Scannell & Kurz Enrollment Management Blog

Partnership: Admissions and Marketing - Monday Musings
One of the many “turf wars” we frequently observe on campuses is: “Where does marketing report and who sets the marketing agenda?" Often, the pull and tug play out between the vice president for advancement and the vice president for enrollment with the president as the referee. At issue is marketing resources – expertise and budgets. The concern often expressed is that if marketing reports to advancement, admissions and enrollment will be shorted. Conversely if marketing is part of the enrollment management organization, advancement frets that all the resources will be consumed by recruitment, admissions, and enrollments, with none left for fundraising and friend-raising. Some presidents have resolved the conflict, they think, by having…Read more

College Mergers - Monday Musings
At the end of July, Montreat College (Montreat, NC) and Point University (West Point, GA) announced plans to merge. The headline caught my eye for two reasons: 1) The former president of Montreat graduated from the same high school I did, and 2), I have been thinking and talking frequently about college mergers during the last couple of years. My hypothesis is that more mergers are inevitable. Price escalation resulting in public and political pressure, and changing demographics resulting in changes in demand, are two major forces that will cause institutions like Montreat and Point University to look first at collaboration, and eventually at merging, in order to cut costs and stay viable. For many small, medium and non-selective colleges and…Read more

Collaboration between Advancement & Enrollment Management - Monday Musings
As recently as ten years ago, S&K found the financial aid and admissions offices working at cross purposes at many institutions. In many cases, the financial aid office was focused on staying on budget; the admissions staff was focused on meeting class size goals; and no one was thinking about how to optimize net tuition revenue. Now most institutions have solved that disconnect. However, advancement and enrollment management continue to function as silos on many campuses, missing significant opportunities to collaborate to the benefit of the institution. Here are a few examples: The advancement office focuses on matching donor’s interests to institutional needs but often interprets institutional needs for scholarship support as “more…Read more

Higher Education & Collaboration - Monday Musings
My first class in my master’s program was titled: “Leadership in Higher Education.” The class provided a great introduction to leadership issues in higher education and challenged my thinking about effective leadership in the academy. One of my memories from the class was something the professor said multiple times throughout the semester: “Higher education often fails to have its maximum influence on society because leaders within institutions do not collaborate.” The professor spoke about collaboration at length that semester. Our assignments even centered around collaboration. One assignment in particular required us to identify two offices/areas on our campuses that were not collaborating and bring them together with the goal…Read more

Financial Aid vs. Marketing: a False Dichotomy - Monday Musings
If you’re an old hand in enrollment, I’m sure you’ve been there – you’ve just finished a presentation to the board of trustees on the latest enrollment results. You’ve presented data on applications, deposits, academic quality, diversity, etc., and led a discussion of progress toward your new student enrollment targets for the fall. As you finish up, you get a question from a supportive, well-meaning alum who’s had a very successful career in business. She’s been on the board for a number of years and maybe she’s recently seen the financial aid budget rise incrementally. So she asks some variation on the question: “Couldn’t we get a better return on our investment by taking some of the money we spend on financial aid and…Read more