race ethnic, talent, programs, schools, non- traditional, traditional, e-learners, freshmen, transfer, graduate, etc.) Goals have to be aligned with the reality of your campus - can your institution support the students it is trying to attract?

26 How do you “do” Enrollment Management? Example: Ux’s strategic goals include increasing enrollment while maintaining quality and selectivity. What sorts of indicators are going to be important to their enrollment management activities? Yield Rates Understanding yield in the context of quality Where can we find more high quality students? Understanding retention -- recruiting efforts wasted if we do not retain the new students we enroll.

27 The Enrollment Funnel Feed your funnel-- Identify markets with potential students

28 IR’s Role in Enrollment Management Spearhead analysis, reporting, and data collection that is about how to move prospective students (and then students) through the various stages of the enrollment funnel.

29 You can help tie the campus together Some Tools: – EPS - Enrollment Planning Service – CIRP - Cooperative Institutional Research Program – Alumni Surveys (e.g., AOS) – Student Opinion Surveys (e.g.., SOS) – College Board -- Admitted Student Questionnaire, Admitted Class Evaluation Service – National Student Clearinghouse – Surveys (e.g., US News, Kiplingers, Wired) and articles -- What are they saying about your institution? – Campus data files – Others that we have missed?

30 Building Your Inquiry Pool: Feeding Your Funnel You can’t enroll without adequate inquiries. As there is pressure to grow, the inquiry pool must be large enough to sustain the growth. This is true by market segment. Example -- Our goal for Engineering School was set too high because we asked only half the questions - can you teach more students? Should also have looked at the funnel. Build Inquiries based on the segments you would like to enroll and their fit with your institution - what do you know about who succeeds? (grades, retention, etc.)

31 Feeding Your Funnel ( continued ) Identifying Target Markets – Result will assist in deciding which names to buy, places to travel, ads to place -- using resources most effectively. – Analyses aimed at shaping your inquiry pool to ultimately enroll the students that meet your strategic goals. – Sources to tap: High school market research (identify target schools that graduate the types of students you want) Population projections (e.g., high school grads by state) Local data bases (identify feeder high schools or community colleges) Prospects/Name buys (e.g., ETS, Phi Theta Kappa, etc.). U.S. Census

32 High School Market Research For example, EPS allows you to locate areas of the country where there are pockets of students, based on the factors you choose, e.g., SAT, high school GPA, income, location, migration patterns Factoid: Nationally 59% of freshmen are from within 100 mile radius of the campus they attend - is this true on your campus? Do you know?







39 Segmenting Targeted Markets Buy names from the markets you identified based on how you choose to segment them (again, strategic goals) Examples may include - gender, geography, income, schools/programs, race/ethnic and socio- economic diversity, SAT/ACT Scores, GPA Are they willing to come to your school?. Personalized mass communication

40 Mining Local Databases Now that you know your target markets - can your alumni help (cover recruitment programs, meet with students, etc.)? Mine your alumni database - where do they live? Feeder schools – Understanding which schools give you the highest numbers of students and which could give you more - analyze through the lens of the funnel – Shape the message to each high school ( CIRP ASQ)

41 Turning Inquiries Into Applicants: Qualifying Your Inquiry Pool Are you collecting inquiry data? Are you collecting appropriate/useful inquiry data? How interested is the student? How often and in what form have they inquired? Inquiry Source - self-initiated v. school initiated - Would you expect there to be a difference? Early indicators of the quality of the student - self report gpa, psat score, etc. What are your yield rates based on inquiry type? – May want to use multivariate analysis, such as logistic regression (are there interactive effects?) What’s the dependent variable?

42 Students falling in this area will not enroll unless the institution does something to influence their decision. - Noel Levitz Least likely to enroll at your school no matter what you do. A Most likely to enroll at your school no matter what you do. Influence C B Distribution of student interest

43 Turning Inquiries into Applicants - Marketing Understanding why students apply. What they respond to (Academic Programs, Financial Aid and Scholarships, etc.) Who does not apply and why? Who are your competitors? –Again, may vary by your target groups!!! How do students learn about colleges? Data on success, strengths, e.g., grad rates, placement rates, surveys, rankings, USP,etc. Understanding who will persist or succeed. Which inquiries are the most promising? Arm your admissions recruiters to the teeth.

44 Turning Inquiries into Applicants - Marketing – Market to the needs of your inquiry pool to get them to apply. – Do they like it here – Unique selling points (retention rates, grade rates, license pass rates, etc.) – Shape messages – who we are. CIRP, ASQ, etc. (E.g. Students come for Academic reputation – if they are from Bronx Science. But other people come because we are affordable.)

45 Application Analysis Year to date - early warnings This year many schools saw a rise in early applications. We made the mistake of thinking students just applied earlier. We initially over offered – then more students applied. More students are using the common application Help, ease of use. The economy.

46 Competitors Sample of data from Enrollment Search (National Student Clearinghouse) Remember: Your competitors are likely to be different for different types of students

47 Turning Applicants into Admitted Students Who should be offered admission to shape your class (strategic goals of size, quality, diversity, etc. ) -- projection, projections, projections. Example: Always tuned to the quality of our freshmen, yet our forecasting of yield did not involve quality at all -- only school of application -- our actions were not in synch with one of our strategic goals.

48 Admissions Index College qualification -- often based on combination of – high school performance (GPA, Rank, etc) – test scores (SAT, ACT, TOEFL) – rigor of high school coursework (AP?) – applicant’s interest in attending? (see Wall St. Journal 5/29/2001).

49 Why Use an Admissions Index? “ to influence the size and characteristics of the institution’s student body ” - Claggett It ties your strategic goals to you admissions decisions because what you put in it, should be what matters to your institution. Aids in more consistent admission decisions across counselors. Gives you a more accurate yield analyses /class projection. Allows for the control and tracking of the students you want. If you are making competitive offers, you have to analyze the supply and demand.

50 Turning Offers into Enrolled Students: Analyses to Assist with Yield What do we mean by “yield?” -- deposits versus enrollment - which should you use? General rule: the more refined your look at the yield data, the better able you are to directly impact your strategic goals [Go to spreadsheet example] Be careful that analysis not too refined so as numbers are too small to be meaningful.

51 Enroll (yield) Turning offers into enrolled students. – Financial Aid Who you can and can’t impact How much money it takes to affect a student’s decision. – Monitoring deposits: melt rates

52 Financial Aid and Yield All Students

53 Financial Aid and Retention

54 Financial Aid and Yield Whatever group is of Strategic Importance

55 Financial Aid and Yield

56 Enroll (yield) – Deposit Analysis - monitor deposit rates to determine whether you’re on track to yield the class (Summers are hot, who’s melting?)

57 One last point on yield – Segmented Marketing Messages Unique Selling points Data made sexy - IR as PR –defining your image –defining your message –using data to reinforce your image

58 Analyzing and Supporting Retention Identify who left and why - use data! Do not rely on “conventional wisdom” – Example - IUT denials leave - internal pressure was based on conventional wisdom - data didn’t support Analysis may incorporate: – National Student Clearinghouse – Surveys (homegrown, CIRP, SOS - verify reliability - Recent SOS Results) – Exit Interviews/Focus Groups – Look at impact of financial aid – Look for courses - “Killer Courses”

59 Analyzing and Supporting Retention Identify who stays and why - analyze your satisfaction ratings, your alumni surveys. Benchmark your results against peer norms Provide the right people with the data to help them build on institutional strengths (read ‘satisfaction’) and take steps to address institutional weaknesses.

60 Conclusion Enrollment Management is at the heart of success for every type of institution Analysis of data provides the keys to successful enrollment management Who has the potential to impact data collection, analysis, and dissemination to the people who make decisions: Institutional Researchers

61 Conclusion Become the campus expert on the available tools Analyze data with an eye towards marketing and PR and the enrollment funnel Work to develop and support a campus culture of shared information and shared goal setting Be recognized as THE resource for enrollment management expertise Insist that IR is at the table when key decisions are made.

62 Conclusion Knowledge is Power!

63 Thank you! Contact us: Sandra Starke Vice Provost for Enrollment Management Peter J. Partell Director of Institutional Research Binghamton University State University of New York July 2001

64 Resources CIRP Freshman Survey – Offered by HERI CIRP – Cooperative Institutional Research Program Higher Education Research Institute (HERI) Graduate School of Education & Information Studies University of California, Los Angeles 3005 Moore Hall, Box 951521 Phone: (310) 825-1925 Fax: (310) 206-2228 E-Mail: Website: ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ Alumni Outcomes Survey & Student Opinion Survey – Both offered by ACT ACT - American College Testing American College Testing 2201 North Dodge Street P.O. Box 168 Iowa City, Iowa 52243-0168 Phone: (319) 337-1000 Website:

65 Resources T he Enrollment Planning Service (EPS) and Admitted Student Questionnaire (ASQ) are offered by the College Board Middle States Regional Office 3440 Market St. Suite 410 Philadelphia, Pa 19104-3338 Phone: 215-387-7600 Fax: 215-387-5805 The contact information for ETS is: Corporate Headquarters Educational Testing Service Rosedale Road Princeton, NJ 08541 USA (609) 921-9000 FAX: 609-734-5410

66 Resources National Student Clearinghouse: National Student Clearinghouse 2191 Fox Mill Road, Suite 300 Herndon, VA 20171-3019 Phone: (703) 742-7791 Fax: (703) 742-7792 Email:

67 Funnel by High School Within Recruiting Region

68 “In god we trust. Everybody else bring Data” – Anonymous

69 Students reason for attending

70 The Timing of Inquiries






76 Group Activity 1 How will you proceed with enrollment planning? How do you plan to get involved?

77 Group Activity 2 Recall the enrollment goal you gave during Introduction. For each person’s goal, as a group determine: – What analyses does the institution need to successfully achieve the goal? – What data would need to be collected for you to do these analyses? – Does the institution have the required data?

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