Considerations for Outsourcing or Providing Online Student Services Internally

Administration of Marketing, Recruitment, and Enrollment Management

Topics: Third Party Partnerships, Administration and Finance, Online Student Support Services, Online Education, Academic Affairs

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Research Questions

  • Which functions relating to marketing, recruitment, and enrollment management for online students are provided in-house or outsourced and how did other institutions determine this administration?
  • What advantages and disadvantages of in-house delivery do contacts at other institutions report?
  • What challenges did institutions that recently transitioned to in-house or outsourced delivery encounter and how did they overcome them?


As online education units continue to grow enrollments, universities must determine whether to administer marketing, recruitment, and enrollment management services in-house or through a third-party partner. This report examines the considerations administrators weigh when deciding whether to outsource services for online students or administer them in-house. It also outlines internal staffing levels, associated costs, and partnerships with third-party vendors.