Sneak-peek at Adult and Graduate Admissions Research

It shouldn’t be a newsflash, but a good reminder – the higher education landscape is continuing to change

Enrollment is not just about the 18 to 24 year-old student anymore. Although we have seen significant enrollment increases in the non-traditional population in the last few years, The National Center for Education Statistics projects even more change and opportunity — a 21% increase by 2025.

Enrollment planning for non-traditional programs can vary greatly between the type of non-traditional student (adult, graduate, international, etc.) and also from traditional undergraduate admissions. For example, advertising budgets, student recruitment strategies, and follow-up methods of inquiries are just a few things that will be different when working with these programs.

PS&L conducted Adult and Graduate Admissions research to learn more about how different institutions are preparing and planning to capture a piece of this market. Here are some initial observations from our research that we will further explore in our final report:

  • A little over half of the adult degree completion respondents have an advertising budget of $100,000 or greater while half of graduate program respondents have an advertising budget of less than $75,000
  • Most (80%) of adult programs offer CLEP credit. Only 26% of graduate programs offer CLEP credit
  • A personalized email is the most common follow-up method for an initial inquiry
  • Most offices are following up with inquiries, either by phone or email, within 24 hours
  • The number of sites/campuses does not directly correspond to the number of FTE recruiting staff
  • There are opportunities for more ad retargeting, geo-fencing, and SEO in promoting
  • Only half of the respondents are utilizing landing pages or microsites in adult degree completion programs and only 44% in graduate programs

Come back soon to read our full report of observations from Adult and Graduate Admissions!

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Dana Evans,

More than 17 years of experience in higher education admissions, enrollment management, and marketing. Most of it spent in-house at various colleges, including Dean of Admissions and Financial Aid, prior to joining Paskill Stapleton & Lord. Facilitates focus groups, conducts interviews, crafts research instruments, and develops observations and recommendations on the findings.