You already know that campus visits influence the likelihood that a student will enroll at your institution. Unfortunately, less than 10% of undergraduate prospects at most institutions ever participate in a campus visit.
Most institutions are housing an untapped reservoir of campus visitors through existing pre-college programs (e.g., summer camps, sports clinics, academic events, and dual enrollment programs). Pre-college programs draw potential prospects with demonstrated interest and emotional attachment to your institution, and at many institutions the quantity of pre-college program attendees is sizable—they surpass the number of undergraduate enrollments at most colleges and universities we’ve spoken to.
Current pre-college program data collection suffers from myriad challenges. Often, programs are hosted by various units across campus, resulting in data silos and inconsistent collection and storage systems. Lacking direction from admissions on the recruitment benefits of these data, their collection and management receives low priority, with many data missing or incomplete. We must hard-wire capture to convert pre-college participants to prospects.
Collecting the right data, right now
With fall quickly approaching, a complete overhaul of data collection processes for pre-college programs may not be possible. Instead, assign an admissions representative to oversee existing collection processes and highlight the importance of transmitting pre-college participants’ information to admissions for later follow-up. Administrators at Ferris State University implemented this practice after recognizing that data required for admissions follow-up was not being collected by the pre-college programs.
Future investments simplify data collection
Moving forward, institutions should look to investments in staffing and/or technology to transform pre-college participant data collection from a useful afterthought to a hard-wired process. Although investments in additional FTEs may seem daunting, the potential revenue gains outweigh the costs. Wichita State University employs dedicated dual enrollment outreach and program coordinators to oversee prospect data collection and follow-up communications plans. The in-person approach bridges silos presented by disparate programs that are often isolated from the office of admissions. The investment may yield impressive results—approximately 30% of dual enrollment students are already enrolling as undergraduates at Wichita State, for an estimated $1.5 million in annual tuition revenue. These results can be contrasted with a seven percent conversion rate at a similar institution with no recruitment plan in place.
Institutions that aren’t facing internal resistance to recruiting pre-college program attendees have streamlined lead capture by automating data collection and follow-up communications. Franciscan University of Steubenville found that syncing pre-college program registration forms with admissions CRMs reduced the workload for campus administrators and participants while minimizing inaccurate or incomplete data resulting from rushed in-person collection.
Learn more about pre-college participant data collection
To learn more about these and other strategies for pre-college participant data collection and outreach, watch our on-demand webconference, “Leveraging Pre-College Programs for Recruitment.”