SOURCE: EducationDynamics

EducationDynamics

March 22, 2010 15:51 ET

EducationDynamics White Paper Details Challenges and Strategies to Boost Enrollment and Retention at Faith-Based Colleges and Universities

"Keeping the Faith: An Insider's Perspective of Enrollment and Retention Strategies That Drive Results at Faith-based Institutions" Offers a Compilation of Best Practices Successfully Implemented at Schools Nationwide

HOBOKEN, NJ--(Marketwire - March 22, 2010) - The newest white paper from EducationDynamics (http://www.educationdynamics.com), higher education's leading marketing provider dedicated to helping institutions find, enroll and retain students, defines the challenges facing faith-based institutions of higher education and the solutions proven to boost enrollment yield and student retention.

Now available for download, "Keeping the Faith: An Insider's Perspective of Enrollment and Retention Strategies That Drive Results at Faith-based Institutions" incorporates extensive interviews with five U.S. faith-based higher education institutions of varying sizes and religious affiliations: California Baptist University, Lancaster Bible College, Loyola University New Orleans, Siena College, and Texas Lutheran University.

"Creating and maintaining spikes in student enrollment and retention rates has proved challenging for non-secular and secular schools alike, especially in light of the current economic climate," says John Mathews, president of EducationDynamics' Enrollment and Retention Services Division. "New advancements in technology, intense competition and predicted enrollment declines are forcing administrators to get creative in their approaches to enrollment and retention, as revealed by our research of faith-based institutions."

The individuals interviewed were exceptionally candid about sharing insights. For example, Ned Jones, vice president of enrollment management at Siena College, noted that "having a system of extraordinary data collection is at the heart of everything. Track, track and track everything, and when you think there is no way to track it, redouble your efforts to find a way. The more information you have, the more likely you are to spot opportunities, and the more effective you can be in your enrollment and retention efforts." (Siena has experienced increases in application numbers and campus visits of approximately 20 percent for four consecutive years.)

Proven best practices among the surveyed institutions, which are addressed in depth in the white paper, include:

1. Clearly communicating the school's mission to attract the right prospects

The educational experience varies among secular institutions, as does the role religion plays in campus life and classes. Providing an accurate portrait of these dynamics attracts those prospects who are most likely to succeed.

2. Deploying consistent messaging

Students are increasingly using new technology to seek information when weighing their education options. Institutions must reach out through all available channels, while ensuring the mission statement and messaging remain clear, accurate and consistent throughout.

3. Engaging students

Early engagement through organized programs helps students feel a stronger connection to campus life and increases retention. Programs specifically designed to foster relationships with parents are also a requisite component of any successful enrollment or retention initiative.

4. Making retention a commitment that utilizes key collaborators

Reducing attrition rates requires a team effort involving administration, faculty, staff, students, and their families. While such collaboration is often overseen by an administrator with "retention" listed as one of their responsibilities, a new trend seems to be emerging that dedicates at least one central, full-time figure to the effort.

"Keeping the Faith: An Insider's Perspective of Enrollment and Retention Strategies That Drive Results at Faith-based Institutions" is the latest white paper to be added to EducationDynamics' Sharing Center, and is available for download. Additional white papers are also available for download, including "University Purpose Networks: Online Communities for Student Retention and Success" and "Hindsight, Insight, Foresight: Understanding Adult Learner Trends to Predict Future Opportunities." Visit http://sharing.educationdynamics.com/ to browse the resource library for additional white papers.

About EducationDynamics

EducationDynamics, a portfolio company of Halyard Capital, is higher education's leading marketing services company dedicated to helping institutions find, enroll and retain students. Its content-rich and highly visible education websites, including EarnMyDegree.com, eLearners.com, GradSchools.com, StudyAbroad.com, and its more than 50 special interest microsites, make EducationDynamics the premier provider of qualified prospective students for colleges and universities. In addition, the company offers a full suite of Web-delivered services proven to drive enrollment growth and reduce student attrition. Through its Market Research and Advisory Services division, the company brings a decade of proprietary research, unparalleled market and student intelligence, and best practice insights to its clients. For more information, visit http://www.educationdynamics.com.

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