Top Challenges Facing Enrollment Managers

Last updated on: October 28, 2021

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What keeps your enrollment manager awake at night? According to Inside Higher Ed’s 2018 Survey of College and University Admissions Directors, a majority of respondents expressed concern about meeting their school’s enrollment goals for the coming academic year. Just 38 percent met their goals by the traditional May 1 end of the admission period, and less than half did so by June 1.

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Top Challenges Facing Enrollment Managers

As outlined in the Enrollment Management Report, some of their enrollment worries might include:

Trends such as shifting demographics and changes in student mobility patterns

The public’s waning trust in the benefits of higher education

Outmoded and unsustainable business models

A lack of flexibility and agility in developing new and diverse educational opportunities

Administrative silos that can limit innovation and creativity

Absence of an effective and efficient student progression and graduation plan

Tuition costs that are not competitive

Unmanageable student loan debt

Too few job placements by graduation

A dearth of actionable data and research

Inability to incorporate new technologies, including online and hybrid courses

Changes in accreditation criteria

Changes in federal and state funding

Ineffective governance

A revolving door of key administrators

Universities that successfully meet their enrollment goals take a collaborative approach to enrollment and retention, putting systems in place that allow the enrollment manager to respond quickly to changes in trends and student preferences.

Suggested Reading

These books might help higher education administrators struggling with how to create a culture and processes that embrace change and reflect a shared responsibility to enroll and graduate students.

College: What It Was, Is, and Should Be by Andrew Delblanco

Higher Education in the Digital Age by William G. Bowen

The Innovative University by Clayton M. Christensen and Henry J. Eyring

Generation on a Tightrope: A Portrait of Today’s College Student by Arthur Levine and Diane R. Dean

Ten Trends in Higher Education by Marguerite J. Dennis

College (Un)bound: The Future of Higher Education and What it Means for Students by Jeffrey J. Selingo

The Idea of the Digital University: Ancient Traditions, Disruptive Technologies and the Battle for the Soul of Higher Education by Frank Bryce McCluskey and Melanie Lynn Winter

Source: “What keeps enrollment managers up at night?,” by Marguerite J. Dennis in Enrollment Management Report, 2016 (Vol. 19, Issue 12)

Wiley Education Services provides end-to-end student support services from application to graduation for our partner universities. We can help your institution implement and manage comprehensive support for enrollment as well as other areas to ensure that you meet your goals — and that your enrollment manager gets some rest.

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