Aslanian Market Research conducts dozens of studies every year for a wide variety of clients. To learn more about what we do for colleges and universities, review the following case studies that profile adult market studies, online market studies, and feasibility studies conducted in the last few years.
George Mason University: In the fall of 2011, Aslanian Market Research was engaged by George Mason University to assess the relative demand for specific graduate degree and certificate programs, in four broad subject categories, that it was considering launching at its existing satellite campus and another potential location. The University’s primary intent was to expand its service area in the region in the most effective manner possible and to ensure that resources were spent as wisely as possible in doing so.
The assessment consisted of surveys of prospective graduate students in each of the four subject areas and interviews with employers in the region. Prospective student respondents were drawn from two populations: 1.) George Mason alumni from undergraduate programs related to the four subject areas under consideration, and 2.) individuals who had inquired during the prior 12 months on EducationDynamics’ GradSchools.com search site about a graduate-level program within the four subject areas.
The employer interviews were conducted with 40 medium-sized and large employers and assessed their level and types of support of graduate education for their employees; their familiarity with, and impressions of, George Mason University; and their unmet employee training and education needs.
Dan Robb, Assistant Vice President for Enrollment Development
Liberty University Online: Liberty University Online commissioned Aslanian Market Research to conduct a market analysis of demand for undergraduate and graduate online education. The overall goal of the analysis was to gather data that would allow Liberty Online to ensure that its institutional policies and practices are responsive to changing needs and demands of prospective and current undergraduate and graduate students who live, work, and study via distance learning throughout the nation.
Conducted during the summer of 2011, this market analysis focused on the decision making patterns of (a) individuals who inquired about and/or applied to undergraduate and graduate study at Liberty Online between January 2010 and August 2010 but did not enroll, and (b) individuals who were enrolled in undergraduate or graduate study at Liberty Online between fall 2010 and spring 2011.
Steven Peterson, Executive Director of Admissions
New York University School of Continuing and Professional Studies: Between 2005 and 2010, Aslanian Market Research conducted four employer-focused market studies on behalf of NYU’s SCPS. The first three studies were designed to gather data on the tuition reimbursement policies of major employers in the NYC metro area and how these policies had changed due to declining economic conditions. The most recent study, in the summer of 2010, was expanded to explore the broad education and training needs of specific employment sectors in metropolitan New York. Five broad industry categories were identified that best represented the kinds of degree programs SCPS was currently offering, and within each category we targeted only organizations that employed more than 250 people and that had a minimum tuition reimbursement benefit of $1,000.
The employer interviews pursued the following areas of inquiry:
- Overall familiarity with NYC SCPS and more in-depth familiarity with its offerings
- The status, implementation, recent changes and use of tuition reimbursement among employees
- Subject areas (both those offered by NYU SCPS and those that are not) most in need of additional education and training among employees
- Employer interest in learning more about NYU SCPS and its educational programs for employees
- Employer interest in developing a relationship with SCPS as a preferred source of continuing education programs for employees
A total of 100 employer interviews were conducted across the five industry categories, including 12 with Fortune 1000 companies.
Rebecca Pearson, Research Associate
New Jersey Institute of Technology: In the spring of 2010, NJIT commissioned Aslanian Market Research to conduct a comprehensive market analysis of demand for Master’s level graduate programs. The objective was to gather data that would enable NJIT to ensure that its institutional policies, practices and programs are responsive to the changing needs and demands of prospective Master’s-level students, both domestic and international. We conducted a study of 252 students currently enrolled in a Master’s program at NJIT, as well as a thorough review and analysis of four competitor institutions in the region and five leading national competitors.
Joel S. Bloom, President
Southern New Hampshire University: In the fall of 2008, Southern New Hampshire University commissioned Aslanian Market Research to conduct an undergraduate adult student and graduate student market analysis. The University’s 70-year history in serving the adult student market through courses and programs offered through its home campus and off-campus centers had been noteworthy and significant. However, given the increasingly volatile and ever-changing nature of the local community and the influx and expansion of the competition, it had become important for the University to assess its current strengths and identify optimal areas for expansion, including online offerings. In the spring of 2009, we conducted an additional market study to assess demand and opportunities in southern Maine, where it had a satellite campus. These two market studies focused on a range of populations: recent undergraduate adult or graduate students in the region (demand study), current students an SNHU, inquirers and applicants, employers and competitors.
In addition to providing critical data and analysis on the market’s needs and preferences, our research also helped the University to adjust and finalize its planned transition to a new organizational structure that included a combined adult and online student division.
Martha Rush-Mueller, Innovation Lab Leader: Marketing
University of Nebraska Online Worldwide: In early 2012, the University of Nebraska engaged Aslanian Market Research to collect and analyze data on the prospective online student market from three perspectives:
- Regional and national demand and supply data for existing online programs nationwide at different degree levels and across subject areas based on the EducationDynamics database;
- Needs, preferences, and demographic characteristics of prospective students considering five different online graduate degree or certificate programs nominated by the University; and
- Perceptions and decision-making factors among prospective students who inquired about or applied to a University of Nebraska online course or program—both undergraduate and graduate--but did not enroll.
The primary goal of this research was to help the University determine a messaging and branding strategy for its online programs moving forward. The University also wanted to explore potential interest in three new online Master’s degree programs it was considering launching, as well as one existing Master’s program and one existing graduate certificate program.
Laura Wiese, Marketing Director
University of Northern Colorado: In the spring of 2011, the University of Northern Colorado was investigating the viability of launching one or more online undergraduate and/or graduate degree programs to add to its existing set of online offerings. The University sought to initially market new online programs regionally, with a longer term goal of marketing such online programs nationally. To that end, it engaged Aslanian Market Research to conduct a two-part study of demand for online undergraduate and graduate programs, with a dual focus on the nation and a seven state region--Colorado, Wyoming, Utah, New Mexico, Arizona, Nebraska, and Kansas--selected by University staff.
In part one of the analysis we ranked the demand for more than 90 online degree topics for both the nation and the seven state region using online program search data only available from EducationDynamics. The results of this ranking were used to identify two subject areas – one undergraduate and one graduate – for in-depth study in part two. In part two of our analysis we conducted surveys with individuals who have considered enrolling or have enrolled in study in the two areas of interest selected by the University. The findings of these two surveys helped to inform the University on how to structure the programs, how to market the programs, what services to make available, as well as how well-known the University is as a provider of both higher education in general and online study in particular.
Shane Mares, Manager
University of Vermont: In the fall of 2010, the University of Vermont (UVM) Continuing Education requested the assistance of Aslanian Market Research to identify and prioritize the relative attractiveness of a broad array of post-baccalaureate certificate programs or course sequences that, if offered online, could increase enrollments for UVM Continuing Education.
The project was conducted in two major phases. In the first phase, UVM stakeholders working with Aslanian Market Research staff generated more than 60 ideas for potential certificate programs. All program ideas were screened for market attractiveness and fit with UVM. Two groups of ideas, having the highest scores in the assessment, emerged from this first phase: programs around the theme of sustainability, and programs related to healthcare. In the second phase of our project, we conducted market research in order to do the following:
- Validate demand for such programming
- Define key target market segments and how to reach them, and
- Make recommendations for detailed program format, delivery, pricing and marketing
Amanda Chaulk, Senior Marketing Specialist