One of the most commonly asked questions I receive when I am working on a Noel-Levitz partner campus is, “How do we compare with other institutions?” For over 20 years, Noel-Levitz has attempted to answer this question through a series of benchmarking studies–the latest is the 2010 Admissions Funnel Benchmarks for Four-Year Public and Private Institutions. Thanks goes to 193 colleges and universities who completed our survey this fall. The data increases in value as participation increases.
What you will see when you review the data is in part the result of what you already know: colleges and universities are making it very easy for prospective students to apply. The result is that fewer students are inquiring before applying, inquiry-to-applicant conversion rates are going up (because of increased applications as the first point of contact), and yield from accepted to enrolled is dropping due to “soft,” less-committed online applicants.
This leads me to observe several patterns that are worthy of note.
Five trends I observed after reading the latest benchmarking study: