Admissions, Higher Ed

A Fresh Admission Strategy to Hit Goals

Parchment Staff  •  Apr 20, 2023  •  Blog
Student Admissions Strategy

Recent admission seasons have been lackluster for many higher education institutions. The undergraduate enrollment rate fell 9.4% between the start of the global health crisis into fall of 2022. It’s no wonder that Admissions teams seek proven yet adaptable strategies to boost student enrollment, especially as the downward trend has impacted schools

Reaching your school or college admittance targets requires applying a fresh perspective to existing workflows and resources. In the current evolving economic and social environment, diligent Admissions teams will need robust data intelligence woven into every strategy to process and admit a new class with diverse needs, expectations, and backgrounds. 

Is your Admissions team equipped with the data analysis it needs to reach this year’s enrollment goals?

Overcome Your Admissions Team’s Challenges with Technology

You shape the relationship a student may have with the institution. Integral to an Admission officer’s job are activities that engage, educate and guide prospective students and their parents or guardians through electronic and in-person touchpoints. Moreover, the nature of admissions work is time-consuming. 

You need an easy-to-use way to automate high volumes of data from various digital platforms, direct communications, and events. Parchment created Receive to speed up the transcript request and verification process and to reduce errors — while ensuring FERPA compliance.

Ensuring that your Admissions team can employ all the information effectively hinges on the optimal use of technology from higher education platforms such as:

  • Customer relationship management (CRM) for cultivating a positive student relationship.
  • Content management system (CMS) for organizing and segmenting content to better engage with prospective students.
  • Student information system (SIS) for active application file management on-premises or in the cloud.

Let’s get into ways your team can use technology to reinvigorate its strategy for admission season.

Update the Student Application Experience

Because the enrollment process can quickly make students feel overwhelmed, offering a modern and streamlined student application experience can ease the burden on both institutions and students. This is an effective way to boost enrollment efforts long-term.

Paperless Application Process
A dedicated login page simplifies the application process for students. This allows learners to easily access relevant and critical information about student aid/grants and campus life, contact the school or specific departments, or even receive guidance about their application.

Video Content
Engaging video content on your website and social media platforms are a must. The content could cover any number of relevant questions a prospective student may have, including how to complete an application with your college or university. Your CMS can help to distribute this content and share it with your Admissions team when there is an opportunity to engage with a student.

Chat Bots
Chat Bots offer around-the-clock answers to routine questions like where to start the application process and whom to connect with for more personalized guidance.

Virtual Tours
A virtual tour of your college campus that students can enjoy on their smartphones (format for both desktop and mobile device) can help educate and spark a student’s imagination about campus life.

Nurture Connections
Create meaningful connections with a CRM that can help distribute leads and ensure follow-up with a student or their parents. By automating the workflow for leads from your student portal, school social media platforms, or online registration, you won’t miss an opportunity to connect and build those crucial relationships with students. 

Targeted recruitment tech helps institutions connect with students when they submit transcripts. Institutions using Parchment Recruit have a 39% yield rate.

Even with all of these strategies at play, making the application experience less confusing, more reliable, and more secure is a priority with promise.

Have Your Best Admission Season Yet

After the drop in undergraduate enrollment in spring 2022, the fall college admission season shaped up to be the best one yet for some, but not all higher education institutions. 

Harvard University had an 8.2% increase in applications between 2021 and 2022. Of the 42,749 applications, only 1,962 students (4.6% yield) got into the elite private university. 

In contrast, enrollment in the public college sector declined by 5% with community colleges losing 351,000 students since 2020. The perceived value of an education to live a good life is one possible reason for the decrease in enrollment. How Admissions tackles shifts in perception about a higher education’s usefulness in finding a well-paying job, buying a home, and having their desired lifestyle is critical for enrollment yield. 

By automating the admissions process with Software as a Service (SaaS) solutions like Receive – Data Automation, your Admission officers can focus on high-priority projects, spend more time building bridges with key populations, address the needs of current student enrollment, and more. 

Preparation is Key to Success

Administrators know how critical preparation and resourcing are to have a successful admission season. There are many questions to answer like where should we send recruitment officers this year? Has our school marketing performed as planned? What are our under-explored prospect pools? 

No matter what your school’s unique admissions challenges are, without trustworthy, accurate student data, you will struggle to formulate an effective strategy. 

Process More with Less

A digital application platform that integrates with your education CRM can help your team manage and report on key data such as how many submissions came through in a given period of time. Imagine being able to review historical data from transcripts and applications without opening a drawer. When was the last time you created a report without entering data into a spreadsheet? 

Automating your admissions data analysis removes cumbersome, time-consuming tasks, enabling your people to do more planning and less paperwork. Receive is designed to be a unified “inbox” storing and organizing all required application documents. However, technology doesn’t replace wisdom from experience. 

Set Goals High Enough

Seasoned administrators know improving college enrollment is more than increasing the volume of applications received; it’s also about identifying the right-fit applicants. Who will benefit most from an education at your college or university? On the flip side, students are wondering, is a post-secondary degree worth it? 

Lower undergrad enrollment in the fall of 2022 shows that prospective students are still weighing the cost and benefit of higher education. In these recovery years since COVID-19, it’s vital to set admission goals at an attainable level as colleges and universities are making crucial adjustments to meet students’ needs.

Understanding how your admissions process impacts student enrollment at your school or college can help you to save time and money and ensure the right-fit high school seniors, transfers or nontraditional students are attending classes at your school. Greater insight culled from enrollment data can be automated and streamlined to help Admissions make more informed decisions about accepting a given prospective student.

Parchment for Your School’s Admission Strategy

Meeting the enrollment goals of your college in a time of change requires a fresh approach to the admission process.

Parchment’s web-based applications for higher education can amplify your team’s efforts. Receive and Recruit are part of a one-of-a-kind Admissions & Enrollment platform that increases transcript automation, helps engage prospective students with data analytics, and identifies students that are best-fit for your institution.

Come join the thousands of higher education institutions that already use Parchment Receive and Recruit to get more efficient and targeted in the Admissions Office. Please fill out the form below. 

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Admissions Enrollment Advisor looking at student transcripts