Magazine article The Presidency

Q & A: How to Survive an Enrollment Meltdown

Magazine article The Presidency

Q & A: How to Survive an Enrollment Meltdown

Article excerpt

What's the biggest mistake that institutions make when faced with declining enrollment?

Institutions assume it is either a recruiting or a brand problem. When narrowing the problem set in this manner, you also narrow the range of solutions. Many recruiting problems result from too many colleges and universities offering the same basic programs. Rather than scrutinizing recruiting, it might be a good idea for some institutions to develop an array of academic programs that are 1) in demand and 2) not offered by competitors. Colleges and universities need to think more broadly. Focusing on enrollment and financial aid is generally more politically correct because it points the finder away from the sacred cow (what is taught and by whom). The marketplace is telling us that we have too many institutions largely teaching the same things the same way for the same cost. Oddly, most colleges and universities teach marketing but they are very reluctant to do marketing.

If demographic projections are pointing downward, what are the first things an institution should do to maintain current enrollment levels?

There are eight to 10 sources of revenue for a typical institution. …

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