Why Colleges Are Failing to Achieve Adult Enrollment Goals
Dec 28, 2017
As the results to our latest survey started to come in, I was reminded of a quote attributed to Ben Franklin.
“By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.”
Of the more than 3,000 presidents, provosts and senior leaders asked to answer a series of questions concerning their institution’s focus on the adult/post-traditional student audience, approximately 8 out of 10 respondents admitted their institution lacked two critical elements needed to succeed - a written plan and a dedicated budget.
And approximately 5 out of 10 admitted they did NOT understand the adult’s decision-making process and that they did NOT extend appropriate and valuable offers to adults at each stage of their decision-making process.
Lastly, more than 6 out of 10 admitted they do not understand where adults go to gather information regarding their education needs.
No plan. No budget. No insight or understanding into how adults identify, evaluation and select the institution and program they eventually enroll in.
And more than 6 out of 10 admitted that they have not consistently achieved their goals for lead generation or enrollments in the past 2 years.
Your Success in 2018 and Beyond
Based on the most recent Census data, there are approximately 36 million adults in the U.S. with some college experience but no degree. And within that group, approximately 31 million attended college one or more years.
How many of those adults live within 25 miles of your main campus?
And how many of them are planning to return to college to either complete their degree or earn a certificate/certification in the next 12 months? Twenty-four months?
You need a marketing communications plan that addresses your target audience/segment(s) for each program offered as well as the enrollment goals for each program.
Because you have limited resources and you need the written plan to make sure all of those resources are focused on those opportunities you feel offer you the greatest chance to achieve your goals.
You need a dedicated budget tied to the plan.
Because forcing your team to beg for money on an on-going basis wastes time and causes you to miss opportunities. And it delivers a clear message that you really aren’t committed to those adult enrollment goals which will impact your team’s work.
You also need one person that is responsible for and has the authority to do what is necessary to achieve those goals – to implement the plan, oversee the budget and hit the goals.
Because anything less than this means there is no owner, no one responsible for or with authority over adult enrollments – and that also sends a clear signal that your commitment is not there.
We help colleges and universities develop written marketing communication plans for achieving the adult student enrollment goals and objectives for colleges and universities.
We help colleges and universities develop a dedicated budget that’s tied to that written marketing communications plan.
We work with the person responsible for and with the authority to make sure the plan is implemented, and budget properly managed to ensure that the goals and objectives are achieved.
To learn more, contact us at 651-666-0934.
Patrick McGraw is VP of Higher Educaton Marketing Services and has more than 25 years experience in market research, competitive intelligence, business intelligence including database marketing and CRM, strategic planning, brand development and management as well as operations/campaign management. His work has consistently helped his clients and employers develop and implement more efficient ways to attract and retain profitable customers, enter new markets and launch new products. His areas of focus include the education, hospitality, travel and tourism, hi-tech, telecommunications, financial services, and retail industries on both the agency and customer sides.