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Enrollment

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									Management Reporting:

Enrollment Section 8

   1. What reports are produced on a regular basis to track enrollment and
      admissions related activity at your school? List the titles of each report, its
      distribution and frequency of publication, and describe the key action
      items the report is intended to inform. Attach a sample of each report.
   2. Who is responsible for producing each of the above reports?
   3. What management reports or tracking information does your school
      publish with respect to the effectiveness of various outreach methods?
      How do you know your publicity and advertising is effective?
   4. Describe the key elements of the philosophy that informs your report
      design, frequency and distribution in the areas of marketing effectiveness
      and enrollment.
   5. What is particularly effective in your management reporting for this area?
   6. If you could change some aspect of your work in creating and reacting to
      management information for enrollment and associated marketing efforts,
      what would you change and why?


ENR 8-1 What reports are produced on a regular basis to track enrollment and
admissions related activity at your school? List the titles of each report, its
distribution and frequency of publication, and describe the key action items the
report is intended to inform. Attach a sample of each report.

The Enrollment Director and/or Registrar produce several enrollment oriented
reports. The most basic Enrollment Report (See: Enrollment Report) is
usually published on a biweekly basis and shows enrollment levels by class, new
enrollments, withdrawals, re-enrollment and wait list status. This report is
generally published without commentary, and is distributed to the administrative
staff, the Board if Trustees, the College and Faculty chairs, and to the
department chairs (Lower School, Kindergarten, and High School chairs).

This report is often supplemented on a monthly basis by a Monthly Activity
Report. This report details the number and type of inquiries by class and the
source of those inquiries. It also comments on admissions application activity,
current enrollment figures by class, and the various outreach activities and
advertising done during the month. The report varies in length from two pages
during slower enrollment periods to four pages or more when enrollment and re-
enrollment activity is at its peak.

An Annual Enrollment Report and Year-End Review is published once a year.
One school noted that this report is published in September (rather than the fiscal
year end of July 31) due to the high impact that summer enrollment activity can
have on enrollment levels when school begins in the fall. This analysis is similar
in many ways to the Monthly Activity Report, but is much fuller. It includes a
gender and geographical breakdown of the student body, the sibling enrollment
number, and an analysis of various promotion techniques. It gives inquiries by
grade, and then quantifies the enrollment funnel, looking at each step in the
enrollment process including the percent interviewed, percent accepted, and
percent enrolled. It also attempts to quantify the reasons that accepted students
did not enroll. It also analyzes how many of the new students come from public
schools, home schooling, from other Waldorf schools, and from other private
schools. The report includes a written commentary on developing trends and
prominent issues regarding the school’s enrollment, as well as a calendar of
outreach activities for the coming year.

The above written analysis is supplemented by an Annual Statistical Analysis
(See: Historical Enrollment Stats and Inquiry Report). It shows selected
statistical measures and compares them over time. One school reported they
have been keeping these statistics for over 8 years, allowing some meaningful
comparisons to be made. Numbers tracked include the percent of students not
returning, the number of new students, total enrollment for the year, the number
of midyear enrollments and withdrawals, and the ending enrollment. It also takes
a look at some of the key transition areas in the school such as kindergarten to
1st and 8th to 9th grade, showing the number of students that come from within the
school versus the number that come from outside. There is also information
about the number of inquiries for the year, how those that inquired heard about
the school, and the number of enrolment packages mailed. It tracks by month
the number of interviews with the Enrollment Director, the number of
applications, interviews, acceptances and enrolments. The number of families
attending outreach events is also tracked y month.

ENR 8-2 Who is responsible for producing each of the above reports?

In larger schools the Enrollment Report is often published by the Registrar. All
the other reports, especially those which include some analysis or commentary,
are published by the Enrollment Director.

ENR 8-3 What management reports or tracking information does your school
publish with respect to the effectiveness of various outreach methods? How do
you know your publicity and advertising is effective?

It is often difficult to state definitely how a particular family heard of the school.
Advertisers often say that someone must hear a name seven times before it is
retained in consciousness, meaning that most people who inquire about the
school have heard its name from several sources. Nonetheless, schools are well
advised to ask inquiring parents how they heard of the school, and to track those
responses. This makes it possible for schools to see in a reasonably accurate
way what the most significant source of information was for the respondent.
These responses are tallied and included in monthly and annual analyses of
enrollment activity.

Schools understand that it is important to keep a high profile in the public
consciousness through a variety of venues. Some schools mentioned that as
more and more people are doing their searching for information on-line their
investment in a high quality web site has increased while the amount of money
spent on yellow page advertising has dropped. Advertising is also gaining in
importance. Schools mentioned the importance of keeping ads jargon free, and
the effectiveness in their use to draw people onto the campus for events like a
pumpkin patch or holiday fair and to promote good speakers on various issues
related to child development and education.

ENR 8-4 Describe the key elements of the philosophy that informs your report
design, frequency and distribution in the areas of marketing effectiveness and
enrollment.

A full class is a healthy class. Tracking enrollment and retention allows the
school to identify difficulties and support teachers in need, and to seize
opportunities and then celebrate those classes that are vibrant and fully enrolled.

Friends are a huge source of new enrollment, so keeping your current families
happy is a critical part of the school’s enrollment success. Numerical tracking
can be an independent validation of class and community health and provides
additional insight when difficulties are rumored or suspected in the school or the
classroom. A happy parent body is your best marketing tool.

Management reporting of enrollment/re-enrollment and inquiry sources is
critically important. Schools should start by identifying a few key indicators and
then track them religiously, adding more indicators as time and experience allow.

Good tracking and reporting allows accurate budgeting to take place.

Good reporting also helps a school know where to spend its advertising and
event dollars.

Accurate reporting builds confidence in the administration by the Board. This is
good internal marketing.

The reports are clear indications of the activity in the Enrollment office. They
underscore the need for the Enrollment position, and provide accountability for
those doing enrollment work. The reports give the Board and College a clear
picture of the work of the admissions office, and help build understanding for the
sometimes difficult issues confronted there.
Good reporting allows emerging trends or issues to be identified early on. The
consciousness about appropriate action can then be raised and action taken.

Reports need to be reader friendly. Always report data in the same order so
people can easily find the information they need.

Know the key indicators that drive your business, and keep good records that
allow you to know what is happening in those areas.

Management reporting takes time. It is tempting to let these reports slide during
the busiest times of the enrollment cycle, but they are critically important. Don’t
miss a reporting cycle.

The work over the summer to prepare the annual enrollment report is very helpful
in planning how to react to various long and short term issues, and informs the
work for the coming year.

Enrollment is not just recruitment; it is also retention. Tracking data that allows
problems in the retention area to be identified is a key part of this work. A
healthy school is not created by filling classes with all new students every year.

Sharing enrollment report data helps everyone feel responsible for the health of
the school.

ENR 8-5 What is particularly effective in your management reporting for this
area?

The enrollment report is comprehensive and gives all the information in one
place. It is easy to generate on a regular basis, so the data is timely.

It is very helpful for the Board to receive the enrollment report. This adds a level
of confidence to their planning, and gives a sense that the administration is on
top of things at the school and allows budget and other planning to go forward
with more certainty.

Good reporting helps schools know where to spend its advertising and event
dollars.

From time to time key information such as the geographic distribution of currently
enrolled students and the number of siblings is reported in the school bulletin.
This helps keep the community informed and reminds people they can turn to the
Enrollment Director for the pertinent information they need to run their
committees and do other work on behalf of the school.

Broad distribution of the various enrollment reports is the key to widely shared
responsibility for enrollment levels.
Having on online database is great, allowing the school to easily query the
database for various pieces of information.

ENR 8-6 If you could change some aspect of your work in creating and reacting
to management information for enrollment and associated marketing efforts, what
would you change and why?

Tracking racial diversity is not done now. It needs to be tracked accurately by
soliciting this information on a voluntary basis from our currently enrolled families
and from all those who apply to the school.

Getting to the heart of why families leave the school is difficult. There is always a
stated reason, but sometimes the “real” reason for the withdrawal is not given.
Continued work on improving our information gathering in this area would be a
plus.

We are continually looking at ways to consolidate some of the categories that are
tracked so that the reporting is effective yet manageable.

								
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