Jun 7, 2016

Lessons Learned #3: Everyone is Struggling with Enrollment Management

When you are struggling with an issue, it often seems like you might be the only person in the world that shares your toil.  The same analogy works for schools and colleges and their challenges:  they often think that they must be the only school working on a particular issue.  And, enrollment challenges seem to top that list.  

My experience tells me that every school and college is working on enrollment.  Many – the vast majority, actually – are working late into the summer simply to achieve basic enrollment or revenue goals.  These are often the price leaders in their marketplace and have an enormous burden of cost to overcome with their consumers.  But, there are many other enrollment issues that persist at independent schools and colleges.  Some are continuing to implement a strategic enrollment management approach, integrating the various functions of best practices. Others are working on data management and analysis, trying to better understanding their enrollment patterns and predictors.  Others are simply working on shaping their class:  they have enough students, but not the right ones or the ones that are mission fit.  And, still others are trying to sort out how to better optimize their financial aid systems.

Lessons Learned #3 is that all schools have enrollment challenges.  Unless you are Stanford and can afford to make a joke of your selectivity and resources, few, if any, schools really have it all together:  the demand, selectivity, resources, revenue, and diversity they seek.  We are all in the same boat, just paddling in different directions, but working on it together. 

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