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.

campus visits

Use these free and low-cost Google tools to improve campus visitor navigation. - Monday Musings
Admission offices have always been concerned with campus navigation for prospective students. Directional signage, clear navigation instructions in print and on the web, carefully thought out addresses that are online map-friendly, and, most recently, campus-specific apps have all been part of making sure visitors can figure out where to go and how to get around. Now, as the number of secret shoppers and stealth applicants continue to climb, there is little doubt that some are taking a DIY approach to campus tours and not announcing their visit to anyone, choosing rather to quietly make a visit as just one other way to gather information. Based on this hypothesis of a new generation of visitors, here a few ideas to consider. First, the New…Read more

Audit Your Campus Tour - Monday Musings
The role of the tour guide on the campus visit has been well documented in our blogs and by countless other enrollment management professionals. The tour is a critical part of the campus visit. Tour guides control the story, the pace, and many interactions on the tour. However, tour guides follow a prescribed route and they can’t control the condition of the campus that day, so their ability to shape visitors’ impressions is limited. In my early years in admissions, the vice president for enrollment organized a campus tour audit. He gathered together over 30 people from across campus. Staff members from the physical plant, student affairs office, admissions team, marketing office, and finance office as well as faculty members took the better…Read more

Making the Most of the Visit Experience - Monday Musings
Who knew that wine tastings would cause me to think of work?! But sure enough, on a summer trip to wine country in Sonoma, CA, I couldn’t help but think of the comparison to campus tours. As your campus is making plans for visits after the first of the year, perhaps these comparisons will provide food for thought on making sure the experience is the best it can be for your guests. During that week in Sonoma, our “tour guide” at each winery played a significant role in the enjoyment of the experience, and ultimately, of the wine. We all know how important the tour guide is on a campus visit. A welcoming and engaging tour guide leaves a lasting, positive impression on a prospective student. It’s no different at a winery, or in the case…Read more

Standing Out from the Crowd (Pt 1): Selling the Visit - Monday Musings
Recently while visiting my in-laws, including my nephew who’s a rising high school senior, I asked how the college search was going. Sighs all around. They knew they should be visiting campuses, but couldn’t get him interested in forming much of a list to get started. (It might have something to do with the graduation party circuit being in full swing.) They had been on a few college search sites and were gathering word-of-mouth recommendations, but were having trouble deciding where to commit time away from work and vacation for campus visits. They had been to visit one local campus, and if they hadn’t exactly drunk the Kool Aid, they had at least sniffed it. The school seemed like it could potentially be a good fit (another reason he…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

Creating Compelling Campus Visits - Monday Musings
The importance of the campus visit has risen to the top of the priority list for deans and directors of admissions at colleges and universities across the country – public and private, large and small. In fact, a cottage industry of experts has even surfaced focused on evaluating and recommending how each campus can “put its best foot forward” with the campus tour, open house, and accepted student day events. So it’s clear that colleges have gotten the message: “We only have one shot to make a good first impression.” Lots of creativity is now pouring into making the campus visit a memorable one, creating WOW moments and WOW connections with the campus community. But there’s a fundamental piece of the puzzle missing – selling…Read more