Unlock Your Student Recruitment Funnel

Without including a global pandemic in the mix, the process of recruiting college students is unique, complicated, data-driven and a little bit magical. Nationally, the number of high school graduates is expected to peak in the mid-2020s before entering a period of modest decline through the end of the projections in 2037.  

I’m not going to claim recruiting is one-size-fits-all or that anyone can predict what high school students are going to end up deciding. But I am going to tell you why you must expand the analysis of your student data for ROI purposes and then tell you how Intersect can do that for you; for free. Whether you choose to do that analysis on your own or with us, please read about the importance of doing the deep dive so you can be free of thinking of it as a funnel!

Recruitment is Not a Funnel 

There are lots of analogies out there for looking at the recruitment process as a funnel, a loop or some other shape, however we all know it’s not a funnel anymore. For today, let’s compare the funnel and pipeline models.  The funnel approach focuses too much on quantity as the total solution and not enough on how the funnel itself leaks. In this scenario, leaks can happen in every stage and they can happen with all segments regardless of fit. Visually, it helps to think of the funnel as a process that not only includes significant leak, but also gaps between the stages. These gaps visually represent the time and resources it takes to evaluate and transition students from one stage to the next. 

In a more dynamic and effective approach like a pipeline, the focus is on building fit first at each stage so there’s less leak. Comparatively, in this scenario the visual representation has less leak and no gaps between stages. By reallocating time and resources to getting the best-fit students in the pipeline, you increase the effectiveness of the recruitment stages. This, in turn, reduces leak and gaps. 

In addition, to maximize ROI you need to make sure quality is a focus by shifting from a leaking funnel mentality to a dynamic and effective pipeline. Every admission office is using a multi-pronged approach with numerous tactics and it’s not always easy to measure and evaluate their effectiveness. On the flip side, it can get expensive and time-consuming if you don’t take some quality time with your data to really dig in and evaluate your efforts.  

Dive into Your Data 

As you look at each step in your process, how are different segments converting? Can those insights be applied to other segments and/or other stages? For example, are students attending a special info session in one program converting better than those in another? Is there a difference in the programming provided you can replicate to improve the one that isn’t converting as well? Can you pinpoint the successes or challenges with certain students at the applicant, admit, enroll, confirm, and retain stages? At the end of the day, what’s happening with these areas and combinations?  

  • Academic profile range 
  • Permanently reside in a specific mile radius from your campus 
  • Specific interactions with your institution 
  • Major selected 
  • General versus specific content about the institution 
  • Communication method 
  • Timing of communication 
  • What, when, and how often they visit campus (virtually or in-person)

The key here is that you analyze your data to create a higher quality input and effective transitions between the stages, so the shape is shifted from a funnel to a pipeline. Students are and always will be at the core of higher education. The mission of every college and university focuses on providing students the highest quality education and supporting their career and life aspirations. If student needs are not the central focus of every admission office, the future of higher education will continue to be in jeopardy. To learn more on how to support the ever-changing needs of students check out our Student-Centric Recruitment Framework

How does Intersect by Hobsons unlock your funnel? 

A leader in education technology, Hobsons helps students to identify their strengths, explore careers, match to best-fit educational opportunities, create academic plans, and reach their education and life goals. Naviance, a college, career and life readiness platform under Hobsons, serves 10 million students in 40% of all U.S. high schools. Intersect offers a unique channel to identify, engage, and recruit Naviance students, who are 4 times more likely to view your institution with this unique access. Due to the Naviance process, 3 out of 4 students that connect with an institution through Intersect Connection apply to that institution annually. Visit hobsons.com/ncsa to request a conversation about your data with our team. It’s free; not really magical and there’s no catch!  

Topics Admissions and Enrollment Management Matching
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