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An Admissions Process Revolution

An Admissions Process Revolution

Earlier this week, enroll ml hosted a webinar with two enrollment leaders on the cutting edge of a technological revolution: using machine learning to streamline the yield process, improve admissions counselors’ experience, and increase enrollment for their institutions.


You can view a recording of the webinar for free.


The TLDR summary is that there are three key problems that need to be addressed by enrollment leaders.


1 – We have overwhelmed counselors with too many applicants due to our continued insistence on an ever-increasing applicant (and admit) pool.  We are long passed the point of being able to expect counselors to build the types of relationships with their admit pool that we would like.


2 – We hire people for admissions positions to engage with students. The people attracted to these roles are interested in that work and generally do well when given the chance.  Unfortunately for them and us, we then place them behind a screen for 2 ½ hours per day, on average, based on The Admissions Yield Time Study.


3 – Without a reliable and scientifically valid way of measuring actual student interest, once we break counselors away from spreadsheets and queries, we have them spend hours being shot down by uninterested students, darkening their spirits and dampening their resolve.


In response to these challenges, our webinar guests highlighted three tangible solutions that admissions leaders should consider now.


1 – Develop a data regime that tells you when it is okay to let go of a student by listening to their signals of non-engagement.  It is critical to measure this accurately, but once you do, let their non-response allow you to pull back on the personal outreach.


2 – Identify when you can be confident of a highly engaged student’s likelihood of enrolling by letting them ride through the enrollment process.  These are also students who do not need time-intensive recruiting efforts.


3 – Focus like never before on your swing students.  Doing so will allow you to increase enrollment and, as one webinar participant said, improve staff morale like never before.  By eliminating the uninterested students from their contact list and repurposing that time on swing students, you are setting them up for success, seeing the outcome of their work, and actually helping students.  Which is what they signed up to do.


In the webinar, we did not tell you or your counselors to have less engagement.  But you definitely should have less haphazard outreach to a random mix of students.  Take the time wasted on uninterested students, and double down on better, even more, personal recruitment of your swing students.


You’ll increase enrollment and improve staff morale in one fell swoop.

Teege Mettille
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