Scannell & Kurz Enrollment Management Blog

While Scannell & Kurz continues to provide the expert consulting and high level of service by which we define ourselves, as a division of Ruffalo Noel Levitz we also offer the benefits of our collaboration with a larger team of talented consultants.

Part of that collaboration involves our enrollment blog. Each week on this site, we have posted relevant research, insights, and recommendations to help you make the most of your strategies. We will now post to the Ruffalo Noel Levitz blog along with a good number of our colleagues—increasing the frequency and diversity of posts you’ll find on all manner of topics.

The Ruffalo Noel Levitz blog covers the key topics we have addressed: enrollment management, student retention, student recruitment, financial aid, and marketing. We are looking forward to not only continuing to share our insights with you, but to connect you with the additional strategies and recommendations of our new colleagues.

There’s also an option to subscribe for synopses of recent blog posts. You will continue to find, and be able to search, our archived blog posts here on this site.

We invite you to explore this resource—and to let us know if you’re looking for specific advice.

November 2011

Planning, Decision-Making & Good Communication - Monday Musings
We recently encountered an auxiliary service that decided in May to charge a room deposit of $750 for new and returning students. Rather than incorporate it into the student billing system, they simply mailed out their own bills. Students and parents were aggravated, wondering why they were getting a separate bill and why the amount was so high. Another institution reported that they routinely sent bills with the wrong tuition to students enrolling in one particular program because the registrar wanted to be sure the students were really coming before correcting the tuition charge. The correction (as much as $8,000 higher) left the financial aid office scrambling to adjust aid awards. Similarly, sending out bills without informing financial…Read more

Coordinating Athletic Aid With Other Institutional Grants - Monday Musings
Coordinating athletic aid and other institutional scholarships and grants can be challenging, especially when a college is changing its non-athletic aid policies. At both NAIA and NCAA Div I and II schools where combining athletic and other “regular” aid is the norm when full athletic scholarships are not available to many sports teams, timing and amount of the total package are key elements in the recruitment process. When an institution is planning to increase either guaranteed merit scholarships or need-based awards, care should be taken in considering how that could simply “add on” to aid packages for student-athletes in a way that may be unintended or unnecessary. If athletic recruitment is going fine and the aid packages already…Read more

Getting the Most Value Out of Your Data - Monday Musings
I’ve spent the past six and a half years analyzing higher education data for more than sixty institutions, from large public universities to small private liberal arts colleges. The most common data challenge I find is institutions deleting data on students who were admitted, but ultimately decided not to enroll. I’ve found many institutions do well at recording any data they can get their hands on, but then preserve only the data for enrolled students. One common example is need-based aid, which often gets cancelled, without being archived, for non-enrolled students. In the aggregate, your final enrollment, discount rate, diversity and SAT/ACT numbers don’t tell the whole story. It’s often important to dig deeper, analyzing results…Read more

Higher Education Entrepreneurship: The Good, the Bad & the Ugly - Monday Musings
Not-for-profit higher education institutions have the reputation of being slow to change; unresponsive to market demand; and unimaginative with respect to delivery modes. This is beginning to change, however, and one is starting to see more interest in approaches that differ from the standard 12-15 credits, semester-based, course delivery method. While this change is positive in many ways, it is important for the entrepreneurial minds developing new approaches to remember that federal financial aid regulations, and most higher education software systems, in many ways are still driven by traditional delivery modes. Consequently, it can be very difficult to ensure compliance with federal regulations when providing financial aid to students in…Read more