Five years ago, Southern New Hampshire University was a 2,000-student private school struggling against declining enrollment, poor name recognition, and teetering finances.
Today, it’s the Amazon.com of higher education. The school’s burgeoning online division has 180 different programs with an enrollment of 34,000. Students are referred to as “customers.” It undercuts competitors on tuition. And it deploys data analytics for everything from anticipating future demand to figuring out which students are most likely to stumble.
“We are super-focused on customer service, which is a phrase that most universities can’t even use,” says Paul LeBlanc, SNHU’s president.