#NYSFAAA2012Enrollment Management in a Time of Change and Challenge Dan Lundquist October 10, 2012
Agenda: Questions & Answers • What IS our role? • What should it be? • How do we best fulfill it? • Situation analysis: Unstoppable Force Meets Immovable Object? • External Market • Internal Constituents On-Campus: the “State of Enrollment Management” • Call to action • We serve internal and external constituencies • We need to be more than “just” tactical doers • We must share the knowledge garnered from our positions astride internal and external for the betterment of all stakeholders, internal/external, current/future • The Human Capital enterprise deserves no less Accept no less: return to your office empowered and model a dynamic new role
What IS “Enrollment Management?” • NO ONE REALLY KNOWS • there is no agreed-upon definition • It varies widely from campus to campus • Responsibility and authority are often not connected • It is safe to conclude it is • inefficient, • subjective, • political, and • often not connected to market realities Yes… we have to fire ourselves….
What SHOULD “Enrollment Management” Be? • It should be a pre-enrollment to graduation process • It should be a partnership among the Adult Mentors at an institution • It should be everyone’s business and everyone should have a defined role and accountability • It should be a conversation that supports education and commerce • It should be engaging • MOST of what it REALLY IS is fun and rewarding
What SHOULD It REALLY Be? • It really should be a relationship management process • It should be (more) balanced • It should stretch from pre-enrollment to bequest • It should be more fun: FUN IS A GOOD BRAND • “just because it is serious business doesn’t mean we must be deadly serious all the time”
Situation Analysis: the Market • Of those who should be thinking about highered (which is not everyone) • Despite data showing highered has never been more valuable many are wary • Question ROI (cost/value) • Are unsophisticated about net cost • Are worried about debt • And that group – OUR “BASE” – is shrinking
Estimated Enrollment Funnel for Higher Profile - No-Need Students: 2009 45% 25% 50% Conversion rates
Estimated Enrollment Funnel for Higher Profile - No-Need Students: 2009 What If There Is A Decline In Affluence? 15,000 LESS AFFLUENCE 6750 1688 844
Estimated Enrollment Funnel for Higher Profile - No-Need Students: 2009 What If There Is An Increase In Cost-Sensitivity? 15,000 LESS AFFLUENCE 5000 MORE PRICE RESISTANT 1250 625
Estimated Enrollment Funnel for Higher Profile - No-Need Students: 2009 What If…? ? ? AFFLUENCE? ? ? PERCEIVED VALUE? ? ? LUXURY? ? ? PRIVILEDGED FEW? The accuracy of the bottom-line number doesn’t matter – whether 500 or 996 – it needs to be many multiples of that to forestall the coming crisis for tuition-dependant colleges.
No WONDER people are skeptical: highered WAS Recession Proof!
Gut Check • Many families owe more on their mortgages than their homes are worth. Since home values peaked in April 2006, home prices have dropped 34 percent. The traditional American “Bank of Home” as a vehicle to acquire/transmit wealth has been hit hard with immediate and long-term negative implications. • More school counselors have been telling me about the role of “stealth money”: grandparents stepping in the help bridge gaps. The clock is ticking on that source.
Future Check • Future-check: the cohort of the modern “marrying age” band (late 20s and early 30s) includes many of our recent grads, with debt and high unemployment. • Even farther ahead – when today’s high school and college students are young adults – they will be paying off even more debt (probably longer), delaying major purchases, delaying marriage, and probably delaying parenting. However, when it is their turn to help their kids select colleges, they will be in a weaker financial position than any post-WWII adult cohort while facing mid-21th Century costs.
Future Check • As ability to pay increases, willingness to pay decreases: • more and more students are going to their “second choice” colleges because of cost. • If the more-affluent current parents are balking at paying today’s costs what will the next generation of parents do? • If college prices freeze today, the next cohort of parents will still have a more difficult time paying if college prices freeze today.
Solutions? • Affordability is the “hot new college amenity” • The FINANCIAL FIT has never been more important • Colleges need to be more affordable and effectively promote that • The dial must be turned back on costs colleges incur that have forced them to pass higher costs on to families • We must be advocates for sustainability, for our institutions and for our “customers”
Situation Analysis: On Campus • No one has enough money • “Even the Amhersts…” (Moodys downgrade) • Most vastly tuition-dependent • Overhead out-of-control • Many “sacred cows,” dated views of what college is and looks like • Even more enrollment experts than sacred cows! • And the actual experts we have are not optimized
Situation Analysis: On Campus No WONDER they are called NON-PROFITS!
So What Do We Do? • We need to be more than “just” tactical doers • “Enrollment management” must be a financial aid/admissions partnership • Financial aid and Admissions must view themselves as and be viewed as more than “just” recruiters and dispursers • Enrollment managers must be recognized as important sources of strategic intellectual and financial capital
How We Doin’? “You Say”: NYSFAAA member survey data
So What Do We Do? • We must share the knowledge garnered from our positions astride internal and external for the betterment of all stakeholders • internal/external • current/future • We need to urge leadership to: • square revenue with overhead expense • focus on relevant metrics (revenue vs. discount) • accept their stewardship responsibility to objectively look to the future
Call to ActionSettle for Nothing Less than the Enterprise Deserves Accept no less: Return to your office empowered to perform and model a dynamic new role. The Human Capital business deserves nothing less.