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NACCAP presentation--a fresh look at the admissions funnel
 

NACCAP presentation--a fresh look at the admissions funnel

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This presentation gives fresh insights into the higher education admissions funnel, including utilizing multiple Search lists, the optimum number of touches and market segmentation strategies.

This presentation gives fresh insights into the higher education admissions funnel, including utilizing multiple Search lists, the optimum number of touches and market segmentation strategies.

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    NACCAP presentation--a fresh look at the admissions funnel NACCAP presentation--a fresh look at the admissions funnel Presentation Transcript

    • A Fresh Look at The Admissions Funnel: Real Examples from the Field
      Jim Schlimmer and Lou Llewellyn
      North American Coalition for Christian Admissions Professionals
      June 5, 2011
    • About Us
      Christian Brothers University - Memphis
      Catholic, Lasallian Christian Brothers
      1,777 students – 1,110 traditional undergrads
      Students from 16 states and 11 foreign countries
      PlattForm Higher Education – Kansas City
      More than 20 years experience as a full-service advertising agency focused exclusively on enrollment solutions for higher education
    • You Are Ahead of Most Private Colleges Because of Who You Are!
      … leaders of companies that go from good to great start not with “where” but with “who.” They start by getting the right people on the bus, the wrong people off the bus, and the right people in the right seats. And they stick with that discipline—first the people, then the direction—no matter how dire the circumstances. - Jim Collins, Good to Great
    • Objectives
      Review existing models for benchmarking
      Noel Levitz
      Colleges by groups
      Offer different Key Performance Indicators (KPI) to track
      Recommended communication strategies for each KPI objective
      Final recommendations for your institution – from admissions audit suggestions to communication strategies
    • What is Our Position in the Market Place as Private Colleges?
      • 41% of respondents believe the quality of education is better at private colleges and universities with only 13% saying public were better. Nearly four of ten (38%) said the education at public and private institutions was about the same.
      • When asked “If money were not an issue, would you rather have your child attend a private or public university?” 45% said private, 25% said public and 28% said it didn’t matter. (GDA Associates http://www.dehne.com/)
    • Review Common Admissions Funnel Data Points
      Suspect-to-inquiry rates (Search)
      Inquiry-to-application rates
      Application-to-acceptance rates
      Application-to-enrollment rates
      Acceptance-to- enrollment rates
      Deposit melt rates
      https://www.noellevitz.com/documents/shared/Papers_and_Research/2011/2011MARKETINGRECRUITINGPRACTICES.pdf
    • Recruitment Funnel Ratios: First-Year Students at Four-Year Institutions
      Noel Levitz, 2010 Funnel Survey
    • Enrollment Funnel: Fill the Numbers in for Your School
      100,000
      15,000
      Gravity or design?
      1,500 (10%)
      755 (50.3%)
      311 (41.2%)
      155 (49.8%)
      Graduates
    • Median Number of Written Contacts with a Typical Prospective Student
      • Broken out by enrollment stage
      • Includes direct mail, email and text messaging
      2011 Marketing and Student Recruitment Practices at Four-Year and Two-Year Institutions
      Noel Levitz 2011
    • Average Benchmarks for Traditional Conversion Ratios
      Conclusion: Your organization has a rich database for tracking your KPIs. Know your numbers, use your benchmarks for guideposts, but create your own paradigm.
    • Communication Plan for the Prospect (Search) Stage
      Noel Levitz data show fivetouches
      How many contacts do you have with your search pool?
      How do you contact them?
      Two success stories
      Multiple contacts – at least six contacts (email and more)
      Use the Search list with other predictors for inquiry inclusion
    • Manageable Key Performance Indicators: Campus Visitors
      “The only factor able to predict enrollment is the campus visit” George Dehne, GDA, 2005
      Number of first-year visitors
      Number of first-year visitors by timing “buckets”
      Early – prior to the senior year
      Fall – fall of the senior year
      Spring/Summer – spring and summer of senior year
      Number and percent of first-year students applying
      Overall
      By “buckets”
    • Campus Visit Analysis
    • Campus Visit Analysis
    • Campus Visit Analysis
    • Communication Plan After Review of Campus Visit Paradigm
      For less selective schools –
      late visit significance
      For selective schools –
      early visit significance
      In one school’s case, 83% of total visitors visited the campus prior to senior year (compared with 28% at less selective school).
      Early publication plan is critical – at least five “touches” prior to August of senior year.
      Bulk of visitors usually arrive late
      Communication plan should encourage visits 60 days prior to the critical time of visits (December – January – February)
    • Manageable Key Performance Indicators: Timing of Inquiries and Applicants
      Assign students’ inquiries into three “buckets”
      Early – prior to senior year
      Fall – fall of senior year
      Spring/Summer – spring and summer of senior year
      Number and percent of first-year students applying
      Overall
      By “buckets”
      Inquiry wisdom for your office:
      Early inquiries are better prepared and have higher EFCs
      Late inquiries are not as well prepared with lower EFCs
    • Power of Inquiry Date Tracking
    • Communication Plan From Date-of-Inquiry Analysis
      School 1
      Low percentage of inquiries early – higher enrollment
      Could mean an opportunity for more early communication
      Early inquiries apply at a greater rate
      Late inquiries represent high number of enrollees
      Efforts on late inquiries are working
      Is this the group the college desires: winter Search?
      Fall inquiries
      They apply at lower rates – do we enter their names as fast as possible? Are publications going out? Do we need more types of communication?
      This pool is much bigger than the pool in school 2 – Are college days not effective?
    • Communication Plan From Date-of-Inquiry Analysis
      School 2
      High percentage of inquiries are early
      This school takes on the look of a selective college – but it is not selective
      This percentage is disproportional: is this model working?
      Either reduce the number of inquiries early or increase the early communication: develop early application programs, early visit programs, early financial aid program, or more contacts (publications and more) with this group
    • Enrollment for Two Colleges: Timing of Inquiries and High Expected Family Contributions (EFCs)
      Time of inquiry: Early=prior to senior year, Fall=fall of senior year, Late=spring of senior year
    • Managing Key Performance Indicators: Monthly Timing Audit
      Find the biggest block of inquiries
      Three months after the inquires arrive the publication plan should develop
      This will include your suspect plan and inquiry plan
      Find the biggest block of applications
      Three month block of applications, three months prior should constitute the core of your pre-application program
      Pre-application program should be run prior to the bulk of applications and into the application received sequence
      Find the biggest block of deposits
      Three months prior to the acceptances, plan for your post acceptance communication plan
      Make this plan multi-channel and sequential
      Theme: Congratulations! You made a great move.
    • Critical Monthly Activities: Inquires, Campus Visits, Applications, Acceptances and Deposits
    • Applications Received: Three Schools
    • A Look at Different Management Ratios - Key Performance Indicators: Tracking Enrollment by EFCs
    • First-Year Conversion Rates by Financial Aid Status
      If you think 7.7% is low, at a selective school the rate was 9.9%, at a large private the rate was 12.8%!
    • Communication Plan: Financial Aid
      If enrollment goes from 7% to 30%, or 42% if a family completes a FAFSA, monitor the filers carefully
      How many of you know your FAFSA conversion rates?
      Have your prepared a communication track for these students at the different levels?
      One plan:
      In March, we looked at FAFSA filers – we were down 150 filers
      Initiated a quick phone campaign – now up 7.4% in FAFSA filers – REMEMBER: 30 TO 42% ENROLL!
    • Manageable Key Performance Indicators: Monthly Timing Audit
      What is the purpose of your scholarship program?
      Is it to recruit “top level” students?
      Is it to build your application pool?
      When does your scholarship recruitment plan begin?
      Too often it begins with the applicant (we found a good applicant – let’s work hard to enroll them)
      Needs to start at the suspect stage
    • Scholarship Communication Plan and Outcomes
      Scholarship Funnel
      Buy a Scholarship pool separate from your Search pool
      Communicate with them with a separate communication plan
      The goal is more applications!
    • Review of Communication Strategy
      Divide your communication program into recognizable tracks or plans
      Set benchmarks for success in each model
      Conduct your admissions/marketing audit as a part of your communication plan – a necessary step in your planning process
    • Develop a Communication Plan For Each of Your Major Pools of Students: Prospects
      • Prospects (names you buy): Noel Levitz survey finds the median contact rate is 5 times with each record – one school 52 times. How many contacts do you have with these students? What media mediums do you use?
      • Search: Gill response rate 9.1%, but an increase from 7.1 to 9.3% with multiple channels of communication.
      • 92% view Search as important or very important.
    • Develop a Communication Plan For Each of Your Major Pools of Students: Inquiries
      • Inquiries: If the median contact rate is 10 – what is your contact rate? Are your markets tracking at the same rate of return? Have you looked at Primary, Secondary and Tertiary markets for conversion rates?
    • Develop a Communication Plan For Each of Your Major Pools of Students: Applicants
      • Applications or acceptances: If the median contact rate is 10 – what is your contact rate? Are your markets tracking at the same rate of return? Have you looked at Primary, Secondary and Tertiary markets for conversion rates?
      • 27% of schools dissatisfied by search results were dissatisfied by the enrollment results (Gill 2010).
    • Conclusions: KPIs
      Know thy self: You have an advantage over many private schools
      Your conversion rates reflect this
      Your application pools should reflect more affinity with your group
      The Enrollment Funnel does NOT work by gravity – monitor, plan and react – continuous process
      Campus visits
      Numbers – benchmarks by time
      Affect on your communication plan
      Affect on financial aid
      If you want more visitors early, plan your communication plans early
      If you need more attention from high EFC students – must be done early
      Timing of inquiries and applications
      Are your early inquiries benefiting your school?
      How do the timing of inquires affect your communication plan?
      Know your timing patterns for your school, plan your communication plan after the receipt of those inquiries
    • Conclusions: KPIs
      Financial Aid
      Know your conversion yields
      Where are your needs? Low EFCs? Mid Range EFCs?
      Plan a communication plan that accounts for your social economic mix. Work your strengths first.
      Monthly Application Audit
      Know your school’s plan
      Plan your communication plan to fit your monthly audit scheme
      Scholarship Recruitment
      Know your objectives: Scholarships should attract more students to your application pool
      Communicate separately and often prior outside the traditional communication tracks
      Buy a boutique list of scholars and work them as a separate search pool
    • Who is this? Hans Brinker. He was the first Enrollment Professional. Here he is plugging up the Enrollment Funnel. Because of his finger and effort his university survived!
      Where are your “holes” in the EM funnel or dyke?