Magazines and Special Reports

The 2022 Independent School Cost-Per-Enrollment Study (Report Preview)

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4 Copyright 2022 The Enrollment Management Association, Inc., National Association of Independent Schools, and National Business Officers Association. All rights reserved. It's the first day of a brand-new school year – and as an independent school leader, you're ecstatic. Your enrollment efforts have resulted in record admission numbers, a solid pool of applicants, and a growing bank of inquiries and school visits. Overall, you can mark your past admissions season as a success. Yes, it required a lot of work (and resources), but whatever you did seems to have paid off. Now the only problem is replicating that magic next admissions season. Because what did it really take to bring new students in the door this year? What strategies were the most effective at capturing new inquiries – and converting inquiries to applicants? Were there marketing and admissions tactics that failed to generate the expected results? And what are the smartest ways to allocate your resources moving forward? In short: how much did each new-student enrollment actually cost your school? It's a critical question, one that has far-reaching consequences for a school's mission and revenue. Understanding the dollars invested in each new-student enrollment provides powerful insights that independent schools can use to inform decision-making, strategy, collaboration, and budget across the entire enrollment management spectrum. Yet the question of cost-per-enrollment is one that many, if not most, independent schools struggle to answer. It's important for independent schools to have the insights they need to make data-informed decisions because these decisions impact not only a school's mission, but also their overall operations." - Hans Mundahl, Senior Director of Professional Development at the Enrollment Management Association (EMA) Introduction & Key Findings-At-A Glance How much do we know about what it costs independent schools to enroll a new student? Perhaps that's because the data needed to calculate cost-per-enrollment (CPE) lives within disparate information systems. Perhaps these numbers are aggregated in a way that makes it difficult to separate admissions from other aspects of the school. Or perhaps the school has simply never collected, understood, and measured this data in the past. Our goal with this report is to help independent schools begin to gather and analyze their own cost-per-enrollment data by demonstrating how similar schools are reporting their CPE numbers. There is no right or wrong data here. By sharing these initial findings, we hope to empower independent schools with the information they need to begin crucial, collaborative conversations; develop smarter strategies; attract and retain more right-fit students; and effectively achieve their missions. Many schools struggle to track their enrollment management expenses in a way that makes it easy to delineate the purpose of each individual activity. That is why defining individual roles and collaborating across departments is key when considering cost-per-enrollment." - James Palmieri, Ed.D., Executive Vice President of the National Business Officers Association (NBOA) Enrollment is a vital issue all of the time, but the upheaval and uncertainty of the last few years have made it even more important that independent schools have clarity on the resources they require to keep enrollment as optimized as possible." - Mark J. Mitchell, Vice President for Access and Affordability at the National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS)

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