Lessons from Linda McMahon
In 2010, the World Wrestling Entertainment executive stepped away from her professional career to run for the United States Senate. In a general election debate, she created a mini-viral moment by asking a simple question of her opponent: “how do you create a job?”
It was an awkward moment because job creation was, and is, a core part of most political campaigns. Yet the question of how to do that was rarely addressed.
In that spirit, I’ve recently been asking admissions leaders a similarly simple question: “How do you yield a class?”
The answers have been all over the place, with no clear consensus. Many folks talk about discounting (like a lot); some talk about admitted students days; others discuss marketing campaigns.
No one I’ve talked to, and as far as I can tell, no one in our industry, has done a deep, thorough process deconstruction on what it takes to yield a class.
This is why I’m so excited about the project I’m leading at enroll ml in 2023. Perhaps for the first time, we are conducting deep, primary-level research on what actually goes into yield throughout the admissions cycle.
With our customers, we are doing a complete and thorough process review and calculating how much time is spent on this work.
While there is a wide range, we are identifying thousands of hours per year spent on yield that does not involve talking to, emailing, or otherwise communicating with a student.
Thousands of administrative hours per year, just to be ready for conversations with students.
How many of us, if asked by Linda McMahon, “how do you yield a class?” would be able to readily answer the question?
If we can’t identify the processes we lean on and the time spent on this work, how can we improve them?
To ensure multi-year enrollment success, colleges must do better in the middle of the funnel. Just dumping more names at the top won’t work; arguing for more scholarship dollars is fleeting, if it works at all.
No, the answer is to dig deep into the processes in our offices, find inefficiencies, and fix them.
So if Linda McMahon, who very well could find herself on a college board of trustees, asks you how you recruit a class … be ready.