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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21st Century Job Description for an Admission Professional in a Post-Pandemic, Competitive Market

John W. Dysart President The Dysart Group   The college admission vocation has changed so much in the last 25 years.  While the front-line influencers (admission counselors, advisors or representatives) are still the most important and influential professionals, their roles must evolve to meet the new challenges. Demographics are still discouraging as the decline in high school graduates will continue. Shifts in ethnicity, gender, levels of pre-enrollment preparation and ability to pay will be a constant for years to come. Even as several colleges and universities close, the competition for students is intensifying. We have not yet been able to […]

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Enrollment Management: The New Normal

Dr. Marylouise Fennell Principal Hyatt-Fennell Dr. Scott D. Miller President Virginia Wesleyan University   The past 18 months have been anything but normal. While we are sure there is much we would all like to forget about the pandemic, there were some invaluable lessons learned and policies created that will affect enrollment practices for years and years to come. Moreover, we can no longer hide behind the constraints of the pandemic and make excuses for our enrollment and retention efforts.  After over a year of challenges—and overcoming those challenges—we must fully embrace our capacity to change with or without the […]

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Enrollment Growth Strategies for PostPandemic Realities

Dr. Marylouise Fennell Principal Hyatt-Fennell Dr. Scott D. Miller President Virginia Wesleyan University With spring in the air and more Americans getting vaccinated every day, there’s much to look forward to for the Fall 2021 semester. But before we get ahead of ourselves, how are your enrollment strategies for this upcoming semester working? Despite reports of “application inflation,” students applying to more than 10 institutions simultaneously, and the fact that some colleges interpret the increased number of applications as a sign of their growing popularity and reputation, there is a hard reality: although many students are serious about their applications […]

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The Obstacle to Retention and Graduation No One Talks About

If the majority of your enrollments are first time freshmen, this is an issue you are unlikely to confront. If your institution, however, recruits and enrolls a large number of adult students and/or transfer students, federal and state financial aid lifetime maximums are probably going to impact the ability of many new, prospective students to enroll. Further, it could serve as a substantial barrier for your currently enrolled students to continue enrollment and/or graduate.

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Enrollment Innovation During Covid-19

As we look to 2021, we asked presidents of 10 higher education institutions – four private, three public, two community college, and one for-profit – for their thoughts leading into the new year. We summarized our discussions with these presidents and note the two biggest concerns consistent across all institutional leaders, perhaps unsurprisingly, are budget and enrollment.

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