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.

March 2012

Responding to Appeals - Monday Musings
Let’s make a deal. Now that financial aid packages are out the door, appeal season has begun. Families have become conditioned to ask for more aid, fueled by a sense that there might be room to negotiate, as if selecting a college is like buying a car. Ideally, your institution’s awarding policies are designed so there is confidence that enrollment goals will be met, and no increase in gift aid is required for appeals that do not fall under the special circumstance/professional judgment umbrella. However, since most of the enrollment deposits won’t start arriving until about a week before May 1, there can be a temptation to negotiate, particularly if there is a smaller admit pool, awards have been reduced from the previous year, or early…Read more

Campus Tour Guides - Monday Musings
Tour Guides. Student Ambassadors. Experts in Walking Backwards. Whatever you call them; they can make or break a prospective family’s visit experience. Is being a tour guide a premium job on your campus? It should be. While it isn’t necessary to give them all matching polo shirts (although this can save discussions about inappropriate attire), here are essential elements of a successful tour guide program: A selective nomination and interview process: solicit nominations from faculty and other staff that know the students best, have applicants give a brief mock tour, and include current tour guides in the interview and selection process. A robust training program, including: shadowing experienced tour guides, conducting supervised…Read more

Future Thinking in Higher Education (Part 2)
Yesterday we talked about three mega-trends that could be game changes for higher education and enrollment management: Transparency, credentialing, and virtualization. (You can read yesterday's blog post here.) Two other emerging trends that could rock our world are:  Speed: Everything happens faster today. People expect immediate responses to their inquiries; new consumer products and services are introduced more rapidly; data for decision making is updated constantly; etc. Yet, in many higher education institutions, and even enrollment management areas, the pace has not “kept pace.” Here, non-profit institutions have a lot to learn from their for-profit counterparts, where inquiry responses are sent within the same hour; where curricula…Read more

Future Thinking in Higher Education (Part 1) - Monday Musings
In a recent article for AACRAO, Marguerite Dennis, former Vice President for Enrollment and International Programs at Suffolk University, talked about Anticipatory Enrollment Management — stressing the need for enrollment managers to monitor emerging trends that may signal significant change for their institutions and higher education in general. We believe she is absolutely right, and wanted to talk about five emerging game changers and the implications we see for enrollment managers. Today we’ll cover the first three. Be sure to come back tomorrow as we’ll cover the last two. Transparency: Increasingly colleges and universities are being required to provide more information to consumers about net costs; graduation rates; outcomes;…Read more

Is Your Admissions Staff Ready for Financial Aid Season?
Colleges and universities are preparing for, or in many cases, are now in the thick of financial aid season. Some institutions have admissions staff conduct outreach calls to students once aid packages have been sent. For those that do not, admissions recruiters, at a minimum, need to be prepared to handle incoming calls. The idea is not to convert admissions staff into financial aid experts. However, recruiters should be familiar with the lingo of financial aid. Here is a list of questions and scenarios the recruiters should be prepared to address: Has your financial aid filing deadline passed? What forms are required? What is verification? Can you explain the EFC? Need? What about loans, payment plans, and paying the bill? When should…Read more