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Partner Stories

Marketing and Enrollment Case Studies

EAB has been helping schools meet their enrollment goals for over 30 years. We provide the resources and expertise needed to reach today’s students and evolve with the changing enrollment landscape.

Whether the institution is large or small, public or private, each of the schools highlighted in this year’s Case Study Compendium has experienced significant enrollment success by leveraging Enroll360 in a way that best suits their unique goals and mission. Get the complete compendium or explore the featured schools below.

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Working with EAB offers the opportunity to fight with both hands in a challenging ring. We are no longer fighting with one hand tied behind our backs in a crowded market.

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Vice President for University Relations and Enrollment

Public Schools

State University Gains National Recognition and Triples Enrollments with Enroll360 Partnership

  • Challenge: Montana State University (MSU) once struggled to make a national name for themselves as they faced a declining recruitable market. Their institutional stability was threatened by a dwindling number of out-of-state inquiries and fewer in-state commitments. The university also wanted to realign their financial aid awards to better serve prospective students. MSU decided they needed expert guidance to address these complex challenges and reinvigorate their team.
  • Solution: EAB used a multistep approach to help MSU become a national brand while improving their financial and enrollment outcomes. EAB’s Cultivate and Apply solutions assisted MSU in finding and engaging with more right-fit students, both locally and in new markets. In 2019, MSU added EAB’s Yield solution, which enabled them to maximize staff efficiency and focus on those students most likely to yield at their institution. Finally, through the addition of EAB’s Aid solution in 2016, MSU was able to more efficiently and impactfully award aid packages, increasing their appeal with a growing pool of prospective students. 
  • Impact: MSU’s long-term partnership with EAB, along with their eagerness to innovate, has given them an unparalleled advantage over their competitors. Since 2010, the university has grown freshman enrollment by 1,300 students and increased minority enrollment by five percentage points. In 2021, the university enrolled their largest class to date, with 73% of those enrollments being influenced by EAB outreach. Their net tuition revenue has also grown by 23% since the onset of the pandemic, stabilizing MSU amid a historically challenging enrollment period.

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University Outperforms Competitors and Accelerates Enrollment Through the Pandemic with Enroll360 Partnership

  • Challenge: Foxglove University, a small public research institution located in the competitive Midwest market, faced application and enrollment declines well before the pandemic. In 2018, they reached out to EAB to make a mid-cycle course correction.
  • Solution: EAB quickly deployed a senior search and application marketing campaign. The senior search used data-driven audience selection strategies to identify missed opportunities in the university’s primary market while the application marketing campaign leveraged new creative and messaging to appeal to more prospects and build stronger student relationships. When the pandemic struck in early 2020, EAB provided strategic guidance to help Foxglove University overcome unprecedented enrollment challenges and prepare to excel despite effects of the pandemic. 
  • Impact: In less than a year of partnership, EAB helped Foxglove University increase their enrollment by 4 percent. And while the pandemic drove negative enrollment impacts across higher education in 2020, EAB’s strategic guidance helped Foxglove University to outperform their regional competitors by four percentage points that year. EAB’s support, underscored by consistent and reliable inquiry growth throughout a historically tumultuous enrollment period, positioned the university for a 23% enrollment increase from 2020 to 2021.

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Reclaiming Market Share and Strengthening Financial Sustainability with Enroll360

  • Challenge: In 2019, Goldenrod University faced significant demographic challenges: the number of in-state high school graduates was declining, with those graduating increasingly leaving for out-of-state opportunities. The school needed to create the right mix of enrollments that would provide financial sustainability for their institution while remaining a cost-effective option for students in their region. To increase enrollments and expand resources for in-state students, the university needed to simultaneously attract a greater share of students from out-of-state markets while reclaiming their in-state market share.
  • Solution: Goldenrod University partnered with EAB in 2019 with Cultivate, Apply, and Aid solutions. First and foremost, EAB identified untapped pockets of enrollment potential within core in-state markets as well as high-potential out-of-state opportunities. EAB then worked alongside the university to build and execute comprehensive marketing campaigns. Simultaneously, EAB developed both in-state and out-of-state financial aid strategies designed to amplify the impact of the university’s enrollment recruitment approach.
  • Impact: EAB helped Goldenrod University stabilize their in-state markets while also increasing their out-of-state application pool by 43% over two years. Despite the impact of COVID-19 in 2020, the university continued to grow out-of-state enrollments. With a strong financial aid plan in place, the university decreased its discount rate by four percentage points and grew net tuition revenue by more than half a million dollars in just two years of partnership. 

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Rural University Sees Record Enrollment and Net Tuition Revenue Gains with Enroll360 Partnership

  • Challenge: After decades of sluggish freshman enrollment, Jacksonville State University (JSU) decided it was time to reinvent their recruitment strategy. They wanted to build their reputation as an affordable higher education option within their local market and scale their communications and admissions process to reach more students. 
  • Solution: In late 2018, JSU implemented all four Enroll360 solutions—Cultivate, Apply, Yield, and Aid—to grow enrollments and maximize revenue. In partnership, EAB worked with JSU to optimize their audience strategy, create a seamless application experience, and execute new relationship-building strategies. Through these improvements, several other CRM innovations, and a robust communication plan including SMS, JSU’s admissions staff expanded their capacity to reach more right-fit students and nurture them from inquiry through enrollment. 
  • Impact: Over the past four years, JSU has nearly doubled their freshman enrollment—going from 1,086 students in 2018 to well over 1,900 in 2022. Freshman net tuition revenue also increased from $4.7M pre-partnership to $14.2M in 2022, while their discount rate has decreased over 13 percentage points. These record-breaking enrollment and revenue numbers have given JSU the opportunity to expand their campus and become an even stronger choice for college-seekers in Alabama and beyond.

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State College Increases Enrollments by 47% in One Cycle with Enroll360 Apply Campaign

  • Challenge: Penstemon College is a small state institution in the rural Southeast that experienced a steep decline in their inquiry pool and fierce competition in their backyard. They began to search for an enrollment partner that could help them make the most of their limited budget and find more prospective students in their local markets.
  • Solution: Due to budgetary constraints, Penstemon College decided to implement an email-only Apply campaign in April 2021. This investment helped the school get in front of more right-fit seniors and compete for students who were either looking at other institutions or considering college alternatives. EAB also worked closely with the college’s leadership to solidify their long-term enrollment strategy and provide expert guidance on enrollment events. 
  • Results: Despite launching their initial Apply campaign late in the enrollment cycle, Penstemon College was able to grow their 2021 entering class by more than 50 students, accounting for almost 10% of enrollments. After their first full cycle with Apply, the college increased their enrollments by 47% for EC22. Of their 2022 freshman applicants, 42% were influenced by EAB marketing.

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How One School Leveraged a Wisr Virtual Community to Support and Yield More Underrepresented Students

  • Challenge: This institution was looking for a way to centralize their admitted-student communications and allow admitted students to connect with one another. They also wanted to provide a virtual space where admitted students could socialize and build community, even before stepping foot on campus. 
  • Solution: In 2021, this school partnered with Wisr Virtual Communities to build an Admitted Student Network that:
    • Extended their reach beyond traditional social media with the added benefits of privacy and security
    • Allowed students to engage in public and private conversations specific to their needs, interests, and identities (e.g.,honors program community)
    • Provided data and analytics to inform their overall recruitment strategy and individual outreach
  • Impact: By engaging with relevant public and private communities on the Wisr platform, admitted students not only developed a greater sense of belonging but also deposited at a much higher rate than their peers who did not join Wisr. The platform also supported underrepresented students, including first-generation and international. Their engagement on the platform was a strong indicator of intent to enroll and allowed this institution to further improve its campus diversity.

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Private Schools

Early Results from First Year of Enroll360 Partnership: Application, Admit, and Enrollment Growth

  • Challenge: Palm Beach Atlantic University (PBA) recently positioned itself for growth after ranking nationally in the 2019 U.S. News & World Report and welcoming a new president and VPEM in 2020 and 2021, respectively. To fully realize their enrollment potential, PBA knew they would need a proven enrollment marketing partner. 
  • Solution: A longtime EAB partner at their prior institution, PBA’s new VPEM brought in multiple Enroll360 services—Cultivate, Apply, Wisr Virtual Communities, YouVisit Virtual Tour, Intersect, and Cappex—to partner on strategic enrollment management planning and ensure timely execution of their vision. With a suite of support from EAB, PBA could focus their team’s energy on building student relationships, maximizing yield, and welcoming their incoming class. 
  • Impact: Despite launching late-cycle in July 2021, PBA increased applications by 208% and admits by 223% in less than one year of partnership. Enrollments grew 37%, with more than 693 first-year students enrolling at census (Aug 2022). PBA will continue to see growth over the next cycle as their initial Cultivate contacts (previously high school sophomores and juniors) matriculate. As of January 2023, PBA is up in applications 25% year over year.

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Research University Boosts Enrollment, Academic Quality, and NTR with Enroll360 Solutions

  • Challenge: As part of their 10-year strategic plan, this private, East Coast university set out to compete with other premier STEM institutions in the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast. To accomplish this goal, Hollyhock University knew they would need to increase their academic profile while also improving the diversity of their student body. 
  • Solution: In 2013, the university partnered with EAB to execute multichannel marketing campaigns for sophomores, juniors, and seniors. This approach allowed them to build greater affinity with students over time and increased their applications by 4–24% each cycle thereafter. In 2017, EAB substantially expanded the university’s audience selection strategy in order to build an even larger pipeline of engaged students. Impressed with the results, the university then asked EAB to help them reach an institutional goal of 12k freshman applications in 2022.
  • Impact: EAB’s audience selection and marketing strategy enabled this university to increase submitted applications by 151% over 10 years. The university translated that opportunity into a 105% increase in freshman net tuition revenue, a 153% increase in students with a 4.0+ high school GPA, and a four-percentage-point increase in applications from students of color from 2020 to 2022. At the same time, the university established itself nationally as a premier institution, increasing the number of applications from 500+ miles away by 52%. 

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Small University Sees Gains Throughout Enrollment Funnel with Cultivate, Apply, and Yield Solutions

  • Challenge: Posey University is located in a highly competitive tri-state market, which has become even more challenging as students consider lower-cost options and college alternatives. The university wanted to stabilize their presence in the tri-state area while also exploring new out-of-state markets. Working with limited CRM capabilities, the university also needed assistance with maximizing their application pool. 
  • Solution: Posey University partnered with EAB late in the 2020 cycle. The university first utilized EAB’s Yield solution to quickly poll accepted students on their intent to enroll. Beginning in the 2021 cycle, Posey used EAB’s Cultivate and Apply solutions to find more right-fit students in key markets and nurture them from suspect to applicant. EAB also helped the university to recategorize their primary and secondary markets, providing clarity in their recruiting practices and enrollment reporting. Posey University also utilized EAB’s Enrollment IQ dashboard to access meaningful and timely insights about different markets, allowing them to recruit more effectively. 
  • Results: Amid one of the most unpredictable enrollment periods in recent history, EAB helped Posey University improve their enrollment outcomes. Despite significant budget constraints, the university was able to increase their presence in the tri-state area and grow their out-of-state enrollments by nine percentage points since before partnership.

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How One Institution Improved Yield with an Admitted Student Network

  • Challenge: This institution was looking for a way to build a greater sense of belonging among admitted students. They wanted to enable admitted students to connect with their peers, including both student ambassadors and fellow admits. They also wanted to support underrepresented student populations more effectively. 
  • Solution: This institution partnered with EAB’s Wisr Virtual Communities to create a branded admitted-student network that gave admitted students an opportunity to hear directly from their peers about important topics. The school was also able to engage specific student populations by creating interest- and identity-based communities that were personalized to their unique needs. This included a parent community, which generated meaningful engagement. They also used their Wisr site to promote relevant events and campus activities. 
  • Impact: Through active promotion of their Wisr site via emails, texts, QR codes, and ambassador outreach, this school was able to achieve an 83% Wisr onboarding rate. They also leveraged Wisr’s CRM integration capabilities to scale timely and relevant outreach to admitted students. Ultimately, students who joined Wisr before depositing were 6x more likely to yield than students who did not join Wisr. The school also saw strong engagement from parents and families, who were often looking for information within Wisr to support their students. Logistic-oriented posts such as“Fall Checklist” and “Move-In Day” had some of the highest interaction. 

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How One Institution Used a YouVisit Virtual Tour to Increase Their Inquiry Pool, Application Rate, and Out of State Yield

  • Challenge: While this institution was experiencing consistent funnel growth, they wanted to continue to grow their inquiry pool. Specifically, with a 68% in-state student population, they were looking for ways to improve their out-of-state marketing efforts and drive high-quality out-of-state inquiries.
  • Solution: This institution partnered with EAB’s YouVisit Virtual Tour to attract prospective students nationwide. In 2022, they added a progressive Conversational Inquiry Form (CIF) to their virtual tour experience to improve inquiry capture.
  • Impact: Over the past two years, this institution has seen impressive results from YouVisit inquiries. Students who inquire through the virtual tour have consistently higher application, admit, and deposit rates.

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