Admissions & Student Retention

Whether helping to build a program from scratch or working in highly developed systems, Objective Focus brings an independent and experienced assessment to admissions and enrollment strategies. This facilitates the fine-tuning of these essential elements, which are crucial to an institution’s achievement of maximum success.

Inextricably connected, admissions, recruitment and enrollment management provide the life-blood of an educational institution. Whether tuition-driven, striving to increase student quality and satisfaction or preferably both, the effectiveness with which a school identifies, enrolls and retains qualified students is often a make-or-break proposition.

Although many requirements for success in this area are common to a diverse set of institutions, others are unique to a particular school’s mission, curriculum, geographical setting, financial resources and student demographics. Therefore it is essential that a school identifies and communicates its distinctive strengths, signaling value to its applicant constituency through effective admissions strategies, astute marketing and sophisticated branding.

Student retention is equally essential. Far more cost-effective than the recruitment of new students, this is not only a financial necessity; it is a significant indicator of academic success.

Dependent upon the strategic deployment of student services, effective retention also requires a consistent flow of communication among administrators, students and faculty. This should reflect a sophisticated and sympathetic approach to such critical functions as academic and personal counseling, all aspects of financial aid management, career advisement and internship/job placement. Of great importance is an ongoing assessment of student satisfaction, based on both quantitative and qualitative methods.

Though an institution’s staff best knows the nuances and needs of its constituencies, an external review of existing admissions and enrollment management practices is always revealing. It surveys the quality and deployment of student services, examines the content and delivery of admissions messaging and assesses the effectiveness with which technical, data-driven tools, essential in today’s competitive environment, are being used in both student recruitment and retention.

Because admissions and marketing go hand-in-hand, a close look at the content and imagery of all outward-facing materials is essential. Prospect generation, recruiting, interview and conversion strategies should be reviewed frequently. Very importantly, the nature and effectiveness of ongoing communications with influencers, prospects, applicants, accepted students and parents must be continually monitored and evaluated.

Objective Focus thoroughly audits admissions, student satisfaction and retention, melding tried-and-true approaches, staff training and deployment with effective current practices, such as the effective use of a CRM, social media, SEM, content marketing and analytic metrics. The goal is the management of enrollments, and where desired, year-over-year enrollment growth, based on strong student recruitment and retention.