Know it All?

Or, do you know enough to improve your enrollment marketing?

aristotle-223x300Recently a college president told me “You don’t know what you don’t know.” It sounds philosophical and it is.  We were talking about a consulting project to assess the admissions and marketing operation on his campus.

Admitting to not knowing everything is open-minded and prudent. I don’t hear this confession every day!

The process of an assessment is a good step in knowing more about your institution. In truth, assessments are not conducted often enough in higher education enrollment and marketing. Engaging in this kind of consulting, for some, is an extra layer; too much work, an expense, and an added obstacle.

Consider these questions:

  1. What is the gross cost of your institution’s admissions and marketing operation?
  2. What is the expected outcome of the operation – i.e. what is the tuition revenue expectation?
  3. What is the actual tuition revenue?

With these dollar amounts in hand, you can weigh the cost of an assessment.  There is no magic formula for analyzing the expense of an assessment against the revenue for ROI.  The decision is variable. It’s like getting your furnace checked before winter or your car checked before a road trip. The investment of “knowing what you don’t know” is worth it.

And just like with furnaces and cars, it is best not to wait until the middle of winter or a road trip.  Do not wait for admissions and marketing to miss enrollment goals before conducting an assessment, by then it may be too late. The best practice is to conduct the research every 3 to 5 years.

Assessments help to almost know it all.

Join us on Friday, September 30, at 2 pm EDT for a 30-minute webinar “Achieving the Dream of Enrollment Success Through Evaluation and Change”. We’ll share case studies of how undergraduate and graduate enrollment offices used assessments as the first step. 


Janet Sieff,

Over 30 years of experience in higher education marketing, admissions, and financial aid. Fifteen of those years spent on a campus managing the high school recruitment operations and negotiating articulation agreements. Off-campus experience includes consulting for college cost affordability, tuition payment plan implementation, online media campaign sales, lead generation, college prep content sales, and strategic planning for national branding.