The Life-Changing Work of Ginger Young

John W. Dysart President The Dysart Group Enrollment Management is an important division at any college or university. It is important because it addresses the very issues that define our purpose in higher education. We are, in fact, many things and seek to resolve many problems and accomplish myriad goals. But in essence, higher education is about teaching students, retaining students and graduating students with the skills necessary to become successful citizens. Retention and graduation rates may be the most difficult challenges faced by the majority of colleges and universities in this country. For much of the higher education market, […]

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Tuition Discounting: An Institution’s Friend or Foe?

Audra Kahr Chief Financial Officer & Treasurer Cedar Crest College October 2016 begins an unprecedented time in Student Financial Services/Financial Aid offices nationwide. The launch of the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) “prior year” release has made institutions pause across the country as they evaluate how to navigate through a new normal. There are more questions than answers as we inch closer to the enrollment cycle for fiscal year 2017/18. Institutions know they are competing for a decreasing population of college aged freshman nationally, with some states experiencing a sharper decline than others. With fierce competition comes the […]

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Lamar State College-Port Arthur Engineers a Recruitment Marvel

John W. Dysart President The Dysart Group It had been a difficult period for enrollment at Lamar State College-Port Arthur. Applications and acceptances had been on a downward spiral and new student enrollments had dropped nearly 50% since 2009. These trends occurred during a time of tight budgets and declining funding for public colleges and universities. This community college in Texas needed a real enrollment overhaul. I had the pleasure of working with the new President, Dr. Betty Reynard and the newly minted Dean of Student Services (chief enrollment officer), Dr. Deborrah Hebert early last year to design and implement […]

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A Real Game Changer in College and University Financial Aid Continued:

John W. Dysart President The Dysart Group The Obama administration has initiated a major change to the traditional financial aid cycle for colleges and universities. It was announced on September 14, 2015. Determining eligibility for federal financial aid in the past has been based upon the prior year tax returns. During a normal cycle for students intending to enroll in Fall 2016, financial aid eligibility is based upon the completed 2015 federal tax returns. The use of “prior year” tax information has been the requirement for decades. All of that changes for the coming Fall 2017 cycle. Various groups, including […]

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Using Best Enrollment Practices – When They Are Needed Most

Dr. Marylouise Fennell Principal Hyatt-Fennell Dr. Scott D. Miller President Virginia Wesleyan College Summer months are a critical period for college admissions offices. That’s when administrators are assessing accomplishments from the previous year, and dealing with potential shortfalls for the upcoming year. Even before July and August, however, enrollment professionals begin holding their breath. Usually by May, room-deposit trends are well established, signaling whether the enrollment staff will celebrate or commiserate. On most private college campuses, even a slight decrease in net revenue and yield, established by what happens in the admissions office, can translate into layoffs and cutbacks. It is critical therefore, that college CEOs closely monitor and encourage […]

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Louisiana State University at Alexandria Continues Unprecedented Growth

The last decade has been extremely difficult for public colleges and universities in Louisiana. Tax cuts and funding reductions have decimated the budgets of public institutions. Consider the following: Louisiana has cut $684 million dollars from public higher education since 2008. This amounts to a 40% reduction in the last decade. The state has cut funding more than any other state in the country. Louisiana still faces a $900 million deficit for the current year so additional cuts are likely. It has been estimated that another $70 million could be cut from the higher education budget. One institution is growing […]

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Enrollment Marketing 101: Positioning Your Website and Printed Publications for Success

Having advised over a hundred institutions about effective communications for student recruitment, we’ve learned a troubling truth: too often, administrators choose outmoded web and publication design strategies that appeal to their personal tastes rather than approaches tested through focus groups. Rule number one in enrollment management is know your audience. The student recruitment landscape today is driven by texting and social media. Yet many colleges and universities rely on a mixed-use publication policy— writing in a content-heavy style for alumni and friends of all generations, and then applying the same publication strategy to communicating with prospective students. Younger audiences, the […]

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Recruitment and Financial Aid Strategies are Changing at Many Graduate Schools

The marketplace for graduate schools is changing. Many colleges and universities have been implementing significant adjustments to their recruitment and financial aid tactics and strategies to respond to the new, more challenging landscape. Across the country, colleges and universities are looking for revenue streams and the pressure is on graduate programs to produce revenue like never before. Even many of the most prestigious institutions are no longer able to rely on academic reputations alone to meet their graduate enrollment objectives. Competition continues to increase as more and more schools add new graduate offerings. Opportunities for students to cover their graduate […]

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Collaboration and Priority Ideas at the Yes We Must Coalition Conference in Roanoke, VA

The Yes We Must Coalition is a group of 39 private colleges and universities dedicated to providing access and ensuring success for low income/first-generation college students. Member institutions educate large numbers of needy students and more than half of their total enrollments are comprised of students eligible for the Federal Pell Grant. The organization recently held a conference in Roanoke, Virginia that was attended by 139 administrators from 32 member institutions. The idea was to provide an opportunity for collaboration and discussion. The conference ended with the chance for attendees to sign up to collaborate on a number of future […]

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Communications Strategies for Enrollment Staff

Competition for prospective students’ attention has never been fiercer. The congested higher education marketplace means that every communication between colleges and prospective students must further institutional branding and messaging. With the regular development of new technologies, a sound communication strategy has become paramount as we establish a public “face” for the institution to new audiences. In this issue of “Enrollment Manager” we will address staff communications priorities, operational strategies and accountability. We will offer some suggestions from our experience that will help you make every communication count while enabling your messaging to stand out among others. The use of an […]

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