The Secret Of Enrollment Management – What Private Colleges Don’t Want You To Know About Their Financial Aid Policies!


Secret Of Enrollment Management –  What Private Colleges Don’t Want You To
Know About Their Financial Aid Policies!


Have you ever heard
of the term, “Enrollment Manager”? If not, then here’s a lesson in college
economics that most parents will never hear about.


College enrollment
management became prominent in the 90’s when private colleges
discovered that they were losing high quality students to public universities
due to “sticker price shock”. Many private colleges suffered from lower
admissions numbers and feared that they would go out of business if they did not
find a better way to pinpoint the high schools and markets where their best
prospects would most likely be found. As a result, they turned to enrollment
managers. In a nutshell, here’s how the enrollment management process works:

  1. A
    private college hires an enrollment management firm to analyze the college’s
    admissions policies, student enrollment patterns, demographics, and diversity.

  2. The
    enrollment management firm analyzes the college’s revenues and costs to
    determine the college’s break-even point, or the number of students the
    college needs to recruit and retain in order to cover their necessary

  3. The
    enrollment management firm then adds in the college’s projected new spending
    to determine the minimum revenue needed to achieve the college’s
    total expenditure goals for the year.

  4. The
    enrollment management firm then calculates the average EFC (Expected Family
    Contribution) per recruited student that is needed in order to meet the
    college’s total expenditure goal. This is called the “Target EFC”.

  5. The
    enrollment management firm then develops a marketing campaign to target
    students of academic quality that live in zip codes that will most likely
    yield the Target EFC needed to meet the college’s financial goals.

  6. The
    enrollment management firm then offers those quality students grants and
    scholarships equal to the difference between the college’s total cost of
    tuition and fees and the target EFC.

  7. Once
    the college has recruited enough students to meet the break-even point, the
    enrollment management firm gradually begins to reduce the grant and
    scholarship offers up to the point where the college is at full admissions.

These enrollment
management firms are increasingly able to accurately identify the students
likely to enroll without any financial aid. Some enrollment managers can even
predict how big a scholarship it will take to attract the kinds of students the
college is short on; such as females at engineering schools or rural kids at
urban colleges.


Many private
colleges are now using enrollment management firms to minimize the amount
of money they have to give out to meet their enrollment goals, which means
that some students attending those schools may get the short end of the
stick when it comes to financial aid.


College is BIG
BUSINESS and the quicker parents realize that the sooner they can put together a
game plan to get the best college deal for their money. Before you fill out your
financial aid forms, give us a call first, we’d love to help you build
that plan.

author of this newsletter is Brian Safdari.

If you
have any questions about the information contained in this newsletter, or any
questions about college funding in general, please contact our office at

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