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Embracing enrollment management: a comprehensive approach to college student marketing.

INTRODUCTION

As the cost of providing post secondary education continues to increase and government support steadily decreases, religiously-affiliated, private, four-year colleges are forced to rely more heavily on tuition revenue for economic viability. Not only does this require attracting a higher number of new students to the institution, it necessitates increasing the retention of students who are already enrolled. Religiously-affiliated, private, liberal arts colleges in particular are vulnerable to changes in enrollment. The problem is exacerbated by the fact that they really only compete for less than 1% of the potential college student market. Breneman (1994) speaks of them as often lacking in sizable endowments, heavily dependent on tuition, and without direct support from government. They can fail if times are hard enough.

It is clear that college student marketing concepts are needed to achieve institutional enrollment goals (Whiteside, 2004). At the same time, it is also clear that colleges and universities have received marketing practices with mixed emotions. There is even confusion among higher education administrators regarding marketing and advertising terms (Jugenheimer, 1995). What has emerged is a comprehensive approach to college student marketing known as enrollment management. Religiously-affiliated, private, liberal arts colleges have implemented an enrollment management program to varying degrees with positive results in student recruitment and retention.

THEORETICAL AND CONCEPTUAL FRAMEWORK

"College student marketing describes the organized efforts to advance a college's mission and goals through targeted communications and the recruitment, selection, and retention of students whose capabilities will contribute to their own development and that of others" (Lay, 2004, p.4). Borrowing heavily from traditional principles of marketing, very few higher education institutions have mastered this integrated marketing approach (Black, 2004b). In fact, the common misperception that marketing is essentially advertising or selling still persists (Armstrong & Kotler, 2007).

At the same time, Kotler and Fox (1995), in their work on strategic marketing for educational institutions, suggest that marketing is a central activity of modern institutions. This is further supported by Kittle's study (2000) where college and university administrators indicated that the most important audiences for institutional messages were potential students in high school and their parents. There is desire, apprehension, expertise, and lack of know-how all present at the same time. This concept is characterized by the results of Newman's (2002) longitudinal study of marketing practices in higher education which indicate that there is not a consistent, coordinated effort among colleges to implement a comprehensive marketing plan.

A theoretical model for managing higher education student enrollments has been developed in tandem with college student marketing. In essence, enrollment management is the comprehensive approach to college student marketing expressed in terms more readily accepted and understood by higher education administrators. It is a rather recent development however; the increase in competition for students and the decrease in resources to execute effective strategies to recruit and retain students have heightened its adoption among many colleges and universities.

Enrollment Management Theory

Jack Maguire (1976) of Boston College is credited with the first use of the term enrollment management to describe institutional efforts to influence student enrollment. Kemerer, Baldridge, and Green (1982) formalized the concept proposing that it is not just an organizational concept; it is both a process and a series of activities that involve the entire campus. As a process, it includes tracking and interacting with students from the point of their initial contact with the institution until their graduation or departure from the institution. As an activity, enrollment management is designed to attract and retain students. Albright (1986) questioned whether enrollment management was just another way to implement principles of marketing in higher education. Regardless of the terminology involved, the concept was accepted and flourished on college campuses.

Hossler modified his 1986 definition of enrollment management in 1991, stating that enrollment management is an organizational concept and a systematic set of activities designed to enable educational institutions to exert more influence on their enrollments. Organized by strategic planning and supported by institutional research, enrollment management activities concern student college choice, transition to college, student attrition and retention, and student outcomes (Hossler, 1991).

The theory of enrollment management was further developed by Dolence (1996) in his work on strategic enrollment management. He defines strategic enrollment management as "a comprehensive process designed to help an institution achieve and maintain the optimum recruitment, retention, and graduation rates of students, where 'optimum' is defined within the academic context of the institution." Rather than outlining which specific areas within the institution should be involved in strategic enrollment management, Dolence simply states that any factor that influences a student's decision to attend or continue enrolling is fair game for strategic enrollment management.

Although this is not a completely original concept, the emphasis on optimum enrollment is a unique approach. According to Dolence (1996) optimum is the benchmark enrollment figure that indicates revenues and expenditures are in balance. The concept is multidimensional and includes, but is not limited to, optimizing full-time equivalent enrollment, segmentation, geographic origin and quality. This new line of inquiry in strategic enrollment management has led to many iterations of the original concept (Black, 2001; Bontrager, 2004b; Bryant & Crockett, 1993).

Other adaptations of enrollment management theory include comprehensive enrollment management (McIntyre, 1997), applying business principles to the discipline (Blackburn, 1998), developing the enrollment management organization (Popovics, 2000), and focusing on enrollment management leadership (Jones, 2003). It is clear from the theoretical developments that enrollment management is an integral part of the work in college student marketing and that practical applications will continue as long there is concern regarding student enrollment.

Enrollment management should be a campus wide undertaking focused on student marketing, recruiting, admissions, and retention. It applies basic marketing principles by ascertaining and meeting the needs of individual students (Pollock & Wolf, 1989). Hossler (1984) identifies eight areas that enrollment management officers should be directly responsible. They include: student marketing and recruitment, pricing and financial aid, academic and career advising, academic assistance programs, institutional research, orientation, retention programs, and student services.

Although research (Huddleston & Rumbough, 1997) has focused on perceived effectiveness or level of satisfaction with enrollment management utilization, enrollment management efforts must reach institutional goals for effective execution (Henderson, 2005). This is particularly true for institutions of higher education that cater to a limited student market like those of the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities.

The Council for Christian Colleges and Universities

The CCCU includes 102 American religiously-affiliated, private, four-year institutions in 30 states. These institutions are primarily undergraduate colleges with major emphasis on baccalaureate degrees in Arts and Sciences or Diverse Fields as classified by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching (2006). In the fall of2005, the full-time undergraduate student enrollment at CCCU member institutions ranged from 230 to 8,200 with an average enrollment of 2,160 students (CCCU, 2006). Institutional membership requires: a strong commitment to Christ-centered higher education, location in the U.S. or Canada, full regional accreditation, primarily four-year comprehensive college or university, broad curricula rooted in the arts and sciences, Christians hired for all full-time faculty and administrative positions, and sound finances (CCCU, 2006).

Quantitative Measures for Enrollment Management Utilization and Effectiveness

This study employs a survey instrument, adapted with permission from the author (Taber, 1989) to investigate the relationship of enrollment management utilization to student recruitment and retention. Taber based his work on enrollment management theory as defined by Baldridge, Kemerer, and Green (1982), Hossler (1986), Kemerer, Baldridge, and Green (1982), Kruetner and Godfrey (1981), and Muston (1984). Each of these theories maintains five components which are constant and can be expressed in common terms.

For an institution to have an identifiable enrollment management program the following five components must all be present and working together: (1) institutional marketing, including, but not limited to, research conducted to identify unique institutional characteristics and the characteristics of students who choose to enroll, employing varied recruitment techniques in order to reach different identified market segments, (2) admissions/recruitment, including, but not limited to, entering new student markets, student input into the evaluation of the recruitment process, regular evaluation of all recruitment materials and increasing need-based financial aid awards, (3) retention programs, including, but not limited to, early alert systems, an exit interview process that shares data within the institution, the presence of orientation programs, and person(s) responsible for the coordination of retention efforts, (4) planning, including, but not limited to, a specific documented long range plan for enrollment management, annual evaluation of enrollment management efforts and results, recent examination of institutional mission, goals and curriculum, and mechanisms to disseminate research data to decision makers, and (5) operation of a structure or model which coordinates enrollment management efforts. The four most widely recognized models of coordination of an enrollment management program are: the Institutional Marketing Committee, the Staff Coordinator, the Matrix Model, and the Enrollment Management Division (Kemerer, Baldrigde & Green, 1982). More recently these have been renamed the Enrollment Management Committee, the Enrollment Management Coordinator, the Enrollment Management Matrix, and the Enrollment Management Division (Hossler, 2005; Huddleston & Rumbough, 1997; Penn, 1999).

An examination of successful enrollment management systems over the years indicates that there is no one right structure. Enrollment management must be adapted to the needs, organizational climate, and administrative skills on each campus (Hossler, 1987). A systematic approach to enrollment management requires all five components to be present and integrated in some form for an institution to have an identifiable enrollment management program in place (Muston, 1985).

In his work on evaluating the effectiveness of enrollment management programs, Dolence (1996) defines optimum effectiveness as the maximum number of students recruited, retained, and graduated given the academic policies, diversity, resources, and potential of the institution. A measure of student enrollment that can compare institutions of different sizes is needed. Admissions yield is an appropriate measure because it does not consider just the overall size of the freshmen class or the institution as a whole. Beyond enrolling new students to the institution, tuition revenue is generated by retaining new students to the second year. This makes freshmen retention rate another appropriate measure of enrollment management effectiveness that is generic to all institutions. The retention to graduation rate measures an institution's ability to keep students enrolled until they have completed their degrees. Not only is this a good indicator of institutional effectiveness, but it is a measure frequently published in college guides to market the institution to prospective students (Peterson's, 2005).

PURPOSE OF THE STUDY

The purpose of this study was to investigate changes in college student marketing at CCCU member institutions via current enrollment management strategies compared to those used at least occasionally in 1997. In each of the two years of the study, a secondary purpose was to investigate the relationship between the utilization of enrollment management strategies and student recruitment and retention at CCCU member institutions. Student recruitment was measured by admissions yield while student retention was measured by freshmen retention and retention to graduation. More specifically, this study had four research questions.

Research Question 1: What changes have occurred from 1997 to the present in CCCU member institutions having an enrollment management program in place?

Research Question 2: At CCCU member institutions, to what extent is the utilization of an enrollment management program related to student recruitment and retention for each year studied?

Research Question 3: What changes have occurred from 1997 to the present in the length of time CCCU member institutions have had each of the five enrollment management components in place?

Research Question 4: At CCCU member institutions, to what extent is the utilization of each enrollment management component related to student recruitment and retention for each year studied?

METHODOLOGY

A causal-comparative method was employed in this longitudinal study. Changes in enrollment management program and component utilization from 1997 to the current study were calculated. The relationship between the utilization of an enrollment program and student recruitment and retention measures was investigated. The target population consisted of all U.S. member institutions of the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities. In 1997 the CCCU included 87 institutions from 29 states. In the current study the CCCU included 102 institutions in 30 states (15 institutions joined the CCCU in the intervening time period).

The data for this study were collected by using a survey instrument adapted from Taber (1989). The survey was initially administered by mail to each Director of Admissions at all 87 CCCU institutions in America in fall 1997. A second mailing was sent to those who did not respond to the first mailing. Overall, 69 of the 87 individuals responded to the two mailings, yielding a response rate of 79%. The same survey was administered once again in the current study to each Chief Enrollment Officer or Director of Admissions at all 102 American CCCU institutions. Overall, 65 of the 102 individuals responded to the e-mail and regular mail surveys, yielding a response rate of 64%. The institutions that responded in the current study do not necessarily match those from 1997 given the addition of 15 institutions to the CCCU during the time between the two studies.

Individual survey items were not used directly as independent variables, but rather the measure for enrollment management utilization was whether an enrollment management program was in place and if not, the length of time each component was in place. The length of time in place was defined as either not in place, in place for a short term (less than five years), or in place for a long term (more than five years). Five years was selected as the differentiator between short and long term since retention to graduation includes those who earn their degrees within six years from initial matriculation and thus a strategy must be in place for at least five years to have an influence on the graduation rate. The survey instrument contained 20 items: five for each of the first four components. Respondents were asked to indicate how long each item had been in place by selecting either "0," "<5 years," or ">5 years." A copy of the survey instrument is provided in the appendix.

For an institution to qualify as having an enrollment management program in place the "More Than Five Years" or "Less Than Five Years" response for length of time in place was required for at least three of the five items for each of the first four components as well as a "More Than Five Years" or "Less Than Five Years" response for the item addressing the Model of Coordination Component.

A more detailed methodology was used to categorize institutions at the component level. For an institution to qualify as having a particular long-term enrollment management component in place the "More Than Five Years" response for length of time in place was required for at least three of the five items for that component. An institution that did not qualify as having a particular long-term enrollment management component in place and did not have more than two out of five items with a response of "Not in Place" qualified as having a particular short-term enrollment management component in place. Institutions that did not qualify as having either a particular enrollment management component for a long or short term were considered as not having that particular enrollment management component in place.

Admissions yield, freshmen retention, and retention to graduation were used as measures of enrollment management utilization effectiveness. Admissions yield was defined as the percentage of new full-time undergraduate students who enrolled at the institution out of the total number who were accepted to attend that semester. Freshmen retention was defined as the percentage of second year undergraduate students currently enrolled full-time who were new to the institution the previous year out of the total number of students who were new full-time undergraduates the previous year. Retention to graduation was defined as the percentage of undergraduate students who earned their degree by the year of the study out of the number of students who were new to the institution in the fall six years prior (i.e., the percentage of students who earned their degree within six years of initial enrollment at the institution).

Descriptive statistics were used for Research Questions 1, 2 and 3. A multiple regression analysis was also conducted for Research Question 2 to see if any of the variance in having an enrollment management program in place could be explained by the admissions yield, freshmen retention or retention to graduation rates. For Research Question 4, a univariate analysis of variance was conducted to determine if there were significant differences for the utilization of each enrollment management component as measured by student recruitment and retention. This was done for each year in the study. In discussing the results, percents were used for survey responses instead of frequencies since the number of respondents differed in each year of the study (69 in 1997, 65 in the current study).

RESULTS

Research Question 1: What changes have occurred from 1997 to the present in CCCU member institutions having an enrollment management program in place?

Table 1 provides the change in enrollment management program utilization percentages. It is clear that more CCCU member institutions are implementing enrollment management programs given the decrease in percentage for "Not in Place."

Research Question 2: At CCCU member institutions, to what extent is the utilization of an enrollment management program related to student recruitment and retention for each year studied?

Table 2 shows the measures for student recruitment and retention based on whether an enrollment management program was in place. It is clear that the average admissions yield and freshmen retention rate decreased overall from 1997 to the current study while the average retention to graduation rate increased over the same period. The greatest change was in the retention to graduation rate for institutions without an enrollment management program in place.

The results of the hierarchical regression analysis are shown in Table 3. The variables were added in chronological order as listed in the data output. In the 1997 study only freshmen retention was a statistically significant predictor for enrollment management program utilization at the .05 alpha level (beta = 0.37, p = .02). Thus in the 1997 study there was a positive correlation between the utilization of an enrollment management program and freshmen retention. In the current study, none of the student recruitment and retention measures showed a statistically significant relationship with the utilization of an enrollment management program.

Research Question 3: What changes have occurred from 1997 to the present in the length of time CCCU member institutions have had each of the five enrollment management components in place?

Table 4 provides a summary of the utilization for each of the five enrollment management components. The consistent decrease in not having an enrollment management component in place clearly indicates that there is an overall increase in the utilization of each component over time.

The institutional marketing component was the most utilized in 1997 with 87% of the institutions having it in place. This increased to 95.4% in the current study. The model of coordination component experienced the greatest increase in implementation going from 78.3% in 1997 to 95.4% in the current study. Almost all institutions currently have the institutional marketing, admissions/recruitment, and model of coordination components in place.

The utilization of retention programs also increased over time, although to a lesser degree, from 69.6% utilization in 1997 to 75.4% in the current study. The least utilized component in 1997 was planning at only 62.3% of the institutions; however this figure did increase to 76.9% in the current study.

Research Question 4: At CCCU member institutions, to what extent is the utilization of each enrollment management component related to student recruitment and retention for each year studied?

Only institutions with components in place for less than five years or more than five years were included in this analysis. This was necessary for both years of the study given the small number of institutions not having a particular enrollment management component in place. In the 1997 study, there was no significant difference in admissions yield or freshmen retention rate based on the utilization of enrollment management components. However, the interaction of having the retention programs and planning components in place for more than five years showed a significant difference in the retention to graduation rate at the .05 alpha level (p = .04). The results of the univariate ANOVA for 1997 are shown in Table 5.

Findings in the current study differed somewhat from those in the 1997 study. There was no significant difference in the freshmen retention rate based on the utilization of enrollment management components. However, the interaction of having the admissions/recruitment and model of coordination components in place for more than five years showed a significant difference in admissions yield at the .05 alpha level (p = .02). The results of the univariate ANOVA for admissions yield for the current study are shown in Table 6.

Having the model of coordination component in place for more than five years also showed a significant difference in the retention to graduation rate at the .05 alpha level (p < .01). The results of the univariate ANOVA for retention to graduation rate for the current study are shown in Table 7.

DISCUSSION

Enrollment managers at research universities report that handling enrollment strategies are among their top priorities (Hoover, 2006). Smaller institutions that do not have access to the same financial and human capital resources are in an even more tenuous situation as the competition for new students intensifies. The way that small private colleges, such as the member institutions of the CCCU respond in terms of the utilization of enrollment management strategies has implications for all institutions of similar size and character. More importantly, the results of their enrollment management efforts as measured by student recruitment and retention will verify the effectiveness of college student marketing practices.

Enrollment management is not a static concept that is stabilized once an enrollment management program is in place. It is recognized that the implementation of enrollment management is becoming more fluid as institutions need to respond quickly to changes in student enrollment (Black, 2004a). Moreover, there is a shift in enrollment management from rigid organizational structures to a more flexible organization where individuals and their corresponding departments change based on challenges and opportunities faced by the institution (Kalsbeek, 2001).

Perhaps the long-term identifier in this study (more than five years) does not apply to many institutions that are in a regular state of flux as they work through the process of finding the best way to make college student marketing via enrollment management operational on campus. This dynamic approach to enrollment management therefore, could be the result of trying to prioritize institutional efforts to maximize student recruitment and retention.

Enrollment Management Program

The lack of statistically significant findings for the utilization of an enrollment management program and measures of student recruitment and retention may be due to the small sample size. Regular changes in how enrollment management strategies are developed and implemented could also account for the lack of statistically significant findings in the current study. Other factors could explain the statistically significant findings in 1997.

In the current study, almost all the institutions had the institutional marketing (95.4%), admissions/recruitment (93.8%), and model of coordination (95.4%) components in place for either a short-term or long-term period of time. Thus, for the most part the utilization of these components did not separate the population into groups for enrollment management program utilization. As a result, in the current study differences in admissions yield based on enrollment management program utilization would likely not be noted.

Institutional Marketing and Admissions/Recruitment Components

Even though many institutions did not have an enrollment management program in place in 1997, 87.0% had the institutional marketing component and 81.2% had the admissions/recruitment component operational. Of the five components, these two likely make the greatest difference in admissions yield. Thus, since most institutions had them in place, regardless of whether they had an identifiable program in place, differences in admission yield are less noticeable.

In the current study there is a relatively even distribution of institutions having the model of coordination component in place for more than five years and for less than five years. At the same time there is a significant difference in admissions yield when the interaction of the admissions/recruitment and model of coordination components are considered. Thus the model of coordination component may act as a differentiator for student recruitment effectiveness. Those institutions that have a model of coordination in place for a long time may have more established admissions/recruitment strategies and thus the cumulative effect of these two components results in matriculating more students from the acceptance pool.

Retention Programs and Planning Components

The retention programs and planning components were utilized to a much lesser degree (69.6% and 62.3% respectively) in 1997. The influence of these components is reflected in the student retention measures as they focus on retaining students and long-term outcomes for the institution. Since it is the utilization of these components that separated the population into the groups "not in place" and in place for "less than five years" when it came to enrollment management program utilization, the statistically significant finding that relates enrollment management program utilization to freshmen retention makes sense.

One might expect an interaction effect between these two components in the current study as was the case in 1997. However, the increase in the utilization of the model of coordination component may partially explain the lack of significance in the findings. Although formal retention programs and planning activities may not be established, having a model of coordination in place suggests that these functions must be attended to at some level. Whether the responsibilities of enrollment management fall under a vice president or a staff coordinator, at least one person is considering the long-term viability of the institution. It is this concern that may account for the model of coordination having an influence on the retention to graduation rate in the current study.

Planning requires an institutional commitment since it usually is a function of the senior administration. This requires a significant investment in time and foresight regarding enrollment strategy from several individuals. Planning based on an institutional vision is less about what the organization is and more about what it aspires to be (Black, 2003). The challenge at most small campuses is setting a vision for the future when the need for recruiting more students to meet budgetary obligations is immediate. However, ignoring the long-term enrollment outlook only exacerbates the problem of just focusing on the next incoming class. It is a vicious cycle; since time must be spent on current recruitment efforts, there is no time to plan for the future, not planning for the future forces the institution to once again recruit for today, and on it goes. It is no surprise therefore that planning was the least utilized enrollment management component in 1997 and the second least utilized in the current study. However, the research and evaluation plan is essential in enrollment management (Henderson, 2005).

The retention programs component was also not utilized by as many institutions as institutional marketing, admissions/recruitment, and model of coordination. Since the survey was administered to the Director of Admissions or the Chief Enrollment Officer, it is possible that some respondents were not abreast of the retention programs in place at their campuses given that this function often resides with the student affairs staff. This component also requires the cooperation of many units on campus and therefore is also more challenging to implement. Given the focus on increasing student enrollment in the present, retention programs, which foster a more long-term approach to enrollment management, may not be viewed as the greatest priority. The implementation of successful retention strategies remains a challenge for enrollment managers at most colleges and universities (Huddleston, 2000).

Model of Coordination Component

An interesting trend emerged regarding the model of coordination for enrollment management efforts. Over time there was a clear shift away from the not having any model of coordination in place to implementing an enrollment management committee or an enrollment management division. The committee is often the preliminary form of enrollment management organization and thus it is likely that some institutions that did not have any structure in place in 1997 began their organizational efforts by forming an enrollment management committee. However, the enrollment management division is quicker and easier to implement at smaller institutions given it involves moving less staff physically and administrators can take on a broader array of functions (Bontrager, 2004a). This fact is reflected in the increase in use of an enrollment management division from 30% of the colleges and universities in 1997 to 50% in the current study. The division model is also easier to adopt when an enrollment crisis is perceived on campus (Bontrager 2004a; Hossler, Bean & Associates, 1990). This increase in the utilization of the enrollment management division then may be an indication of the perceived enrollment situation at many CCCU member institutions.

There is also an increase in the retention to graduation measure in the current study based on the length of time an enrollment management model of coordination has been in place. Those institutions with a structure in place likely also have implemented strategies from the retention programs and planning components. Although there was no statistically significant finding, it is likely the effect of the model of coordination component working along with strategies from these two components that can account for the increase in student retention. Having a structure in place also enhances student retention efforts by bringing together the various units which have an influence on retention to the meeting table. Although there is finiteness to the particular model in place at any institution (Kurz & Scannell, 2006), institutions that have an enrollment management division in place (half of all CCCU schools in the current study) have the added benefit of accountability that accompanies the responsibility of a vice president appointment.

IMPLICATIONS

Enrollment managers are already aware of the rapidly changing landscape in college student marketing given the quick adoption of new technology, communication and heightened student expectations. Administrators at smaller colleges have the ability to respond more quickly than their counterparts at much larger institutions. Enrollment managers should leverage their advantage by being flexible in their marketing practices and organizational structures. The movement to an Enrollment Management Division among smaller private colleges is clear and perhaps is necessary given the focus on efficiency and accountability. However, accurately assessing the needs, culture, and resources of a particular institution is warranted before making a major shift in how enrollment management strategy is executed.

A complete enrollment management program is comprised of individual strategies working together at the same time. Managers should review their enrollment efforts to assess whether they are utilizing the strategies needed to create synergy among them. More specifically, institutions should consider the impact of poor or non-existent institutional planning. It is a daunting task to focus on desired outcomes five or ten years into the future when current enrollments suggest a crisis is imminent. However, planning can bring various campus constituents together to focus on common goals and thus implement efficient strategies to reach them. Including the board of trustees in this process is prudent given the likelihood that financial support may be needed to carry the institution through an enrollment transition.

The results also suggest that enrollment managers should place a greater emphasis on retention programs since it is more cost effective to retain current students than to recruit new ones. Increased retention eases the burden of admissions professionals at smaller institutions that would otherwise be forced to focus on the quantity of applicants and matriculates rather than the best fit for the institution and those who attend. An added bonus comes from current students who are satisfied with the college or university in that they can also act as institutional advocates by relaying positive messages to family and friends as well as prospective students.

This study highlights the institutional focus of enrollment management strategies at the program and component level. Almost all institutions in this study utilize the strategies in the institutional marketing, admissions/recruitment, and model of coordination components. There is a clear trend toward the adoption of the retention programs and planning components as well. The length of time these components are in place has a positive influence on student recruitment and retention. The results of this study could be used as justification to initiate enrollment management implementation for CCCU member institutions that do not have an enrollment management program or certain components in place.

LIMITATIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS FOR FUTURE RESEARCH

There are a few limitations associated with this work. There are many colleges or universities that have characteristics similar to those of the CCCU and therefore may also find the results applicable to their institution. However, the profile of member schools should be kept in mind when linking the results of this research with the situation found on other college campuses.

This study did not differentiate the effectiveness of each of the five models of coordination in enrollment management in terms of student recruitment and retention. Rather, it strictly focused on whether or not there was a model of coordination in place. Also, given the high turnover in this line of work (Gyure & Arnold, 2001), the institutional knowledge of the survey respondents may be limited and thus can influence the responses regarding the length of time a particular enrollment management strategy has been utilized. Finally, respondents identified the length of time each enrollment management strategy was in place as "more than five years" or "less than five years" as opposed to a specific number of years and months. This eased the burden to remember a specific time frame but likely compromised the robustness of the analysis somewhat since 4.7 years and 4.9 years were grouped in the same category yet 4.9 years and 5.1 years, having the same time distance interval, were placed in separate categories.

This longitudinal study provided a wealth of data for college student marketers and enrollment managers at CCCU member institutions. The results demonstrate that small private colleges are continuing to implement enrollment management strategies and the benefits of their implementation is reflected in increased measures of student recruitment and retention. This supports the results of McGrath (2002) who found that the majority of respondents to his survey on marketing practices in higher education reported that they believe marketing efforts are critically important to the future of their institution. This study also substantiates the concern of respondents who indicated that their institutions did not devote enough resources to marketing efforts.

A consideration for future research is to include an examination of more recent strategic developments in enrollment management such as data mining (Antons & Maltz, 2006), forecasting (Ward, 2007), predictive modeling (Jones & Vaiciulis, 2007), and electronic communications (Zalanowski, 2007). Future studies could also investigate the relationship between college student marketing via enrollment management strategy utilization, cost of attendance, and student recruitment and retention. Expanding the study to include non-CCCU member institutions will enhance the generalizability of the findings and will provide a more comprehensive picture of college student marketing practices. The implications would be significant for institutional leaders who are considering adoption or further implementation of college student marketing activities or enrollment management practices.

APPENDIX

ENROLLMENT MANAGEMENT STRATEGIES AT CCCU MEMBER INSTITUTIONS

QUESTIONNAIRE

Enrollment management is a systematic and active process by which an institution can control its enrollment levels. It involves the efforts of many different components of a college and is ideally tailored to the needs of one specific institution. Research is being conducted at CCCU member institutions to investigate the relationship of the level of involvement in enrollment management strategies to student recruitment and retention. It is also hoped that the results of this research will aid practitioners in their future decisions regarding enrollment management.

Please take some time now to fill out this brief questionnaire. Your institution and all of your responses will be kept confidential. Your participation is voluntary.

PART I

Please indicate whether or not the following Enrollment Management Strategies are presently in place at your institution, and if so for how long, by circling the appropriate response.
STRATEGY LENGTH OF TIME IN PLACE

 Less More
 Not than than
 in five five
 place years years

1. Conduct internal institutional 0 <5 >5
 research to identify unique
 institutional characteristics.

2. Conduct research to identify 0 <5 >5
 characteristics of students who
 choose to attend your institution.

3. Conduct research to identify the 0 <5 >5
 decision factors currently enrolled
 students used in deciding to attend
 your institution.

4. Use a variety of marketing 0 <5 >5
 techniques to recruit students from
 different market segments.

5. Have a clear delineation of primary 0 <5 >5
 and secondary feeder markets.

6. Invest financial resources in 0 <5 >5
 activities designed to attract more
 applicants.

7. Increase need-based financial aid 0 <5 >5
 for specific target student
 markets.

8. Actively recruit non-traditional 0 <5 >5
 students based on age or some other
 criteria.

9. Conduct regular evaluation of all 0 <5 >5
 recruitment materials in print as
 well as other media.

10. Seek input from currently enrolled 0 <5 >5
 students in the evaluation of the
 recruitment process.

11. Have differing orientation programs 0 <5 >5
 for transfers, freshmen, and
 non-traditional students.

12. Have a formal documented retention 0 <5 >5
 program.

13. Conduct exit interviews, and 0 <5 >5
 analyze and share collected data
 within the institution.

14. Have person(s) responsible 0 <5 >5
 specifically for the coordination
 of retention efforts.

15. Utilize an early alert system to 0 <5 >5
 identify students at risk of
 leaving.

16. Critically examine the 0 <5 >5
 institutional mission as a basis
 for strategic planning.

17. Have a specified documented two to 0 <5 >5
 three year plan for enrollment
 management.

18. Examine the curriculum annually 0 <5 >5
 with regard to meeting the needs
 and interests of prospective
 students.

19. Conduct an annual evaluation of the 0 <5 >5
 effectiveness of enrollment
 management.

20. Have mechanisms in place to 0 <5 >5
 disseminate research data to
 decision makers.


PART II

21. There are many ways to coordinate efforts of an enrollment management program. Listed below are four of the most prominent means of coordination and two additional alternatives. Please place an "x" by the one that most closely reflects what exists on your campus and circle the response that indicates for how long in years.

-- A. Marketing Committee--Comprised of both faculty and administrators, the committee analyzes relevant data and advises the college regarding enrollments. It works within the existing structure and has a direct role in decision making. 0 <5 >5

-- B. Staff Coordinator--A newly created position such as Dean of Enrollment Management. This person is responsible for coordinating all enrollment management efforts as well as developing and implementing an enrollment management program. The key here is coordination, the Staff Coordinator does not directly supervise the heads of all the components, but coordinates their efforts. 0 <5 >5

-- C. Matrix System--Enrollment related functions are regrouped and their efforts are overseen by a senior administrator. This links enrollment activities across academic and administrative lines. 0 <5 >5

-- D. Enrollment Management Division--A major restructuring within the institution so that a new division is created placing all enrollment management related components under the direct supervision of a vice-president. The new division is committed to enrollment management and institutional advancement. 0 <5 >5

-- E. None--Enrollment management efforts are not currently coordinated at our institution.

-- F. None of the Above--Reflect how enrollment management is coordinated at our institution.

If you marked F, then please give a brief description of how your enrollment management efforts are coordinated and how long they have been coordinated this way. 0 <5 >5

PART III

22. Please state your admissions yield for Fall of 2004 as a percent to one decimal place --

Admissions yield is defined as the percentage of new full-time undergraduate students enrolled at your institution in the Fall of 2004 out of the total number who were accepted to attend that semester.

23. Please state your freshmen retention rate for Fall of 2004 as a percent to one decimal place --

Freshmen retention rate is defined as the percentage of second year undergraduate students currently enrolled full-time in the Fall of 2004 who were new to the institution in the Fall of 2003 out of the total number of students who were new full-time undergraduates to the institution in the Fall of 2003.

24. Please state your retention to graduation rate for Spring 2004 as a percent to one decimal place --

Retention to graduation rate is defined as the percentage of undergraduate students who earned their degree by the Spring of 2004 out of he number of students who were new to your institution in the Fall of 1998 (i.e., earned their degree within six years of initial enrollment at your institution).

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Brian A. Vander Schee, Aurora University
Table 1: Enrollment Management Program
Utilization by Percent

Enrollment Management 1997 Current
Program (n = 69) (n = 65)

In Place 46.4 60.0
Not in Place 53.6 40.0

Table 2: Student Recruitment and Retention by Utilization
of Enrollment Management Program

 Student Recruitment and Retention

 Admissions Freshmen Retention to
 Yield Retention Graduation

Enrollment M SD M SD M SD
Management
Program

1997 Study

In Place 49.0 13.6 78.8 7.6 52.1 13.6
Not in Place 52.6 16.9 74.3 8.0 48.8 14.0
Entire Population 51.0 15.4 76.4 8.1 50.4 13.8

Current Study

In Place 47.6 12.9 73.3 10.7 54.2 11.8
Not in Place 46.8 11.8 74.0 9.6 54.6 11.0
Entire Population 47.3 12.2 73.6 10.4 54.4 11.6

Table 3: Recruitment and Retention Measures
Predicting Enrollment Program Utilization

Variable B Std. Beta t Sig.
 Error

 1997 Study

Admissions Yield -.005 .004 -1.151 .255
Freshmen Retention .022 .009 .373 2.389 .021 *
Retention to Graduation -.003 .006 -.097 -.621 .537

 Current Study

Admissions Yield .003 .006 .078 .558 .579
Freshmen Retention .001 .012 .011 .048 .962
Retention to Graduation -.003 .010 -.063 -.268 .789

* p < .05

Table 4: Enrollment Management Component
Utilization by Percent

 1997 (n = 69)

Component Not (a) < 5 (b) > 5 (c)

Institutional Marketing 13.0 42.0 44.9
Admissions/Recruitment 18.8 42.0 39.1
Model of Coordination 21.7 43.5 34.8
Retention Programs 30.4 46.4 24.6
Planning 37.7 43.5 21.7

 Current (n = 65)

Component Not (a) < 5 (b) > 5 (c)

Institutional Marketing 4.6 47.7 47.7
Admissions/Recruitment 6.2 53.8 40.0
Model of Coordination 4.6 52.3 43.1
Retention Programs 24.6 49.2 26.2
Planning 23.1 46.2 30.8

Note. Percents do not necessarily add up to 100 due
to rounding.

(a) Not in place.

(b) In place less than five years. (c) In place more
than five years.

Table 5: Tests of Between-Subjects Effects for
1997 Retention to Graduation Rate

 Mean
Source Sum of Squares df Square

Corrected Model 3732.895 (a) 15 248.860
Intercept 55272.843 1 55272.843
IM .511 1 .511
ADM/REC 374.401 1 374.401
RET 2.014 1 2.014
PLAN 430.830 1 430.830
COORD 273.234 1 273.234
IM * ADM/REC 97.200 1 97.200
RET * PLAN 648.519 1 648.519
IM * COORD 7.468 1 7.468
ADM/REC * COORD 411.073 1 411.073
RET * COORD 42.004 1 42.004
PLAN * COORD 10.195 1 10.195
Error 1283.525 11 116.684
Total 78775.140 27
Corrected Total 5016.420 26

Source F Sig.

Corrected Model 2.133 .105
Intercept 473.696 .000
IM .004 .948
ADM/REC 3.209 .101
RET .017 .898
PLAN 3.692 .081
COORD 2.342 .154
IM * ADM/REC .833 .381
RET * PLAN 5.558 .038 *
IM * COORD .064 .805
ADM/REC * COORD 3.523 .087
RET * COORD .360 .561
PLAN * COORD .087 .773
Error
Total
Corrected Total

(a.) Squared = .774 (Adjusted R Squared = .395),
* p < .05

Table 6: Tests of Between-Subjects Effects for
Current Study Admissions Yield

 Sum of Mean
Source Squares df Square

Corrected Model 3413.778 (a) 18 189.654
Intercept 42228.160 1 42228.160
IM 19.295 1 19.295
ADM/REC 730.018 1 730.018
RET .103 1 .103
PLAN 40.225 1 40.225
COORD 19.786 1 19.786
IM * ADM/REC 1.4445 1 1.4445
IM * RET 44.490 1 44.490
IM * PLAN 5.428 1 5.428
ADM/REC * PLAN 519.840 1 519.840
RET * PLAN 3.578 1 3.578
IM * COORD 3.417 1 3.417
ADM/REC * COORD 805.151 1 805.151
IM * ADM/REC * COORD 137.069 1 137.069
RET * COORD 29.838 1 29.838
PLAN * COORD 331.028 1 331.028
Error 2513.613 19 132.295
Total 92083.400 38
Corrected Total 5927.391.420 37

Source F Sig.

Corrected Model 1.434 .221
Intercept 319.196 .000
IM .146 .707
ADM/REC 5.518 .030 *
RET .001 .978
PLAN .304 .588
COORD .150 .703
IM * ADM/REC .011 .918
IM * RET .336 .569
IM * PLAN .041 .842
ADM/REC * PLAN 3.929 .062
RET * PLAN .027 .871
IM * COORD .026 .874
ADM/REC * COORD 6.086 .023 *
IM * ADM/REC * COORD 1.036 .322
RET * COORD .226 .640
PLAN * COORD 2.502 .130
Error
Total
Corrected Total

(a.) Squared = .576 (Adjusted R Squared = .174),
* p < .05

Table 7: Tests of Between-Subjects Effects for Current
Study Retention to Graduation Rate

Source Sum of df Mean
 Squares Square

Corrected Model 3899.671 (a) 17 229.392
Intercept 55339.44 1 55339.440
IM 186.770 1 186.770
ADM/REC 26.694 1 26.694
RET 7.229 1 7.229
PLAN 23.154 1 23.154
COORD 1040.263 1 1040.263
IM * ADM/REC 51.730 1 51.730
IM * COORD .561 1 .561
ADM/REC * COORD 1.714 1 1.714
IM * ADM/
 REC * COORD 10.744 1 10.744
RET * COORD 10.983 1 10.983
Error 1083.516 17 63.736
Total 107616.390 35
Corrected Total 4983.187 34

Source F Sig.

Corrected Model 3.599 .006
Intercept 868.257 .000
IM 2.930 .105
ADM/REC .419 .526
RET .113 .740
PLAN .363 .555
COORD 16.321 .001 *
IM * ADM/REC .812 .380
IM * COORD .009 .926
ADM/REC * COORD .027 .872
IM * ADM/
 REC * COORD . 169 .687
RET * COORD .172 .683
Error
Total
Corrected Total

(a.) Squared = .783 (Adjusted R
Squared = .565), * p < .05
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