As we look towards a more complex, dynamic, and competitive higher education enrollment environment, campuses must think strategically about a realistic future state, but they can’t forget the fundamentals.
From a recruitment planning perspective, now is the time to be finalizing annual operational plans to recruit the class for fall 2016.
In my recent book, What Board Members Need to Know About Enrollment Management, I discuss big picture strategic thinking.
Strategic planning is great and needed, but the fundamentals—such as building a robust inquiry generation and engagement process, initiating careful and creative ways to move inquiries through the funnel to create more applications, and creating productive yield strategies to turn qualified applicants into enrolled students—are critical to annual success. For successful enrollment management, annual task implementation is key to realizing long-term planning goals.
With all of the new ways to engage students (such as Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook), campuses must be thinking about how to understand their markets and create a distinctive engagement that works for them. Tools such as CRMs (customer relationship management systems), social media, and rapid call center responses are great, but none of them work alone without an annual plan that has a list of specific action items to be completed in this current recruitment cycle.
As campuses take time to review data and examine yield rates, all enrollment managers should be working to refine, advance, and enhance their annual plans with precision and focus to meet the goals for the next fiscal year.