Enrollment management is a comprehensive, integrated approach to student recruitment, services, and retention. Maguire Associates Chairman Jack Maguire first introduced the concept in the mid-1970s. Since that time, hundreds of colleges and universities have implemented systematic, researched-based enrollment management practices.
Enrollment management organizes and optimizes the student relationship as it moves from the prospect, inquiry and application stages to admission, enrollment and matriculation. Increasingly, enrollment managers also view satisfied students on a more comprehensive continuum as successful graduates, engaged alumni, generous donors, and loyal employers in what constitutes a true lifecycle relationship.
We help institutions develop and achieve their enrollment management goals by:
- Positioning the institution uniquely. We identify actual and aspirational competitors and utilize environmental scans, benchmark analyses, and best practice audits to understand an institution’s competitiveness. We research prospective students, parents, guidance counselors, and other audiences to elicit perceptions of strengths, weaknesses, standing, and overall position.
- Creating targeting strategies that focus resources on optimum primary, secondary, and tertiary markets from which to create the best student mix. We analyze current markets and identify targets of interest such as students with high academic quality and students of color. Our customized research produces marketing approaches designed to maximize attractiveness to target groups.
- Optimizing recruitment by focusing on the prospect, inquiry, and application stages where institutions lose or never even find some of their best potential applicants. Our student recruitment optimization service (EMPOWR™) helps schools uncover the right markets and student characteristics for their most likely applicants, expand applicant-pool diversity, increase inquiry-to-application conversion rates, and save substantial amounts of money by deploying resources more effectively.
The Evolution of Enrollment Management
- Pricing strategically by understanding through customized survey research the perceptions held by prospective students and parents of an institution’s price, quality and value; their price sensitivity, and their reactions to possible adjustments in price or financial aid. Our pricing optimization and value enhancement service (EMPROVE) helps institutions set tuition and fees to optimize market position, class size and mix, and net total revenue.
- Applying strategic financial aid modeling to maximize the use and value of institutional grant aid. Our Enrollment Management Forecast Analysis System (EMFASYS™) is a powerful predictive modeling tool that helps clients apply institutional grant aid and scholarship monies strategically, increase the size and academic quality of entering classes, and enhance net total revenue. Our modeling processes use multivariate analysis that enables clients to quantify the consequences of different pricing and financial aid decisions under consideration.
- Understanding market demand for current and proposed programs. We research the potential market size and student interest for programs, analyze competitive programs, identify entry barriers, and determine areas of true competitive differentiation.
- Streamlining student administrative services to deliver enhanced performance in financial aid, registration, and student accounts. We analyze current structures, processes, staffing, and technologies; review information provided to applicants, students, parents, and alumni; research student and parent service priorities, and identify opportunities to integrate administrative operations and practices.
- Strengthening satisfaction and retention to build strong, long-term relationships with students, faculty, and staff. We research satisfaction levels, review historical retention trends, use logistic regression analysis to pinpoint dissatisfaction drivers, compare retention rates with competitors, segment dissatisfied students who remain and those who are satisfied but withdraw to investigate causality, and use predictive modeling to identify likely retention rates.
- Assessing student achievement to help administrators monitor and improve student outcomes. Given increasing emphasis among families, accrediting institutions, and government on measuring value, we compile and evaluate information on student graduation rates from client and competitor institutions, research job and graduate school placement, and determine overall satisfaction levels.
- Improving operations to maximize enrollment management effectiveness. We help institutions develop organizational structures and operational practices best suited to their needs and resources. We review enrollment practices, trace the evolution of enrollment positions within the institution, interview management to identify perceived strengths and constraints, inventory the collective skill sets, and chart the workflow of all touch points with students and parents.