The pressures of the pandemic have changed how colleges and universities deliver education to today’s students. Marketing, messaging, and enrollment activities shifted as well. Prospective students are spending more time online, and engaging with social media and OTT platforms with new intensity. In EducationDynamics’ latest report, Surveyof the Enrollment Management Landscape, we uncover latest trends in marketing and student engagement for post-traditional and online higher education.
Some of the changes wrought by the pandemic seem obvious in retrospect. Increased reliance on online learning and higher search volumes were natural side effects of stay at home orders. Other impacts were less intuitive, but brought valuable insight.
More than anything, existing trends were accelerated in 2020. Adult enrollment is increasing, and post-traditional learners play a more vital role than ever in the enrollment mix. What were the important trends to understand in 2020, and how are they shaping the higher education landscape for 2021 and beyond?
Most, if not all, colleges and universities can benefit from better understanding the post-traditional student market. As the population of potential traditional students shrink in the coming years, institutions will look to replace them with post-traditional students. This is only possible if institutions make post-traditional students a primary focus. A majority of post-traditional students enroll with a career goal in mind. They hope to earn a promotion, start a new career, or increase their salary. Colleges and universities succeed at attracting and retaining students when they connect the dots between education and the labor market.
Meanwhile, economic pressures and wide-spread uncertainty have challenged colleges and universities to remain nimble in the ways that they communicate with prospective students. In an increasingly digital market, simply having a brand is not enough. The institutions that succeed are those that build strong connections between their brand and its promise. With innovative programs, timely communication, and the right student support resources, these colleges nurture students from awareness through graduation. They highlight the connections between their programs and student career goals.
The world may have changed, but colleges and universities can still own the student lifecycle. Effective enrollment management requires a strong brand presence, speedy responses, and a willingness to really listen to the student. When it comes to meeting enrollment and retention goals, this focus on the student remains the secret to success.
Interested in learning more about the Survey of the Enrollment Management Landscape? Download the report and learn more about trends in adult and non-traditional student enrollments.
EducationDynamics is the industry leader in helping colleges and universities achieve their enrollment goals through the company’s unique ability to find the highest quality adult student prospects. As the trusted partner to more than 700 higher educational institutions, EducationDynamics has earned a reputation for providing the resources and expertise required to meet a wide range of industry challenges, delivering inquiry generation and agency of record marketing (e.g. paid digital, organic search, awareness), enrollment management, retention, and technology solutions to universities across the country. For more information, visit: educationdynamics.com