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.

student outcomes

Faith-Based Outcomes - Monday Musings
Scannell & Kurz client Cedarville University recently published an excellent article highlighting the results of a survey of their graduates showing they are doing an exceptional job of both preparing students for careers and graduate school and then in assisting them with placement after graduation. As I read the article, it brought to mind the shifting priorities of students enrolling at CCCU schools that were outlined in the CCCU/Noel Levitz market research study released in February 2010. Five years later seems an excellent time to review the results because the relevance continues to increase as faith-based institutions continue to face new enrollment challenges. If you are not familiar with the study, among other things, in 2000 and then…Read more

Is a makeover needed for liberal arts colleges? - Monday Musings
A recent Wall Street Journal article reported on the “muscular makeover” of the Hindu gods that was happening in India. What is driving the change? According to the article, “the changes are part of a reimagining of Hindu stories that supporters say makes them more relevant to India’s middle-class youth, who are navigating a far different world than the one in which their parents lived.” As I read the article, it occurred to me that many liberal arts colleges in the United States are also going through a “makeover” in order to remain relevant to today’s college going youth and their parents, who are concerned about how well a college degree—particularly in the liberal arts—will prepare them for today’s workforce. In April…Read more

Standing Out From the Crowd (Pt 2): Savvy Use of Outcomes Data - Monday Musings
In my previous post, I mentioned that my nephew had been to visit a campus, and he and his parents were quite taken with it. Why did this institution stand out? One reason is that the Director of Admission remembered talking with him at his high school, but the biggest influencer was that they had provided solid information about graduate outcomes. My brother-in-law is an engineer, and had been grappling with understanding the value of liberal arts. In doing his homework, he noticed that many liberal arts institutions have been addressing this issue head-on. We talked about how STEM graduates tend to have higher starting salaries, hence a more immediate return on investment, however it’s been shown that in the longer-term, salaries of those…Read more

Meet the Parents - Monday Musings
What do parents most want to know during their sons’ and daughters’ search for the right college? And how do they want to get the information? There was a time when many parents’ interests boiled down to questions like: “What will my child learn?” “Will they be safe?” “Will they be happy?” But now that concerns about the job market for new college graduates have seemingly overridden all others, the question “Will they be able to get a job?” has risen to the top of the list. So how are colleges doing in providing answers to this question? Here are a few suggestions for responding to this need: Easy-to-find information on institutional costs – tuition, fees, room and board Easy-to-find information on the affordability…Read more

Marketing Your Job & Grad School Placement Rates - Monday Musings
My colleague Don Gray wrote a great blog a few weeks ago about the importance of marketing the value of your institution’s degree. He discussed some of the key metrics necessary in telling the story in a compelling way. Part and parcel to the need for developing those key metrics, among them job/graduate school placement rates and average starting salary by academic programs, is the imperative that the data presented be representative and reliable. Over the years our consulting team has visited hundreds of campuses, and an area where we often find a glaring weakness is with an institution’s survey of a recent graduating class. Here is what we often find: A low response rate to the survey. Unless the response rate is at least 60%, follow…Read more

Capturing Your Stories - Monday Musings
Although our blogs clearly show that we are biased in favor of data, we also know how critical stories are to marketing, recruiting, retention, and alumni relations. Yet most institutions aren’t very deliberate about capturing and sharing fresh stories. As you prepare for summer training for recruiters and orientation leaders, here are some strategies we have seen work for collecting compelling anecdotes: Run a contest. Saint Bonaventure recently asked incoming students to submit a short video about why they chose SBU. Not only was it a way to keep new students engaged, but now they have posted the top contenders on YouTube. You could do the same thing with current students, with faculty, with alumni, etc. Stay in touch with current students…Read more

Marketing Positive Student Outcomes - Monday Musings
On a recent campus visit, I was party to a lively discussion with administrators about the institution’s value proposition. The usual exemplars came up – we have small classes, our faculty give students close personal attention, and other good – if not distinctive – reasons for choosing a college. We eventually got around to other characteristics prospective students and their parents find more compelling in a difficult economy: alumni help students develop career interests and make contacts in the working world, students get internships in fields related to their interests, graduates get good jobs and go to great graduate schools. But looking at the institution’s website, there was no information on any of these activities on the…Read more