Re-Recruiting Stop-Outs

John W. Dysart President The Dysart Group As colleges and universities struggle with demographic declines, there exists a significant source of prospective enrollments from students who attended college but never completed. The National Student Clearinghouse Research Center reports that there are more than 39 million such students. Now is the time to start trying to re-enroll students your institution has lost. Identify students who have departed in good academic standing over the last five years. Aggressively contact them via telephone, email and text messaging inviting them to return. Demonstrate a clear path for degree attainment. Be willing to work with […]

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Admissions and Faculty Collaboration: A Tool for Enrollment Success

Tracey Dysart Ford Vice President of University Partnerships (South) enrollmentFUEL It seems no matter how large or small the university, the connection between faculty and the enrollment team is paramount. In a time when so many are questioning the value of higher education, the faculty are key to admissions and recruitment success. While most of us understand that academic marketing and faculty interaction should be a part of the recruitment plan for graduate and adult learners, a big opportunity is missed if collaboration is not also sought for the traditional undergraduate recruitment program. Parents and students need to see the […]

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Five Ways Campus Communities Can Embrace Bold Change

Dr. Marylouise Fennell Principal Hyatt-Fennell Dr. Scott D. Miller President Virginia Wesleyan University In recent years, the traditional landscape of higher education has been repeatedly disrupted by one serious difficulty after another. From the logistical and financial complications of safely delivering a high-quality education during the COVID–19 pandemic to fluctuating enrollment trends across many fields of study, institutions of higher education are facing not just one era-defining dilemma but a confluence of intersecting challenges. Developing solutions for these problems will require adopting new strategies and behaviors at every level of the educational experience and reconsidering all aspects of how a […]

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The Question of Tuition Increases for Fall 2022

John W. Dysart President The Dysart Group Many colleges and universities elected to freeze tuition over the last couple of years in response to declining enrollments, economic downturns and the pandemic.  Market conditions made it more difficult for many families to absorb increased costs, and colleges and universities responded by keeping tuition rates steady or limiting the size of any increases. The pandemic seems to be waning and unemployment continues to drop.  Unfortunately, demographic obstacles have not changed, colleges continue to struggle to secure enrollments. Increased federal expenditures in recent years have fueled inflation, and the war in Ukraine has […]

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The Bottom Line on Student Recruitment

Dr. Marylouise Fennell Principal Hyatt-Fennell Dr. Scott D. Miller President Virginia Wesleyan University The battle for attracting incoming students is in its fiercest and final days.  At this time of year, every interaction with a prospective student is incredibly important as every student counts.  And while some institutions are enjoying record fundraising dollars from private donors and public fund allocations, many, many institutions are still reeling from the financial realities of the pandemic, doing their best to stay afloat. According to the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center, more than 1 million undergraduate students have gone missing since the start of […]

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Alice Lloyd College Increases Enrollment, Despite Pandemic

John W. Dysart President The Dysart Group Alice Lloyd College has a unique mission and is a distinctive institution.  It is dedicated to serving students in the Appalachia region and is one of only a handful of work colleges in the United States.  At Alice Lloyd, the work college designation means that students do not pay traditional tuition. Like many private colleges and universities throughout the United States, Alice Lloyd College experienced declines in enrollment over the last few years. Access is a critical issue even for a college that does not charge tuition, as fees for room and board […]

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New Year, New U: The Contemporary Transformational Model for Liberal Arts Colleges

Dr. Marylouise Fennell Principal Hyatt-Fennell Dr. Scott D. Miller President Virginia Wesleyan University It’s 2022, and the future is now.  In enrollment, we cannot afford to wait until things “go back to normal.”  There is no normal, anymore.  There is only now and how we’re going to make our goals now and in the future. Despite all the changes and challenges since 2020, enrollment models that focus attention on graduate, special session (mini-term), early enrollment (pre-collegiate), and online (non-traditional) remain highly successful.  The world has changed, and thus, our students have changed.  Continuing to focus attention on an enrollment model […]

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Emory & Henry College Enrolls Largest Class in 185-Year History, despite the pandemic

John W. Dysart President The Dysart Group I had the pleasure of working with Dr. John Wells when he was chief academic and enrollment officer at a University in North Carolina. During our collaboration, the University enrolled the largest number of new students in at least thirty years. Dr. Wells assumed the presidency at Emory & Henry College in 2019. He was faced with a declining enrollment exacerbated by the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. We collaborated to implement a new recruitment and financial aid model. In Fall 2021, the College was able to increase freshmen enrollments by 63 percent […]

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From the Front Line of Admissions

Dr. Marylouise Fennell Principal Hyatt-Fennell Dr. Scott D. Miller President Virginia Wesleyan University These days, most colleges exist in a buyer’s market. Prospective parents and their students have an unprecedented array of higher education options from which to choose — large and small, public and private, four-year and two-year, online and for-profit. The notion of “college” has long since ceased to denote only the residential, four-year experience, and the ongoing pandemic has only underscored this more. Now you can assemble a higher-education package as easily as you can buy furnishings for a new house. What’s changed? Higher education is — […]

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Reaching Out to Students Lost Due to Vaccination Policies

John W. Dysart President The Dysart Group Colleges and universities have lost students this year because of their COVID-19 vaccination policies. Some currently enrolled students opted not to return, and some prospective students elected to postpose enrollment or attend a competing institution due to vaccination policies. Still others took advantage of an option to attend class virtually. I’m not interested in getting into a discussion of which approach to vaccines is best for colleges and universities. The truth is that some students elected not to enroll because they did not want to be vaccinated and others elected not to enroll […]

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