Affordability, Diversity, and Enrollment Strategy Top the Eduventures “Hot List” of Burning Issues Facing Enrollment Management Professionals

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Affordability, diversity, and enrollment strategy top the “Hot List” of burning issues facing enrollment management organizations at colleges and universities across the country, according to a survey conducted by Eduventures, the leading research and consulting firm in the education industry. Eighty percent of senior enrollment management professionals surveyed, at both private and public research universities, consistently indicated that managing tuition costs and affordability; meeting student diversity objectives; setting enrollment strategies and goals, particularly as it related to predicting yields in the current, more turbulent admissions environment; and building brand were among their top priorities.

Affordability, diversity, and enrollment strategy top the “Hot List” of burning issues facing enrollment management organizations at colleges and universities across the country, according to a survey conducted by Eduventures, the leading research and consulting firm in the education industry. Eighty percent of senior enrollment management professionals surveyed, at both private and public research universities, consistently indicated that managing tuition costs and affordability; meeting student diversity objectives; setting enrollment strategies and goals, particularly as it related to predicting yields in the current, more turbulent admissions environment; and building brand were among their top priorities.

“As we compare this survey to our historic data, we are seeing a transition from tactical, ‘bread and butter’ enrollment management issues such as quality, retention, and data management to a focus on strategy and finances,” said Brent Keltner, managing vice president of Eduventures’ Learning Collaborative Program in Enrollment Management, a member-based research program launched earlier this year to help institutions address critical strategic, marketing, and operational challenges. “Quality and retention remain top-10 issues in our 2005 survey, but unlike in the 2003 survey, they are at the bottom rather than the top of the list. Data management is not a top-10 issue in the 2005 survey, although it was among the top 10 in 2003.”

Another cut of the data looks at the differences between private and public universities. The survey finds that private research universities are particularly attuned to the need to strengthen their brand identity and their marketing reach to a national audience. Among the leading priorities for private research universities are integrating the Web into marketing, recruiting, and admissions (79 percent) and managing institutional brand (71 percent). For public universities, these two issues scored 11 percent and 16 percent lower, respectively. Public universities, in turn, are interested in a different set of issues that are not broadly important to their private university counterparts. These issues include managing the budget environment (71 percent), recruiting non-resident and international students (68 percent), raising student academic quality (68 percent), and improving student retention rates (65 percent). Each of these issues scored between 21 percent and 36 percent lower among the private university cohort.

These are just some of the findings from Eduventures’ Learning Collaborative Program for Enrollment Management survey of the market. Upcoming research the Learning Collaborative will undertake to help its member institutions includes providing baselines of their performance; comparing peer data benchmarks; identifying management best practices relative to managing affordability; marketing to the Millennial Generation; building a strong value proposition for diverse student groups; managing the economics of retention; and building out-of-state recruiting capabilities. For more information on the findings from this research and Eduventures’ Learning Collaborative programs, contact Tony Bernez at 617.532.6084 or tbernez@eduventures.com.

About Eduventures, LLC

For more than a decade, Eduventures, LLC, has been the most trusted name in education for market research, consulting services, and peer networking. Its clients include senior administrators and executives from leading educational institutions and companies serving the pre-K-12, higher education, and corporate learning markets, as well as decision-makers in government agencies and the investment community. For more information, visit http://www.eduventures.com.

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