With enrollment wrapping up and classes starting back, inevitably many of you are going to be asking yourselves, “Why didn’t more applicants complete enrollment?”

This is a question that frustrates community college marketers every single semester. 

Obviously, each prospective student is different. There are many factors that influence their decision that you have zero control over, such as families, jobs, finances, etc.

However, what if there were things that you or your college could change, that would have increased the chances of more applicants enrolling and showing up on day one?

You know what? There probably are things you can do! And you can figure them out rather easily. Here is what I recommend:

  1. Contact your admissions office, and ask for a list of all applicants that didn’t complete enrollment. Name and email.
  2. Create a free account at MailChimp if you don’t already have one.
  3. Create a brief email that doesn’t use a template; that looks like it was personally written “by hand.”
  4. Be sympathetic, understanding, and sincere. Simply explain that you’re sorry they weren’t able to enroll, but you want to help. Ask them what led them to not enroll, and if there is anything the college could do to make it easier for them in the future. 
  5. Send the email to the entire unenrolled list.

This entire process should take about an hour. That’s it!

Now, let’s be realistic… Yes, I know that most will not respond. However, even if only a handful respond, I guarantee that you’re going to receive priceless insight and data.

Data that you can use to influence your future recruitment campaigns. 

Data that admissions and financial aid can utilize to provide more relevant help to applicants. 

Info that you can use in a few months, when you perform marketing campaigns intended to reach non-enrolled prospects from past semesters… If you’re not targeting unenrolled applicants each semester, you’re missing out!

There are many ways you can survey non-enrolled students, but the process I’ve described is quite simple, and it makes it simple for them. However you choose to do it, just do it. If you have a different way of doing this, I’d love to hear about it.

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