SOURCE: Leads360

Leads360

December 16, 2011 18:27 ET

Update: Evaluating Admissions Processes at For-Profit Schools

LOS ANGELES, CA--(Marketwire - Dec 16, 2011) - This document updates and replaces a press release issued by Leads360 November 2, 2011 at 10:07 a.m. ET. Leads360 amended their private-sector higher education "secret shopper" study after improving methodology for data collection and switching to a rank comparison rather than a subjective grade comparison.

Leads360, the industry leader in enrollment management software, released the results of a large private-sector higher education "secret shopper" research project that tested the responsiveness of schools and universities to prospective students. The study measured responsiveness across schools and compared the results to Leads360's benchmarked best practices that maximize the chances for enrollment of prospective students.

After studying millions of inquiries, key performance indicators impacting admissions were identified by Leads360, shedding light on where admissions departments can improve their recruitment processes. Overall, schools have the best chances for a positive outcome when they respond promptly to inquiries with relevant information, without over communicating to students who may not be ready to take the next step with school representatives.

The study found the mean time it took to receive the first phone call was more than 6 hours and, despite the low cost of automated email responses, several schools and universities also failed to promptly respond by email. On average, the first email was sent more than 14 hours after the inquiry was received. The best performers in both speed-to-contact categories reached out to new prospects within 1 minute.

The study also revealed room for improvement in controlling the number of follow-up attempts to each inquiry by admissions counselors. Previous Leads360 research has demonstrated the optimal number of nurturing emails to send to each inquiry is between two and four and the optimal number of calls is between five and eight. On email, only 16% of schools studied hit the mark on average, with twice as many sending too few emails and 52% sending too many. Institutions also failed to follow up on inquiries with a healthy number of call attempts, only 24% of schools surveyed made between five and eight call attempts per inquiry.

The study shows many leading schools and universities could benefit from some fine tuning in how they respond and follow up to student inquiries to build strong relationships with prospects and optimize marketing resources.

"Schools and universities invest a great deal in marketing to generate initial interest from prospective students," said Nick Hedges, CEO and President of Leads360. "This report sheds new light on where schools can improve their approach to recruiting high quality students by responding more promptly and better controlling the actions of their admissions departments throughout the recruitment process."

Performance data is available in the study entitled "Evaluating admissions processes at for-profit schools." The report is available for public download at www.Leads360.com/EvaluatingAdmissionsProcesses.

About Leads360
Leads360 is the market-leading enrollment management platform, proven to deliver smarter, more efficient recruiting and enrollment processes for schools that compete for students. With unmatched expertise, drawn from managing over 40 million prospects for more than 10,000 clients, cloud-based Leads360 is the platform of choice for the nation's largest and most successful educational institutions and business organizations.

Whether your student prospects are generated online or offline, a more powerful and efficient way to identify and enroll students that are the best fit for your school can be found at www.Leads360.com/HigherEd.

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