Inquiry Sources in Coming Years: What to Expect (Part 2)

In Part 1 of this series, we explored the pandemic-related downturn in many traditional Inquiry sources. Today, let’s look at how schools have responded and where they’ve found much of their success. 

One undeniable trend from this cycle is the emergence of strong student migration when considering enrollment – that is, more students are willing to travel farther distances than ever before.  

Entering Class 2021’s most surprising enrollment gains came from students who live more than 500 miles from campus. This trend holds steady (so far) for Entering Class 2022, so it will likely be a key area of focus in future cycles, as well. 

But does this enrollment trend continue into sophomore inquiries, too? The short answer: Yes. 

Starting with the Entering Class of 2023, local sophomore inquiries fall dramatically – while more distant inquiries compensate to make up a larger share.  

The proportion of students from each mileage band beyond 100 miles climbs until we reach 1,000+ miles from campus. (This group has also lost some of its share of the pie since the pandemic began.) 

We should also note the “Unknown” category, which (in most cases) represents international students – which has seen an uptick in the number of inquiries in recent years. 

Clearly, there’s a lot happening within the market – but how do you respond to these changes? We’ll cover that in Part 3 of the series. 

(Don’t want to wait? Register to attend our webinar, On the Move: How Student Migration is Changing Higher Ed, on Wednesday, June 15, at 3:00pm EDT. We’ll go into much more detail on these trends and discuss how the most successful institutions are reacting to them. See you there!)