8 HACKS TO INCREASE STUDENT ENROLLMENT & RETENTION
Building Trusting Relationships
After reaching the HUGE milestone of actively generating foot traffic to your school, it’s important to keep up the momentum. It is key to continue communicating to prospective families as they progress in their decision making process. It goes without saying that this is an important and very sensitive exchange. For both practical and polite reasons, no one wants to be harassed as to where they stand on a decision. At the same time, you won’t want to be overly passive as you may miss an opportunity.
In the posts on INTERNAL and EXTERNAL promotion, we noted the importance of recording data on prospective families and what features about your school might resonate with them and influence their decision. Topics can range from educational models, before and after child care, music, arts, theater, sports, doctrine, safety, class size. The list can go on and on. As those key items are identified, they can be used as warm opportunities to extend invitations to those prospective families.
Many scenarios can be identified and leveraged:
School band concerts provide opportunity to reconnect with those interested in music
School art shows provide opportunity to reconnect with those interested in art
Open Houses provide opportunity for those to meet with teachers to discuss education models
New financial aid opportunities allow you to quickly connect with those who have expressed financial difficulty
Fun family events provide opportunity for prospective families to get a taste of the school “culture” and interact with your “cheerleaders”
Parent education or workshops hosted by your parent organization show your prospective families that your parents are active and engaged.
College recruiting workshops provide opportunity for prospective families to realize your long term objective for your students
In all of these scenarios, by recording this data and making it actionable and personal, you are able to provide a great service to not only current families but prospective families. This genuine approach positions you to execute enrollment plans with a feeling of confidence that your efforts to provide service to families takes precedence over the implication or concern that your efforts are invasive.
To say that everyone will be overwhelmed by your effort to service would be false. However, building your plan from a service mindset will effectively demonstrate the value of your school to prospective families in a truly genuine way.