IT Forum Perspectives

Two ways to position IT as a strategic partner with enrollment management

Insights from EAB’s Enrollment Management Forum topic poll

CIOs frequently tell us how much they value insights into what other members of the president’s cabinet are prioritizing. For example, many CIOs struggle to articulate the needs of the enrollment manager on their campus, let alone contextualize those needs within larger national trends affecting admissions and financial aid.

Our colleagues in EAB’s Enrollment Management Forum recently surveyed enrollment managers at nearly 50 institutions. We’ve analyzed the results to identify two key ways CIOs can build IT’s reputation as a strategic partner through collaboration with enrollment management.

Enrollment management's biggest IT needs: Data and analytics

Enrollment managers are under increased pressure to leverage data to achieve enrollment goals. While enrollment leaders are excited about the prospect of data-informed enrollment management, they may not fully understand the IT systems and analytic capabilities required to achieve these objectives.

Although many enrollment management teams have outsourced data-related efforts, internal analytics offer more useful information in the context of that specific institution. IT is therefore uniquely positioned to partner with enrollment management to:

  • Identify and support systems that collect data on prospective and incoming students
  • Analyze data to strengthen decision making related to admissions, financial aid, and student success

Respondent Interest in Harnessing Data and Analytics*

Respondent Interest in Harnessing Data and Analytics

*Separate data not available for private institutions

Enrollment managers show consistent interest in data analytics across a variety of key enrollment functions. Two of these areas are of particular relevance to CIOs: optimizing financial aid and benchmarking performance.

Related: How can IT support provosts' strategic priorities?

1. Optimize financial aid and pricing

Enrollment leaders’ top-of-mind issues include strategies to attract and support middle-income students, improve financial aid counseling, and develop financial aid policies with institutional goals. IT can support these critical objectives by:

  • Collecting data on historical student characteristics, award types (e.g., merit, need-based, need-aware), award levels, and yield
  • Designing platforms to facilitate financial aid counseling services
  • Training the enrollment management team on new data capabilities

Respondent Interest in Optimizing Financial Aid and Pricing

Respondent Interest in Optimizing Financial Aid and Pricing

2. Benchmark resource allocation and operational performance metrics

Enrollment leaders always want to compare their performance against their peers’—an exercise only possible with clean and accessible data. ERP systems that can disaggregate data related to financial and human resources will support these efforts. The ability to access this data, and also gather information about prospective, admitted, and enrolled students, will help enrollment managers measure the ROI of their resources and compare with other institutions.

Respondent Interest in Benchmarking Resource Allocation and Operational Performance Metrics

Respondent Interest in Benchmarking Resource Allocation and Operational Performance Metrics

Learn more about providing value to campus leaders

Download an excerpt from our study From Data to Decisions for additional tactics to help campus members access and analyze data to make more data-informed decisions.


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