Use these summer enrollment trends to inform your independent school plans this year

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Use these summer enrollment trends to inform your independent school plans this year

Key takeaways from EAB’s summer 2020 enrollment pulse surveys

As COVID-19 began to unfold, we were asked by enrollment leaders at our partner schools what was happening with enrollment across the country. From summer retention to fall recruitment, COVID-19 brought a series of new enrollment challenges and uncertainties for independent schools.

To better understand these trends, we created a pulse survey for enrollment managers to report their enrollment trends month-over-month. We conducted three installments of the Enrollment Pulse Survey between May and August, where we asked enrollment managers to share enrollment data, financial aid needs, ongoing retention strategies, and how they were working to recruit next year’s class. 

Over the course of the summer, 76 schools participated in an enrollment pulse survey, representing 23 states from across the U.S. This data allowed us to assess how COVID-19 was impacting independent school enrollment and how schools were shifting in their response to new challenges and opportunities.

The videos below provide a big picture overview of our summer series, as well as a deeper dive into our most recent survey’s data. Each video highlights one area of our findings: key takeaways, overall enrollment and retention strategies, tuition and financial aid, and recruitment and digital marketing strategies.

Key takeaways: Enrollment remained steady, with increased demand for aid and use of financial retention levers

Review what we learned about independent school enrollment trends amidst COVID-19.

Overall enrollment and retention strategies: Schools saw slight increase in enrollment across divisions, prioritizing financial levers to retain families

Take a closer look at how independent school enrollment changed month-to-month over the course of summer 2020 and the pandemic.

Tuition and financial aid: Despite increase in requests for financial aid, schools did not see the scale of demand many had expected

Examine the near-universal increase in requests for financial aid due to the pandemic.

Recruitment and digital marketing strategies: Majority of schools introduce new virtual recruitment strategies in response to COVID-19

See what survey data revealed about virtual vs. in-person recruitment efforts, with events ranging from tours and panels to open houses.

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