We’ve taken to thinking of college admissions as less like a funnel and more like a stream, as students enter the admissions process at various points in the flow and the admissions staff is simultaneously communicating with prospective freshmen, transfers, athletes, musicians, sophomores, juniors, seniors, parents, etc. To manage this increasing complexity, consider giving responsibility for one of these “micro-streams” to each recruiter, just as you would assign them geographic territories for recruitment.
Then, for each micro-stream:
- Use several years of data to set a target for the coming year.
- Create a mini-recruitment plan, complete with timelines and action steps.
- Identify the funding and resources necessary to achieve the goal.
- Monitor progress throughout the admissions cycle.
There will necessarily be overlap, as most students will fall into more than one stream. So make sure the communications and other elements of each component plan complement one another and are mutually-reinforcing, not redundant. You’ll sleep better, knowing that someone on your staff is paying attention to each critical piece of your admissions operation.
Image © Scannell & Kurz.
About the author: Enrollment Management Consultant Bill Berg comes to S&K from Furman University, where he most recently served as Vice President for Enrollment. His leadership in enrollment management included overseeing offices of admissions, financial aid, planning and institutional research, and student employment. During this period, Bill successfully implemented a strategic plan designed to increase enrollment, increase selectivity, and decrease financial aid expenditures. Prior to his role as Vice President for Enrollment, Bill served as the Director of Planning and Institutional Research. In that position he supported student recruitment and retention efforts with financial aid optimization studies, enrollment projections, and admissions and retention studies.
Before Furman University, Bill served in leadership positions at Rhodes College and DePauw University. He has been active in professional organizations such as the Higher Education Data Sharing (HEDS) consortium, College Board, Commission of Colleges – Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, and the National Association for College Admission Counseling.