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Articles: Enrollment Management

In an era when prospective students and their parents can learn about hundreds of schools from the comfort of their homes, the in-person campus tour offers a golden opportunity to tip the scales in your favor. But too often, these tours follow the same staid formulas.

Brian Hazlett is vice president of student affairs and enrollment management, and Roger Bruszewski is vice president of finance and administration at Millersville University of Pennsylvania.

It has been said that it takes a village to raise a child. To make a huge change at a university, it takes the entire village, a.k.a. a really good team, to make it happen. Here’s our story.

Millersville University of Pennsylvania has 7,500 undergraduates, 1,000 graduate students, seven unions representing faculty and staff, and a $152 million budget.

A new report by the American Council on Education examines most commonly used diversity strategies in higher ed admissions. (Click to enlarge)

Most public discussions about the use of race and ethnicity in higher education admissions decisions ignore targeted recruitment and some of the other strategies that have been used most often to increase campus diversity, says a new report by the American Council on Education.

Bill Berg is an enrollment management consultant at Scannell & Kurz, a RuffaloCODY company.

A family’s willingness to pay for a college education relies heavily on an institution’s ability to articulate return on investment. Discounting tuition through scholarships and other financial aid is the most common approach to increasing a college’s perceived value, as these strategies reduce the net cost to the family.

Mike Sapienza

The variety of challenges facing enrollment leaders are well documented: changing demographics, increased competition for students, scarce outcome data— and the list goes on. Resources are also limited, and so it is critically important for enrollment managers to measure the ROI of the initiatives they take and then adjust as necessary.

Seniors line up by Sweet Briar’s library prior to commencement. (Photo: Photo by Andrew Locascio/Sweet Briar College)

While higher ed leaders acknowledge a range of challenges, many say the shutting down of the 532-student Virginia women’s college does not signal doom for small institutions, including those that are single-sex, rural or religiously affiliated.

Special delivery, 18th Century style: A student dressed as George Washington delivers acceptance letters to Washington College applicants in the region—proving that innovative doesn’t have to mean high-tech when it comes to admissions tactics.

There was a time when colleges and universities could put their best marketing message out to the masses, and wait for students to respond and express interest. Today, it’s about being aggressive without being pushy, being more student-focused without being intrusive, and being more open to digital communication without sacrificing authenticity.

Jennifer Wick is vice president of Scannell & Kurz higher education enrollment consultants, a Ruffalo Cody company.

Fueled by government agendas, national press and public opinion, higher education has in recent years come under increased scrutiny in the form of calls for heightened transparency and accountability.

Some of the U.S. Department of Education’s initiatives in response include:

Successful firsts: MIT’s First Generation Program website includes personal snapshots from first-gen students, alumni and faculty.

Along with issues of retention and completion, many first-generation students face day-to-day challenges as they navigate social, academic, financial and administrative challenges. Here are 24 ways colleges can support first-generation students in every aspect and stage of student life.

Aaron Mahl is a consultant with Scannell & Kurz.

For many, Jan. 1 signifies a day of great college football bowl games, highly caloric leftover holiday food, and time with family and friends ringing in the New Year. However, for those working in financial aid offices at colleges or universities across the country, the start of the new year signals the beginning of financial aid season.

Higher ed leaders expect modest enrollment increases in the coming year. (Click to enlarge graphic)

From declining numbers of traditional-age high school graduates and changing student demographics, to the overall concern among consumers about the value of a higher education, anxiety will haunt enrollment administrators moving forward.

Colleges and universities expect to add students in 2015, though no institutions anticipate significant growth or decline in any enrollment sectors, according to a UB survey of higher ed administrators

Fifty-six percent of respondents say overall enrollment will grow modestly in 2015, while only 11 percent are bracing for modest decreases. No respondents anticipate significant decreases.

Higher ed thought leaders and reader surveys provide insights into what's ahead for colleges and universities in 2015.

To help our readers navigate the coming year in higher education, University Business proudly presents Outlook 2015. In-depth stories cover the major trends impacting administration and management, enrollment and retention, finance, facilities, technology, and teaching and learning. We interviewed administrators and other experts in each of these topics to capture their predictions about what 's on the horizon for colleges and universities.

Beginning in 2016, when prospective students to the Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology (Ind.) submit their SAT scores and transcripts, they’ll be asked to take a personality quiz to help the school determine who has the right stuff to succeed.

“I’ve always felt there’s something missing in admissions, something that we can do better,” says Jim Goecker, vice president of enrollment management and strategic communication.

Bill Berg is an enrollment management consultant at Scannell & Kurz, a RuffaloCODY company.

The often-used businesses term “right-sizing” has in recent years become common in higher education. Though sometimes used as a euphemism for “downsizing,” it more rightly refers to an effort to optimize enrollment, human resources, programs and facilities—in other words, fixed costs.

There are a host of factors that should go into the analysis when an institution is attempting to match demand with its capacity to meet that demand.