The focus of a modern higher ed admissions team—recruit and enroll students—hasn’t fundamentally changed much over the years. However, the strategies to recruit and enroll have evolved, and admissions’ role in generating revenue is taking center stage.
Thinking about admissions in terms of dollars and cents might not always be pleasant, but modern admissions teams can’t ignore the reality. Meeting and exceeding enrollment goals helps the institution. Falling short can hurt your school’s bottom line.
In this way, admissions teams must be efficient and productive while effectively serving prospects and students. You need to empower current employees to seize this opportunity, and you also need to hire the right people who can increase the department’s output.
Here are some strategies for developing and sustaining high-performance admissions teams to take you into the future.
1. Emphasize the importance of the admissions team.
Admissions departments are much more than administrative cogs in the university machine. These teams are revenue engines, contributing to the overall mission and growth of the higher ed institution. Without students, there’s no university, and without an admissions team, there aren’t any students.
Of course, you might already embrace this philosophy, but it’s essential that your team embrace it as well. Emphasize to your coworkers (and potential coworkers) that attracting and enrolling students helps those students’ dreams come true. What your team is doing is more than just a job—it supports the school’s mission of shaping people’s minds and advancing knowledge. Your actions and how you lead by example go a long way toward inspiring the admissions team to look beyond their day-to-day duties.
2. Develop a performance mindset.
Many admissions teams handle the core functions of the department well. However, do these teams go about their everyday tasks with improvement and ambitious goals in mind, or are they just doing their jobs and calling it a day? High-performing teams are focused on not only the student, but also the overall objectives of the department and the institution.
Instilling a performance mindset with your employees emphasizes their role in driving the department’s mission as well as the school’s mission. Key performance indicators (KPIs) can be set as goals to strive for and as reminders that every action and interaction matters. Encourage your team to go above and beyond, and when hiring, look for candidates who value productivity, innovation, and enthusiasm.
3. Build a versatile team.
Admissions departments at higher ed institutions are at a unique crossroads: As much as data and analytics are contributing to the enrollment operation, a student-centric strategy must be overarching. Members of the admissions team should be equipped with a holistic set of skills including strategic planning communication, relationship building, data analytics and technological adaptability. How you train your current staffers and hire new ones should reflect these modern requirements.
Similarly, admissions teams must become experts in working with other teams across the university, including marketing, finance, alumni management, academic departments, and more. A coordinated approach helps build a consistent and personalized student experience throughout the admissions and enrollment process.
4. Provide tools for success.
Technology has greatly enhanced the admissions and enrollment process—and it has greatly raised expectations. Potential students, many of whom don’t remember a time before smartphones, demand an intuitive, reliable experience when they interact with your team.
Make your employees’ jobs easier by providing them with modern software to seamlessly communicate with prospects and enrich the admissions and enrollment process. Some valuable tools that can help your high-performing team include:
- Constituent relationship management (CRM): Track the student journey from someone’s first interaction to application, offer, acceptance, and enrollment—and beyond—with one easy-to-use CRM.
- Process automation: Streamline your admissions journey with automated workflows that trigger emails and reminders based on certain actions.
- Lead nurturing and prospecting: After creating landing pages to convert more leads, track their effectiveness and quickly identify qualified prospects based on their interests and behavior.
- Feature-rich admissions portal: A modern school-branded admissions portal should not only provide a great experience for the applicant, but also improve conversion rates and increase the number of quality applications.
- Analytics and reporting: Actionable, real-time data on enrollment KPIs will help the admissions team with accurate forecasting and better pipeline management.
Get a step ahead on the future of higher ed admissions.
The future of higher ed admissions has arrived, and connecting with students has become more important than ever. Full Fabric offers modern solutions that impress prospects and empower admissions teams. Schedule a demo to learn more.