For most schools, 25-30% of new enrollments are achieved May through August. As an enrollment director, you make a big impact! Our webinar series this month is entitled, "Enrollment Blitz," and is designed to help you grow over the summer months.
You are integral in creating the future of the school. You are the face of the school, building relationships with families and influencers in your target market. You put action into the vision and mission of the school through the selection and onboarding of new students. It is an important job that also has some BIG challenges.
Foremost is working through the hot summer months when your colleagues may be on vacation. While the admissions season is now 24/7/365, the summer months are particularly important in most schools to grow enrollment. You have challenges and obstacles but victory truly can be yours if you plan your summers right.
If you want to prevent a stressful, anxiety filled "fourth quarter," then consider these strategies for growth.
Re-Enrollment--This is your low hanging fruit! It is vital to personally contact every family that has not re-enrolled before school is out. Once the school year ends, it's much harder to connect with them but keep trying. Create your own marketing team of coaches, teachers, and administrators to reach out to these families. Ask coaches, for example, to send personal emails encouraging students who are on the fence to join the coach's summer camp.
The data proves that the more touches, the more likely they will return. Make arrangements to connect with students and families who left a year or two ago. They may have "buyers remorse" from their new school.
Staffing & Training--As summer approaches, are you cross training all of your admissions ambassadors to do each other's jobs? Everyone on your team should be able to give a tour and servant leadership reins during the summer. To allow your school to continue to run as a smooth organization, cross training is essential to become an effective and efficient team as teammates are come and go.
Processes--Summer is the season of the year where your efforts to digitize and network your organization together comes to light. As your school enters summer, administrators and teachers scatter and are no longer in one location. Make sure you are able to stay connected with them and know their primary form of communication. Establish deadlines for tasks to be accomplished and provide for the virtual review of transcripts, teacher evaluations, principal evaluations, and paperwork from the applicants school.
One of your best strategic resources is the data and trends of past enrollment and applicant trends for the past three years for the months of May-August. When you know your school's trends, you can gear your marketing dollars in the most effective direction.
Staging & Story-Telling--Since your campus may be sparse over the summer, make use of your unique ability to paint the picture of a day in the life of a student in your school. The admission team has to be master storytellers during the summer since the school feels so different. Ask a couple of teachers to leave their classrooms set up as "show rooms" (projects, posters, storyboards all remain) and place pictures at certain points in your tour route to best capture the school's culture. For example, ask the art teacher leave behind the best projects on display.
Pre-walk the tour and make sure lights are on, no maintenance is taking place during the tour, and the room has remained set up. A vital part of your admissions team is the facilities manager. Let him/her know your schedule and work collaboratively. You would hate to begin to show a room and you unexpectedly discover the facilities manager in a hasmat suit cleaning mold!
In life, it is not the will to win (everybody wants to win!) but it is those who have the will to prepare who succeed. Remove stress and anxiety in your enrollment fourth quarter and own your summers!