NACAC Session 1

Title: critical Enrollment Management Strategies in Difficult times.

A year ago, Royall began looking at student data in light of the upcoming economic crisis. All studies showed that the college bound population would be greatly affected. 17% of students said they weren’t affected by the economy, was likely made of those who were most and least affluent.

34% said they would eliminate colleges from their list due to cost (and not only private schools).

In this light, competition increases, visits are affected, economic impact will also continue to hurt private schools even as economic conditions improve.

Students are less mobile (visits and where they attend).

So what do we do in these challenging times? Fordham University Got a little bit ahead of the curve and increased deposits in 2008 to try and offset the economic crisis. Then they notices the SAT scores of inquiries going down considerably. Time to adjust the strategy.

Started by recruiting students who had no PSAT search activity it took SAT in junior year. Yielded 60% of their deposits through that campaign and didn’t decrease quality. This was most effecient locally.

Fordham also did a direct outreach to students in late December encouraging them to apply one more time (UrgentGram). Produced a 63% rise in application submissions.

So far I’m not hearing anything specific about these actions except the timing. Maybe that’s the point is that timing is everything?

Now Montana State University had challenges because not too many people know about them.and they had the 49th lowest state funding amount. They were losing money on in state students.

They did things similar to Fordham. Generated more inquiries (including senior search) and more focused marketing to them. They also used a Royall application that seemed pretty appealing to certain populations of students.

Again, so far all they are saying is that they did another search. Is that really all that unique?

Ok, almost time to eat. First, Indiana attendees dinner at McCormick and Schmidt but I don’t like seafood. Guess I’ll be eating a lot of steak here in Baltimore!!! Then welcome reception in the Exhibit Hall and then lots of receptions. Get excited about free food and drinks!!!! Well, the networking is nice too. 🙂

September 24, 2009 at 3:18 pm Leave a comment

Headed to NACAC

I’m sitting on an airplane on my way to Baltimore for NACAC. I’ve never been and I’m really looking forward to it! Not only are there great parties (including Target X’s iDrink) but this is a great opportunity to network with other admissions professionals. I’m really excited too because 422 is talking about putting together a Continuum users group and I’m hoping to get involved.

Yesterday I felt ultra IT Rookie. I got a new widescreen monitor and I’m now running a two screen setup. Nothing says professional computer geek like a billboard sized monitor in your office.

Well I think I’ll channel my inner George Hendrix and fire up my laptop for the rest of the flight. Here’s to great professional development, lots of networking, and even better blog posts. Now that I can write posts on my iPhone, I have no excuse.

September 24, 2009 at 8:02 am Leave a comment

Summer Projects

I know, I haven’t blogged in a while. But it’s about to get even busier around here. Typically it’s slow in the summer, but not this summer for me! We’re launcing a new and improved blog for prospective students, increasing our university’s presence on Facebook, and using more social media like Twitter. I am really frustrated because FCAdmissions is already taken for Twitter and I can’t figure out if I did it and just can’t remember the password, or someone stole it out from under me. No followers and no messages out so I guess that’s a good thing.

Also, I sort of volunteered for something with our database. The company that runs Continuum is thinking about starting a users group and I volunteered to be a part of the process. But I’m not sure what that entails. I’m looking forward to it!

That’s all for now. However, stay tuned. I am working on lots of projects that are blog worthy. I promise.

June 16, 2009 at 10:30 am Leave a comment

Customer Service – What is happening here?

A co-worker of mine had an interesting experience a few months ago and it has prompted an ongoing discussion about the lost art customer service. To summarize, his experience stemmed from a company’s unwillingness to waive a measly $11 fee that was due because of their mistake. There’s more to that story, but the bottom line is, what happened to the benefit of the doubt? The customer is always right?

We experienced our own Customer Service issue at our house Saturday. We have U-verse cable service through AT&T and have been quite pleased so far. However, about a month ago I accidentally put one of our remotes in a washer full of clothes and soapy water. We needed new ones so my husband called and they said they would send two new remotes right out. How nice!

It’s been three weeks and they still aren’t here. So he calls and they said the process is that when you request a new remote, an e-mail is sent to the warehouse. The warehouse then confirms that they received the message. They don’t say yes we will send it, or it’s on the way, just yes, we recieved your request for us to send these remotes to these people. No tracking, no delivery confirmation. Just an e-mail. We know it’s supposed to go out. Will we do it? Not sure. The rep was nice enough and is sending out two more but there is again no confirmation that they will be sent, or when they will arrive. Just the e-mail.

I guess all is not lost though. I had to call our pediatrician’s office today to get a receipt faxed from a visit in February. She was soooo nice, and even apologized that she wouldn’t be able to fax it until later today. Did I want a phone call to confirm it had been sent?

How should we, in higher education, be better at Customer Service? What can we do to improve how we respond to inquiries and questions?

March 23, 2009 at 10:52 am Leave a comment

Implementation DONE! So what next?

Well just this week I’m calling it. Implementation is done, and we are now entering a new phase of work for me.

Implementation technically has been done for a while. I only recently have felt confident that our system errors are caused by human mistakes instead of system quirks. Another sign of the end is that I am now transferring the info from Continuum to our campus-wide system, PowerCAMPUS instead of someone in IT. Now, by transferring, I’m really only pushing buttons that someone else set up for me so don’t be too impressed yet!

So what’s next? Last week I went to the TargetX “Xpert Summit”, got re-energized to do some Social Media Integration stuff, and now I’m ready to roll! Our campus site is undergoing a renovation soon (thankfully I’m not doing it) so we’re really trying to be sure our Break-a-way is conveying all the info our old site did. I have access to Google Analytics for that site now and I’m pretty excited about that. Our Admitted Student Community needs some new widgets, more publicity, and I’ve also been doing some work and formulating some strategy for our Facebook Fan Page. There’s a lot going on right now! Stay tuned for more about what’s going on with our site, the Fan Page, etc.

March 10, 2009 at 4:04 pm 5 comments

TargetX Xpert Summit

Today I’m headed to sunny Las Vegas for the Target X Xpert Summit. I’ve never been to Vegas and I’m super stoked! Plus, the conference has some great topics. I’ve always been interested in what they do and I think the conference will be a great opportunity to see what they do. Our student workers supervisor and another co-worker are going too so it should be pretty great. I plan to be on twitter and live blog at some of the sessions so stay tuned!

February 25, 2009 at 9:47 am Leave a comment

E-mail Success?

I will post an update on the good, the bad, and the ugly of our Implementation, but I wanted to jump back into blogging by writing what I think is my first success story.

I sent my first few e-mails to students using our new Bulk e-mail feature (which is SO EASY!). The first was to general inquiries. That Monday we had a 10% jump in applications for that week, and about a 4% read rate after 24 hours. To me, that’s a success for inquiries.

The next message was to out of state students, normally a tough nut to crack. Again this was only to inquiries so they were hit the second time, but this time it was about a grant we offer. 6% after 24 hours, 11% after a few days. Again a success.

Finally, I sent my first e-mail to admits encouraging them to join our social network and our Facebook group. 22% read rate, a few new adds to the Social Network, and 17 to the Facebook Group. We also had 4 inquiries through our Counselor on Call system (texts and instant e-mail replies).

We’re trying to diversify and I think we’re making progress. But are we? How do you quantify success?

January 27, 2009 at 10:23 am Leave a comment

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