Establishing Fourth Quarter Enrollment Priorities

John W. Dysart
The Dysart Group, Inc.

There are only a couple months left before the start of another school year and much to be done.
1.How many of your admission applicants and returning students have yet to apply for financial aid? Given the state of the economy, it is time to take extra measures to ensure all of these students apply for aid and are awarded before the end of August.  Think about telephone outreach campaigns and special mailings. Text messaging and social networks can also be effective.

2. How many of your admission applicants and returning students have been awarded financial aid but are still missing required documents?  Again, additional steps can still be taken to ensure financial aid folders are complete before the start of classes.  Recall that incomplete folders delay aid disbursements and can negatively impact cash flow.
3. This is probably the last chance to secure registrations for continuing students who have not completed course schedules for the next term.  Proactively contacting these students will be more effective than relying on them to contact their academic advisors.
4. How about fourth quarter outreach to your most at-risk population of returning students?  Rising sophomores are the least likely to return.  While everyone is busy this time of year, you might want to establish a priority to contact all of these students by telephone just to welcome them back in the month of July. If there are problems, you still have a little time to resolve issues so they will re-enroll.
5.Have your Business Office personnel identified all the students with outstanding balances and made serious attempts to contact these students over the summer? There is still time. You may want to involve representatives from the Financial Aid Office in case solutions can be found by increasing eligibility for additional loans and grants.
6.Have representatives from the Academic division made every effort to work with students struggling with academic progress issues? Sometimes students get into trouble and do not really understand that there may be opportunities for appeal.
7.Do you have active admission applicants whose admission folders are still incomplete? If you are still accepting students for Fall 2010, you may want to follow up with these students immediately so they still have a chance to be accepted and enroll.
Time is running out, but much can be accomplished in the last two months.