Skip navigation
EAB Logo Navigate to the EAB Homepage Navigate to EAB home
Insight Paper

An Enrollment Leader’s Guide to Diversity Strategy

Steps you can take right now to start identifying, engaging, and enrolling more underrepresented students

Given the nation’s growing focus on diversity, equity, inclusion, and justice, the role that colleges play in fighting—or perpetuating—systemic racism and promoting social mobility is facing more scrutiny than ever before. The related challenge for enrollment leaders is perhaps best summarized by the question that so many report hearing from their boards and presidents: “Why are we not enrolling more underrepresented students?” This report aims to answer that question and to point a way forward for admission teams.

In addition to providing important high-level context on diversity strategy in higher education—crucial understanding for the framing of your own efforts—our white paper maps out concrete steps you can take to enroll more Black, Latinx, lower-income, and first-generation students, under two headings: laying the necessary groundwork and increasing conversion rates at each funnel stage.

Build a solid foundation

The first section of the white paper covers steps you’ll need to take in preparation for intensified recruitment of underrepresented students, including:

  • Clarifying your organization’s diversity-recruitment aims
  • Assessing demographic gaps in your current enrollment patterns
  • Auditing your existing capabilities for serving high-priority student populations
  • Initiating and recalibrating relationships with community-based organizations (CBOs)

Boost your conversion rates

The second section of the piece explains core approaches for converting more underrepresented students at each funnel stage, including:

  • Focusing recruitment-marketing outreach on messages proven to resonate most powerfully with underrepresented students (as determined by survey research)
  • Communicating your test-optional policy in a way that is easy to understand and that anticipates key underrepresented-student questions and concerns
  • Making an education at your school more affordable for more underrepresented students, within the limits of your school’s budget

Download the White Paper