Optimize the Off-Season: Planning for School Enrollment Success in 2024-25

The right plan can make all the difference in your recruitment and retention efforts.

Yet, the reality for many independent and faith-based schools is a lack of a coherent strategy. Instead of strategic planning, they drift from one project to the next, often missing significant opportunities.

No matter if your school’s enrollment is overflowing, nearly full, or dwindling, a thoughtfully crafted strategic plan is crucial. It gives your admissions and marketing teams the direction they need to gain meaningful traction.

With summer just around the corner, now is the perfect time to start shaping your Enrollment Marketing Plan for the 2024-25 school year.

Here are three pivotal steps to prepare for the upcoming school year:

Step #1: Conduct an Assessment

Begin your planning with a comprehensive assessment of your enrollment and marketing processes and strategies. It’s essential to pinpoint what’s working and what’s not. This should encompass a review of admissions, retention, marketing, and tuition/financial aid strategies.

Moreover, consider conducting focus groups and surveys to gather deeper insights. Depending on the issues at hand, the nature of required research can vary. I recommend implementing five key surveys throughout the year, all of which are included in my comprehensive School Survey Solutions package. This research will not only clarify your current standing but also highlight areas in need of improvement.

Step #2: Identify Your Problems and Establish Your Goals

Use the insights gained from your assessments and research to identify key challenges—whether it’s reversing an enrollment decline, filling empty spots in specific grade levels, or boosting retention rates above 90%.

With these challenges in mind, set clear, actionable goals. Remember, these are not mere projections but targets designed to propel your strategic efforts forward.

Step #3: Develop Your Strategy and Write Your Plan

This step is crucial and demands significant effort. Here, you’ll define the strategies to achieve your goals, aligning them with strategic initiatives and specific tactics.

Your plan should be detailed in a document that’s regularly updated and reviewed by your team. It should outline what actions will be taken, timelines, responsibilities, resource allocation, and metrics for measuring success.

There are various ways to tackle these steps—on your own, through a team retreat, or with the help of a professional coach.

Enrollment Catalyst Program: Through my program, I offer customized guidance, both on-site and virtually, to help school leaders develop and implement an effective enrollment marketing plan. This process begins with a comprehensive assessment and includes extensive recommendations to move your team forward to reach your goals.

What’s the first step? It starts with a free, no-obligation conversation to see if we are a good fit. If so, we’ll tailor a plan that suits your school’s specific needs and budget. Click now to learn more and take the first step towards transforming your school’s future.