The Costly Impact of Inquiry Timing and Retention

Over the past several weeks we’ve explored how inquiry timing – when a student inquires at your college or university – has important implications for yield and the formation of a class. This importance persists through deposit, matriculation, and even impacts the likelihood a student retains after their first year.

With millions of student inquiries enriched with consumer data and standardized for comparative analysis, MARKETview provides our partners with unique vision into student behaviors and informs every next decision to inflect change and achieve campus goals.

Pre-Senior vs. Senior Year Inquiries and Their Relation to Retention

“When” a student inquires at a school plays an important role in evaluating their risk of not being retained. Looking at student retention data across MARKETview’s community of private and public institutions, our partners experience a significant difference in the rate students retained based on when they enter the funnel. have seen a significant difference in the rate students retain based on when they inquired. Students who inquire before their senior year have an average retention rate of 88.1% while students who inquire during their senior year retain at an average rate of 81.1%.

This 7 percentage point gap is meaningful and equates to disrupted educations and millions of dollars in lost revenue for institutions. Think of the decision to return for a second year as a repeat of the decision a student makes to attend a school in the first place. The earlier a student inquires, then, the greater the chance a college has to pique interest in programs and consistently build excitement for and reinforce this interest.

This is further confirmation that building inquiry pools as early as possible should be mission critical in achieving enrollment goals. And, it makes the continued drop in pre-senior inquiry volumes we saw last year and have seen so far this year even more of a challenge. Not only will it be harder to build your class, but it will also be harder to retain students once enrolled.

Are you able to evaluate your students by when they first inquired? How does retention change by inquiry year on your campus, and how might this inform your retention strategy? By providing decision-grade analytics on demand MARKETview helps you make these choices.