Have you ever thought about the reasons why some private schools experience enrollment growth and why others decline?
If you were developing a theory of school growth, what would you propose as the most important factors that influence enrollment growth?
Based on my experiences in working with private, Christian and independent schools throughout the country, I believe that there are multiple factors that contribute to enrollment growth and decline at a school. Let me highlight some of these factors for you.
Research: – The responses by each student after one day were almost exactly the same as their responses after weeks and after several more months.
First impression count then, for students, teachers, pupils, for visitors – and are absolutely critical for parents.
First in the school does matter:-.
- First knowledge
- First Visit
Importance of first knowledge about school in admission campaign
Every school plans ahead for establishing school as brand on local, state and country level. School management conducts so many intensive surveys to know the pulse of people. Generally school adopts various means and methods to promote the school i.e. (1) developing responsive school website (2) advertisement through print material (3) television and online advertisement (4) school prospectus (5) school magazine. Prospective parent explores all possible available sources to find out good school before choosing right school for getting his son/daughter enrolled. Generally parent shows faith on the words of friends and neighbors, who may themselves be parents of existing students in the school.
School management hires different ad agencies for increasing admission in the school. They plan properly to establish school. Advertisement helps them to reach maximum number of unknown parents as well as existing parents feel connected with school. An established school has different characteristics features. Reputation of school speaks a lot however “how the reputation was achieved is often mysterious. Parent plays pivotal role in increasing school reputation as well as increasing students’ enrollment each year.
How to improve the reputation? What are your ideas?
Existing parents are valuable assets of school. School reputation purely depends on holistic development of students. Parent is the best advertising agent of a school. School management should talk to parents about what is happening in the school— what you are genuinely proud of —————-will help dealing with present parents, more than future parents. School management should avoid being negative about other school- and should convince parents fairly.
More footfalls more admissions/enrollment in the school: Do you think so?
There is an old saying “first impression is the last impression”. It is an effective term when we consider for advertising a school. Everyone deserves proper respect. Parents visit your school campus with high hope. If she decides to enroll his wards in your school, It means, s/he hands over his ward for almost 12 years in your school for formal education. S/he should feel a positive aura in his/her first visit at your school. Parent first visit in school campus should be impressive. School admission committee offers a helping hand to the parents who are visiting school campus for admission inquiry. The first visit to school campus starts long before the front door. School supportive staffs help the parent to assess the school ground/parking area for parking their vehicle. The reception door should be leveled as “reception”. School reception/office should be neat and clean. The receptionist cordially invites parent to have a seat and supportive staffs offers a glass of water/a cup of tea for parents. They ask the details and purpose of visiting in a very cordial manner. School admission committee members share minute details of school vision and mission as well as positive/unique culture with the parents. It may be possible that parent has a number of questions but his questions should be answered logically and cordially. School should not have attitude “trust us, we are a good school” but the attitude “let us demonstrate how good we are”!
Use of school prospectus in admission campaign: Do you think so?
Admission committee members show school prospectus to the parents. School prospectus contains all necessary and valuable information about the school. School prospectus provides an overview of school i.e. vision and mission of school, school facilities, school scholastic and co scholastic achievements, evidence of different learning activities through various images etc.
Use of visual presentation to show authentic quality evidence in admission campaign: Do you think so?
Admission committee members show evidence of learning to the parent through school albums and school co scholastic activities i.e. real (unedited) video of classroom facilities, teaching and learning styles and students’ performance on various occasions to the parents. It is effective and impressive. Parent correlates the admission counselors’ positive words with these different medias sources.
Attitude of office staffs and other school employees in admission campaign: Does it really matter? What do you think?
School admission committee should treat parent’s first visit to the school as the golden opportunity to convert the inquiry into registration and admission. We should not forget the fact that a parent has already collected some information about the school through various sources. I.e. school fee and school environment before a visit to your school. S/he wants to confirm all the previous known information through the mouth of school staffs. School staffs treat all the parents equally. Every visitor/parent is special for a school. When we counsel a parent in our school. It may be possible that s/he will take a decision for registration and admission or may not take decision but it is sure that s/he will carry a long lasting impact from school. S/he may share good words about the school with other prospective parent. We adopt a visionary approach and try the best to make him realize the worth of our school. The attitude of the office staffs can be deciding factors for a parent to take a final decision to choose your school for his/her wards. Their actions set the tone for the rest of the school.
Think a while
Each of these private school marketing strategies is powerful on its own, but far more effective when integrated into a balanced overall marketing campaign. Private schools can utilize their creative and technological resources to target a broad audience with meaningful online marketing campaigns while calling upon their community connections to appeal to local applicants for maximum results. We must reviews our strategies time to time, and must improvise marketing strategies, but never ever should feel impatient by not seeing projected outcome.