Turmoil In Higher Education: Enrollment Management

In a number of discussions with college and university presidents and provosts over this last year, they have confidentially shared with me the frightening state of new and continuing student enrollments. We don't even need to mention what has happened to Law Schools from 2010! The downturn in LSAT takers hit an all time low in 2014. Only now, has there been an increase in LSAT takers in the summer and fall of 2015. "Who knows what the next five years will bring us. I am not optimistic" said one Law School Dean.

But college and university presidents are placing more emphasis on enrollment success than ever before. We will see increasing costs in the higher education marketplace in 2016 and for years to come. Discounting college tuition and fees has reached epic proportions reaching the upper 50% range and now reaching into the lower 60% range for many institutions. I worked with one regional state university that was approaching a 79% discount rate for instate freshmen. I told that college president at that rate, "you should stop enrolling instate freshmen or significantly change how you do business". They changed their method to ensure that they attract the "right" type of students while not "Breaking the Bank." They really had no choice!!

The number of requests I have received in the last year to oversee and manage national searches in admissions and enrollment has never been greater. College presidents are very willing to pay whatever it takes to attract the very best in the business, give them the resources to accomplish miracles, and yet look for a very quick turn around. Enrollment Management takes patience, excellent planning, solid market analysis, a well trained staff of admissions professionals, and an entire college community working together. Without all these elements and more, most will fail.