Three More Colleges Announce Permanent Closure
John W. Dysart
The Dysart Group
In recent weeks, three more colleges have announced that they will close permanently. This continues the unfortunate trend of institutional closures. The reasons are numerous:
- Demographic declines in the national customer base mean fewer available students.
- Many colleges and universities have never recovered from the impact of the pandemic.
- More families question the ROI of a college education.
The enrollment challenges are real and unlikely to improve. Despite the obstacles, many colleges and universities have been able to maintain enrollments and even grow during these difficult times. What can enrollment leaders do to increase the odds of enrollment stability and even growth?
- Take a hard look at your current strategies and practices. Has your enrollment plan evolved in response to financial and demographic challenges?
- Are you effectively utilizing the data in your recruitment operation? Do you know if your admission obstacle is in the inquiry pool, the application count or in conversion rates?
- Are you taking advantage of social media and digital platforms in your communication process with applicants for admission and their families?
- Have you introduced real accountability into your recruitment plan?
- Does your financial aid process specifically support your goals regarding recruitment and retention?
- Is your institutional aid program sufficiently funded to provide access and to recognize academic achievement?
- Do you have adequate reporting mechanisms and accountability metrics when it comes to retention?
- Consider bringing in an outside professional to help you review current practices and recent outcomes.
While the enrollment cliff is real, it is not determinate. You can ensure your college is among the winners if you take bold action and implement serious changes to produce better outcomes.