Over the course of the year, RNL published numerous reports on college student recruitment and retention. Each year, hundreds of colleges and universities work with Ruffalo Noel Levitz to develop enrollment management and student success strategies that will produce the results they want. We guide them with the leading data on enrollment trends, student research, and enrollment management practices, so they can have the greatest impact on college student recruitment and retention on their campuses.
In 2018, we conducted benchmark polls of higher education professionals, field research among active and prospective students, and reviewed data from millions of student records from our campus partners to produce our research findings, benchmarks, comparison data, and industry-leading insights.
As we head into 2019, here are 7 key insights from our research that can help guide your enrollment management and student success efforts.
1) Digital marketing was the most likely part of the admissions budget to increase in 2018.
Seven out of 10 private institutions and 61 percent of public institutions expected their digital marketing budgets to increase, by far the most common part of the admissions budget that enrollment managers expected to grow. At the same time, 14 percent of privates and 23 percent of publics expected traditional marketing allocations to decrease as well. Read more in College Admissions Budgets—How Are They Changing?
2) Engagement scoring with web tracking needs to grow in a web-first era of college student recruitment.
Prospective college students rate college websites as their most important resource for conducting their college searches. And for campuses that use behavior or engagement scoring with web tracking, more than 93 percent rate it effective in their recruitment efforts. However, only one-third of publics and just under half of private institutions use it, a major gap and a growing opportunity to gather invaluable behavioral insights on students. Find more recruitment insights in College Student Recruitment Practices: 5 Ways Institutions Need to Stop Doing the Same Old Thing.
3) Start talking about career qualifications with incoming freshmen.
In our 2018 National Freshman Motivations to Complete College Report, 67 percent of incoming freshmen said they wanted help with career qualifications. This finding shows the importance of student outcomes, as more students and families examine the value of a college education in an era of rising costs. See four other key needs in 5 Requests for Assistance From College Freshmen at the Beginning of Their First Year. [Read more…]