The traditional enrollment funnel approach no longer helps Higher Education (HE) institutions reach their targets.
Or rather, the enrollment model is helpful, but not if it ends as soon as a student joins your university. Beyond enrollment, it's essential to provide support to students at critical moments to reduce the risk of dropouts.
So, how can you improve upon your enrollment funnel?
We've got you covered.
The traditional enrollment funnel
The university enrollment funnel is a journey that prospective students go through before reaching an enrollment decision.
Here's the traditional funnel laid out in four key stages:
- Awareness. This is where you take the steps required to attract your ideal audience and start to showcase the true experience of life on your campus. If students don't know about your university, they won't apply. Getting noticed and spreading your message is vital for increasing enrollment.
- Inform. This is where you can leverage technology channels to reach and engage with prospective students. This includes using social media, email, live streaming, online advertising and web content.
- Captivate. Once a prospect 'raises their hand' and indicates their interest in your institution, your marketing efforts can focus on nurturing the lead and guiding them toward completing their application. Messaging at this stage should focus on trust and building relationships with your ambassadors, for example.
- Final enrollment. The prospect enrolls at your institution. This stage and the one that follows ensures student support is available as they transition into an often daunting phase of their life.
Unfortunately, this is where a lot of universities stop. But, there's another stage that can help you improve student wellbeing and decrease dropout rates.
The fifth stage: Nurture student engagement
For new students, the first year at university can be a test of resilience. It often entails a geographical move, new people, new living situations, new learning styles, and new educational demands.
As many as 30 percent do not re-enroll for their second year.
Let's explore how you can keep your students happy and engaged with a fifth-stage enrollment funnel.
Provide a support network
You can offer extra support to students from the first day they arrive at your university.
This can include:
- Mentoring programs. Matching new students to ambassadors studying the same course or from a similar background can help them organize their schedule, workload management, societies, time management, and anything else they need. It also offers support from someone who can reassure them that what they're feeling is normal and gives them an honest account of what might happen next.
- Counselling services. If new students know there's a support system available to them, they'll better manage student life challenges. Make it clear during their induction/orientation how they can access counselling services and other support services and tools.
Reminding students that they're not alone and supporting them will help them make the best of their new surroundings. It'll also decrease the dropout rate at your university.
Host networking sessions: A real-world example
Here's a real-world example of what The University of Adelaide managed through a successful collaboration with The Ambassador Platform (TAP), a secure and intuitive Experience Communication Management (XCM) platform.
Their team didn't stop the work once students joined. They went a step further and hosted an event called 'Meet your Student Ambassador', where they connected new students with their ambassadors.
Networking sessions are a great way to integrate students and foster valuable conversations at a university-organized event.
Cover all bases
An all-encompassing university enrollment funnel enables you to attract, enroll and retain students at your institution.
These tips above will make sure you're covering all bases, supporting students beyond the enrollment stage and into their first year at university. This will help decrease dropout rates and build a happy student body.
To find out more about The Ambassador Platform and how it can help improve your university enrollment funnel, please get in touch with the team.