Greg Matthews, Vice President of Enrollment Management at Western New England University, recently met with the MARKETview team to share his perspective on the state of enrollment. He also spoke about his experience as a longtime MARKETview partner and advocate during his tenure across multiple institutions.
In his presentation, Matthews discussed how he has succeeded by thinking differently about how his team approaches the work of recruiting their incoming classes. Rather than simply monitoring key behavior activities among prospective students to project their likeliness to yield, his team actively encourages those prospects to do the same tasks that ideal students do independently. It’s a subtle, yet important distinction and a different approach to enrollment strategy. As a MARKETview user, Matthews is accustomed to challenging his assumptions using data.
“MARKETview provides proof points for why we can stop doing things that aren’t working and what we can focus on instead.”
Greg Matthews, VPEM, Western New England University
To advance this new proactive approach, Matthews wanted to map out the actions of ideal students who self-initiate, that is, students who independently matriculate through the admissions process and enroll at Western New England. What is the specific behavior of these ideal students? Can these actions be categorized and recorded as data points that will indicate if a student is likely to yield or not? Could these same actions then be encouraged through the outreach of an enrollment team?
“When you encourage all prospective students to do the same things as those who self-initiate, the results pretty much come out in the same way,” said Matthews.
Of all the observable touchpoints and activities of prospective students during the cycle, three specific metrics stand out to Matthews as key indicators that a student will yield (if a student completes them all):
- Multiple hard contacts (a two-way, direct conversation with a representative from the school).
- At least one campus visit.
- Submitting a FAFSA and receiving an award.
Matthews pointed out that while some students ultimately enroll even if they haven’t completed all three success metrics, they tend to yield at significantly lower rates than those who do. Therefore, for him and his team, they prioritize work that will encourage prospective students to take these specific actions—if they behave like self-initiating students, they ultimately have similar outcomes.
“We combine our data very strategically with the data that comes out of MARKETview.”Greg Matthews, VPEM, Western New England University
In fact, he found that students who completed all three actions yielded at a rate of around 66%, nearly double the rate of students who completed only two actions (such as filling out a FAFSA and speaking with a counselor, but not completing a campus visit). Students who only complete one action tend to yield between 1-12%, by comparison.
“The goals I’m working towards rely on organizing our time using MARKETview data. This gets more of the right students into our pool, so we can increase our yield without spending money on simply increasing applications,” said Matthews.
His approach is working. By partnering with MARKETview to know more about the students he wants to recruit and using that data to determine where to invest his team’s time and resources, Western New England is already seeing more than double the deposits than they had at the same point in time last year.
“I don’t spend money on speculation anymore because of MARKETview.”Greg Matthews, VPEM, Western New England University
Interested in learning how MARKETview can help you reach your goals? Connect with us for a short, personalized demo.