For any educational institution, the bottom line, is to increase their student enrolment rates. And this is easily said than done simply because of the vast amount of educational choices available for students. Schools often see a high number of applications initially, but in the final enrollment stage, the numbers fall to less than half. It’s time to give a thought to the reasons why some schools experience enrolment growth whereas others decline.
And from the parents’ point of view, choosing the right educational institution or school for their child is now becoming a severe and demanding process just like buying a new house. Evaluating the innumerable options available, looking at several different factors and finally choosing one is as strenuous as it gets.
In these times of tough competition, it is highly essential that a school employs the right strategies to identify the critical factors that parents consider the most when evaluating a school.
Building an engaging and supportive alumni network as well as maintaining excellent relationships with them is important for the success of any educational institution. An alumnus(ae) automatically become the brand ambassador for their alma mater. Sharing success stories of past students, conducting regular reunions, having testimonials from students and parents are all compelling ways to attract prospective students.
More often, institutions are highly focused and accustomed on investing in increasing the student enrolment. But what several fail to realize is the need for student retention. This is just as important as recruiting new students. The cost of retaining existing students and improving the student success can yield better financial benefit in the long run. And this requires the school to continuously strive to identify and fulfill the changing student and educational needs.
Giving preference for the siblings can be highly helpful for parents of students already studying in the same school. This helps to save parents the time and cost involved in finding a school and going through the enrolment process all over again. This is also a good way to increase student retention.
It is very important to understand how a school is perceived by its students, parents and the society. Having the right branding strategy can create a paramount difference to any school. When your target audience knows exactly what your school stands for, and feels that your mission aligns with their own values, it enables the building of trust and loyalty. With so many educational institutions mushrooming year by year, your branding and marketing strategy is the chance to create a differentiation factor. Once the brand of the school starts getting recognition, parents would want to enroll their children there. And when it comes to marketing, social media has definitely become a promising channel to broadcast and engage.
Having a well designed school website is crucial, given today’s scenario. It is a key factor in creating a first impression. Moreover, parents often tend rely on websites to seek information regarding school amenities, admissions, curriculum, etc since it is the easiest and convenient method. It is also an effective platform for the school to showcase its achievements, prominent alumni and their success stories.
An impactful school website should be engaging, mobile friendly with reduced loading times, easy to navigate and has all the relevant information including brochures, academic calendar and other downloadable content.
With large number of schools adopting automated attendance and access control systems that are based on RFID/biometric, educational institutions are striving to provide a secure and safe environment for their students. With the increasing crime rate against children, parents consider the security of their ward as a vital factor when considering a school.
Last but not the least, an educational institution should employ the right software to simplify, automate and streamline the entire cumbersome process of admissions. To increase enrolment, it is also key that the school accepts online applications. This can prove to be a highly convenient and hassle free for parents of prospective students, settled abroad. Moreover, an efficient school management system has in built mechanisms like alert systems to let the parents know about the cut off dates and deadlines, merit lists, interview dates etc. These alerts can be configured to reach them through SMS or emails. From the point of view of a school, it eliminates unnecessary manual work and helps save cost, time and effort.
The efforts involved in increasing the enrolment rates might not elicit quick results. To make your school shine requires continuous, sustainable and long term plans.
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