Student Success Insights Blog

Re-enrollment campaigns: A quick and easy path to results

by Ed Venit

Ed Venit

Ed Venit, Senior Director
Student Success Collaborative

Universities devote a lot of energy to anticipating which students are unlikely to make it to graduation. Data analytics and predictive risk scores enable institutions to sense well in advance who is and who isn’t likely to complete, and then take steps to improve outcomes. Such strategies, though effective, may take several terms to play out fully, depending on the specific risk factor or population being addressed.

While these long-term strategies show incredible promise, some action-oriented institutions are simultanesouly implementing a successful short-term practice that has contributed to rapid (and meaningful) improvements in persistence. If we want to quickly improve persistence, they've asked, why not focus on re-enrolling those students who have yet to register for next term? After all, it is these students, by definition, who are in imminent danger of stopping out or dropping out.


Campaigns lead to rapid, impressive results

We recently spoke with two Collaborative members who ran successful re-enrollment campaigns using the platform between Fall 2014 and Spring 2015, with impressive results:

  • At Middle Tennessee State, advisors in every office across the institution ran targeted advising campaigns in Fall 2014 focused on contacting and re-enrolling any prior students who had not yet registered for Spring 2015. The result was an enrollment increase of 390 students, representing $1.5M in tuition revenue.
  • Towson University used SSC filters to identify students who were not enrolled for the spring term and used this data to create a direct outreach survey to identify those students who intended to return. Interestingly, the survey found that 166 of the non-enrolled students had easily resolvable holds, and half of these students were successfully re-enrolled after email outreach and advisement.

Other institutions can follow suit

This concept seems self-evident and conceptually straightforward, so we wondered why these schools hadn’t tried it before. It turns out that, prior to having SSC, advisors at many member institutions lacked a way to quickly and easily generate lists of non-enrolled students. To do so would have required action from the registrar or IR office and several weeks of turnaround time. Now, these advisors can generate action lists in just a few minutes and immediately intervene with a group of students at obvious risk of not persisting.

As the school year comes to an end, we encourage you to run similar campaigns on your campus.

  • First, meet with your advising offices to build buy-in and understand when they might have bandwidth to take action. While advisors are always busy, some offices will have extra capacity in between the end of registration and the beginning of summer orientation.
  • Second, ask the advisors to use SSC filters to build manageable work lists of students not registered for the fall term. Some offices have used risk scores to prioritize reenrolling those students with the best odds for finishing.
  • Lastly, work with the registrar to track progress and broadly report results. Doing so allows participants to join in celebrating quick wins and maintains momentum for the initiative.

We believe many SSC members could see immediate results from running re-enrollment campaigns focused on students yet to register for Fall 2015. Please reach out to your consultant for more information on how to use the SSC platform to identify and contact these students.

More Member Success Stories

We're partnering with institutions nationwide to help solve their most pressing student success problems. Check out our collection of case studies to learn how members are achieving meaningful gains in retention, completion, and revenue through SSC.

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