3 ways to prepare for a shrinking enrollment pipeline during COVID-19

Now is not the most ideal time for educational institutions to see vast increases in their student enrollment rate. Let alone increasing student enrollment, during this time of COVID-19 pandemic, even managing student retention looks increasingly difficult. 

Predictions like how the “college-age population in the United States of America might see a 15% decline” and general uncertainty regarding the same across many other countries are particularly concerning. So, considering all this, it is safe to say that the upcoming admissions season might be one of the most difficult ones that schools, colleges, and universities would be facing in recent years. 

We, at Classe365, have been constantly monitoring the developments in the education sector, and of late, we have been paying extra-emphasis on student enrollment and retention and on how the rates have seen fluctuations ever since the coronavirus outbreak. We have also been talking to industry experts on how the trend is going to be soon. Very recently, we had released a comprehensive 35-page playbook ‘Student Enrollment Growth’ where we cover all of the student enrollment essentials.  

(Download the playbook now: resources.classe365.com/student-enrollment-playbook

This particular blog will be an extension to the playbook where we talk particularly about the issues concerning student enrollment during the time of COVID-19 and three ways to prepare during this time.

Maintain a positive mindset 

Though this might not be a very technical tip, maintaining a positive mindset could be one of the most important attributes to have during a time like this. It should be noted that traditional educational institutions might be experiencing tougher times especially if they have not gotten comfortable with offering online learning or blended learning. 

So, for such institutions, it is imperative that apart from maintaining a positive attitude, they should also have a very open mind concerning changing the way they have been operating thus far. They should constantly look new ways to implement new methods to teach their students. Being able to adapt during crises situations could have direct implications in their admissions and how they can attract new leads (students). 

They should also not be hesitant to ask for help from external sources on how they could build their pre-admissions strategy during times like this – apart from discussing with the fellow institutions, they could also opt to use technological solutions that will lead us to the next point.

(Read: 
Smart Ideas for Academies: 5 Strategies to Increase Student Enrollment

Fully leverage your CRM to ensure no break in communication

Regardless of whether or not your institution is facing temporary disruptions due to the pandemic, you need to continue to be in communication with your present students, and most importantly your leads. For this, possessing and leveraging a good customer relationship management (CRM) platform would be a very effective way to communicate with both the current and future students. When it comes to what to communicate, educational institutions should keep informing about what their current situation is, their short-term and long-term plans, the steps they have taken to adapt to the pandemic, and more. They should also talk in-depth about the plans they have for the future students and how they could offer them disruption-free education. 

Communication shouldn’t just stop with this. The institutions could also focus on moving beyond just academics and do various community reach-out programs during these unprecedented times. Helping the local community could also help them stay in touch with the public in a very good way.    

(Know more about Classe365’s pre-admissions and CRM features)

Continuously innovate and improve the way you offer education online 

By now, we don’t even need to explain or justify why educational institutions should offer online learning too. It has become an absolute necessity for them to offer this to students and we do not know when we will be having full-fledged traditional face to face classes. Now, the focus should rather be on how effective the online courses are and how they could improve it so that future students could have strong motivations to be a part of the institution. 

Possessing a good Learning Management System (LMS) could majorly help institutions at times like this since they can use features like flip classes, blended learning, and more to make education a more immersive experience for students. And to attract the new students, the institutions should also focus on introducing offers in terms of the courses they run and could even introduce new courses just for online and for the time being. Since COVID-19 has had an impact in terms of job nature too, institutions could attract more students if they offer skill-based courses

(Read to know more about how Classe365’s LMS can help in offering immersive learning for students)

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