CUnet Releases 2012 Higher Education Enrollment Marketing Statistics

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Third annual benchmarking report shows colleges and universities looking online to recruit and enroll prospective students

CUnet today announced the release of its 2012 Marketing Benchmarking Report for Not-for-Profit Schools. The report, now in its third year, is the product of a major survey of the higher education marketing industry. It serves to identify trends, best practices, and issues facing professionals in recruitment, enrollment marketing and admissions.

“This year’s survey illustrated fundamental changes in the way colleges and universities are approaching enrollment marketing,” said Todd Eicher, President of CUnet. “We’re seeing a dramatic shift in the way traditional schools recruit students, with online marketing tools becoming increasingly important. As colleges and universities realize that students expect to receive information online all the time—through social media platforms, on their phones, or their email inbox—they are realizing the need for a whole new approach to enrollment marketing.”

Some key findings from the report include:

  •     84% of schools agreed that traditional marketing methods alone are no longer enough to meet enrollment goals.
  •     Despite significant interest in online programs, 42% of survey respondents did not report online enrollment figures, indicating that there may be room for growth in the online education space.
  •     Among online marketing channels, social media and email are the most commonly noted areas of focus, with 49% and 33% of schools increasing investments in these two areas, respectively.
  •     Outsourcing certain online marketing functions is increasingly common, with over 40% of schools indicating that they are outsourcing or are planning to outsource paid search or pay-per-click services.

These results and other findings from the survey will be discussed in CUnet’s September Market Insights webinar, taking place on Sept. 20 at 2:00 p.m. Eastern. The webinar will be presented by Kim Kelly, Managing Director at CUnet, and Cam Cruickshank, Founder of Enrollment Builders, a leading provider of enrollment management consulting services.

"For the past three years, CUnet’s annual survey has offered key data points and uncovered important trends for enrollment marketers," said Dr. Cruickshank. “With higher education facing significant changes, the information presented in this report is more important than ever. I look forward to sharing the insights uncovered by the 2012 annual survey and examining their implications for those working in this sector.”

Professionals working within the areas of higher education marketing, recruitment and admissions can attend the webinar at no cost by registering at They can also request a copy of the 2012 Benchmarking Report at

The survey was conducted among more than 300 marketing professionals in higher education from March 27 to April 13, 2012.

About CUnet
For over nine years, CUnet’s enrollment marketing experts have helped colleges and universities to reach, recruit and enroll the best students for their programs. With the industry’s leading technology platform, a comprehensive set of online marketing services, and a network of targeted media providers, CUnet delivers qualified inquiries to meet enrollment and retention goals. CUnet’s recruitment marketing services are supported by a network of proprietary websites, including their flagship site,, and the student advisor service. CUnet is dedicated to providing the highest standards of transparency and compliance while promoting ethical marketing practices in postsecondary education. Headquartered in Paramus, NJ, CUnet is a subsidiary of Nelnet (NYSE: NNI), a leader in education planning and financing for more than 30 years. For more information, visit


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Colleen Gauthier, Senior Manager, Corporate Marketing
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