Catholic School Enrollment Strategies That Work

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For two consecutive years the Diocese of Allentown has grown Catholic School Enrollment as a system using a variety of tactics that can be adopted by almost any Catholic School in the country. I will make this presentation at the National Catholic Education Association in April 2014. More materials can be downloaded at: http://www.allentowndiocese.org/index.php?cID=1345

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  • Catholic School Enrollment Strategies That Work

    1. 1. ENROLLMENT STRATEGIES THAT WORK ACADEMIC SUCCESS! CATHOLIC VALUES! Presenters James S. Friend, Jr., M.A., Secretary for Stewardship & Development Erica Gates, M.B.A., Director of School Marketing and Enrollment Management
    2. 2. Northeastern Pennsylvania 275,000 Catholics 5 Counties 104 Parishes 37 Elementary Schools 7 High Schools 3 Special Learning Centers 12,301 Students in K-12 Magnitude of the Business Enterprise: $70 million business, 700 employees, mid-size business. OUR DIOCESE
    3. 3.  The way that we were running our school system did not work. We were working our way out of business.  This is a business problem:  Management  Economics  Finance  Governance  Marketing KEY ASSUMPTIONS
    4. 4. ENROLLMENT HISTORY  Lost 30% of students (6,000) 25% of the schools and hundreds of teachers.  Engagement of the Bishop’s Commission on Catholic Schools  We forced ourselves to look at the numbers. Enrollment Graphs were created for the entire school system  Painful reality  Diocese  Principals  Pastors  Donors  Graphs were compiled into Enrollment Booklet and shared with all constituencies  Enrollment now tracked monthly at the Diocesan level
    5. 5. 5 90 13371 91 13407 92 13566 93 13811 94 14047 95 14252 96 14288 97 14410 98 14281 99 14122 00 13749 01 13430 02 12900 03 12251 04 11640 05 11021 06 10646 07 10262 08 9877 09 9339 10 8812 11 8676 12 8779 13 8770 9339 8812 8676 8779 8770 0 2000 4000 6000 8000 10000 12000 14000 16000 90 91 92 93 94 95 96 97 98 99 00 01 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 09 10 11 12 13 Total Enrollment Elementary '09/'10: Lost 538 students/-5%/ -$1,237,000 tuition '10/'11: Lost -527 students/-6%/-$1,212,000 tuition '11/'12: Lost -136 students/-2%/ -$313,000 tuition '12/'13: Gained 103 students/1%/ +$237,000 tuition '13/'14: Lost -9 students/0%/ -$21,000 tuition Closed McAdoo and Seton Academy in 2013 (183 students) Average tuition net of financial aid is estimated at $2,300 per student.
    6. 6. 6 90 3515 91 3531 92 3615 93 3711 94 3820 95 3854 96 3930 97 3945 98 3930 99 3929 00 3981 01 3962 02 3888 03 3811 04 3795 05 3735 06 3711 07 3780 08 3683 09 3650 10 3528 11 3513 12 3453 13 3531 3650 3528 3513 3453 3531 0 500 1000 1500 2000 2500 3000 3500 4000 4500 90 91 92 93 94 95 96 97 98 99 00 01 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 09 10 11 12 13 Total Enrollment High School '10/'11: Lost -122 students/-3%/-$610,000 '11/'12: Lost -15 students/0%/ -$75,000 '12/'13: Lost -60 students/-2%/ -$300,000 '13/'14: Gained 78 students/2%/ +$390,000 First enrollment increase in 7 years Biggest enrollment increase in 19 years Total Freshman class increase +7% *Average tuition net of financial aid is estimated at $5,000 per student.
    7. 7. ENROLLMENT HISTORY  Challenges:  Sluggish economy  Declining populations/baptisms in certain areas  Lack of Marketing at the school level  No one was held accountable for enrollment (Diocese or School)  Insufficient Diocesan support for marketing and advertising
    8. 8.  Accountability: Diocese/Schools  Measurement/Tracking (Enrollment Booklet & Diocesan Website) http://www.allentowndiocese.org/enrollment/  Reviewing the graphs with Principals, Pastors & Diocesan staff  Enrollment Goals: 2013-14 +2% & 2014-15 +3% TRACKING ENROLLMENT
    9. 9. 9 90 253 91 264 92 265 93 250 94 250 95 238 96 251 97 247 98 244 99 232 00 205 01 199 02 176 03 179 04 183 05 167 06 179 07 182 08 187 09 177 10 177 11 188 12 218 13 252 177 177 188 218 252 0 50 100 150 200 250 300 90 91 92 93 94 95 96 97 98 99 00 01 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 09 10 11 12 13 St. Margaret, Reading Berks County '10/'11: No change/ 0% '11/'12: Gained 11 students/6% '12/'13: Gained 30 students/16% '13/'14: Gained 34 students/16% Three years of consecutive enrollment growth Largest enrollment in 21 years Largest increase in 24 years School approaching capacity
    10. 10. 10 90 2810 91 2814 92 2796 93 2773 94 2797 95 2910 96 3026 97 3065 98 3032 99 3070 00 3035 01 3010 02 2891 03 2849 04 2669 05 2544 06 2540 07 2466 08 2418 09 2294 10 2132 11 2150 12 2267 13 2402 2294 2132 2150 2267 2402 0 500 1000 1500 2000 2500 3000 3500 90 91 92 93 94 95 96 97 98 99 00 01 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 09 10 11 12 13 Berks County Elementary Enrollment '10/'11: Lost -162 students/-7% '11/'12: Gained 18 students/1% '12/'13: Gained 117 students/5% '13/'14: Gained 135 students/6% Three years of enrollment growth Two years of 100+ enrollment growth Largest increase in 24 years
    11. 11. MARKETING STRATEGIES  Airplane Model (Value of an empty seat)  Tuition Transfer Grant Program  Elementary School Grant: $1,500 ($1,000 in year 1 and $500 in Year 2). 95% of schools participated  High School Grant: $3,000 ($2,000 in year 1 and $1,000 in year 2). 100% of schools participated  Program yielded: 426 grants in 2011-12 and 473 grants in 2013-14. Retention results (1st year test) indicated 95% retention of transfer students.
    12. 12. MARKETING STRATEGIES Messaging: Academic Success! Catholic Values! Target Audiences  Elementary Schools: Pre-k’s, current students, transfer students and grandparents.  High Schools: Feeder/Partner Schools, current students and transfer students.
    13. 13. POSTCARD CAMPAIGN
    14. 14. POSTCARD CAMPAIGN
    15. 15. BILLBOARDS & LAWN SIGNS
    16. 16. TV COMMERCIAL http://www.allentowndiocese.org/ad_video/videos/2 014_Spots_Baress_CSW/index.html
    17. 17. MARKETING SAMPLES College Matriculation Graphs 99% 73% 80% 68% 80% 80% 78% 86% 85% 87% 90% 77% 49% 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70% 80% 90% 100% AllentownCentralCatholicHS CatasauquaSHS EmmausHS LouisEDieruffHS NorthamptonAreaHS NorthernLehighSHS NorthwesternLehighHS ParklandSHS SalisburySHS SauconValleySHS SouthernLehighSHS WhitehallHS WilliamAllenHS Percentage of *Area High School Students Attending 2 & 4 Year Colleges or Universities
    18. 18. Parish Bulletin Inserts Data Source, Public: http://www.education.state.pa.us/portal/server.pt/community/graduates/7426 MARKETING SAMPLES
    19. 19.  Letters & Email blasts to PREP families and partner schools  Exit Surveys: https://www.surveymonkey.com/ MARKETING SAMPLES
    20. 20. DIOCESAN RECOMMENDATIONS  Flat Tuition  Tuition Pricing Increase  Tuition Transfer Grants  Memo to DRE’s  Open Enrollment
    21. 21. ADDITIONAL STRATEGIES  Boards of Directors & Governance  Healey Education Foundation  Diocesan Marketing Plan  Advancement Directors (Marketing/Development)  Engaged Enrollment Committees
    22. 22. FOR MORE INFORMATION Visit: http://www.allentowndiocese.org/index.php?cID=1345

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