It’s a crucial time in your school’s admissions cycle: the final three months before sending acceptance decisions. Aside from the time spent sorting through applications and making important decisions, it's also when the shape of your incoming classes begins to take form.
During these months, every step of your admissions process must be thoughtful and compelling. This is the time to fine-tune your logistics — and equally important is maintaining contact with parents and students who are eager to hear from you and genuinely excited about the possibility of joining your school community.
With the right enrollment strategy, you can turn this final countdown into a powerful phase of engagement and anticipation. Let's take a look at what the next few months can look like and set the stage for a successful enrollment outcome.
Enhancing Communication with Prospective Families
It's essential to make each family feel empowered and informed through the enrollment process. Don't send generic communications — personalized emails sent through your enrollment management software, phone calls, texts, and portals can make a big difference in increasing the chance of an acceptance when the time comes for a family to decide to enroll.
Keep students and parents in the loop. Regular updates via email, social media, or your school’s admissions portal can help reduce anxiety and build excitement. For example, with regular check-ins or reminders about their application's status, financial aid updates, and upcoming events or school news, you can stay top-of-mind and build a connection.
Keep Showcasing Your School’s Strengths
Tours, Events, and Open Houses
For families that are still on the fence, you’ll want to drive home the idea your school is the best choice. Make sure these school events are prominent on your school's website and that they're well-planned and engaging. Information sessions with students, faculty, or even recent grads can highlight your school's unique programs, successful students, and vibrant community with an accepted students day.
Notre Dame Preparatory High School offers shadow days throughout the year — a great enrollment strategy for any private school. The “Shadow a Saint” program lets prospective students get back on campus to see what an average school day looks like.
Testimonials and Success Stories
Sharing stories from current students or alums can be powerful. These stories show real-life examples of success and happiness at your school, so continue sprinkling those quotes and profiles in your newsletters and emails, your website, and your social media posts.
Addressing Questions or Concerns
FAQ and Information Sessions
A frequently asked questions (FAQ) section on your website can be an excellent resource for families with last-minute questions or concerns. It answers common questions and saves time for your team, too. Additionally, hosting information sessions or Q&A events can help address more specific concerns that families might have.
KLA Academy has an extensive FAQ section on its admissions site, complete with everything from the best times to apply to how long a campus tour lasts.
Scheduling 1:1 Meetings
Sometimes, families have unique concerns, whether about financial considerations, scholarships, boarding programs, or just about anything else…Scheduling one-on-one meetings (in-person or virtually) through your school's enrollment software can be very helpful and a huge time-saver during the busy enrollment season.
A scheduling tool like the one offered through Finalsite Enrollment makes scheduling 1:1s easier than ever. Families wanting to connect with Lyceum Kennedy International School can browse available time slots and schedule a meeting with just a few clicks.
Sending Out Decisions and Welcoming Families
Communicating Decisions Effectively
When it's time to send out decisions, do it with care. The application process is emotional, so use clear, positive language, even when the news isn't what the family hoped for. For those accepted, make your offer as inviting as possible.
Keep Reading: Admission Decisions: How to Boost Acceptance Rates
Welcome accepted families with open arms. Send welcome packets, organize welcome events, or have current students, faculty, or parents contact them. These small gestures can go a long way in making new families feel part of your community. A webpage specifically for accepted students is a great way to celebrate, communicate, and support conversions.
Building a Community for New Families
Until families have accepted, keep building those relationships! Organize events where they can meet other accepted families and be introduced to faculty and staff. Events like open houses or virtual tours are still excellent chances to show what makes your school unique, and these opportunities help new families feel connected to your community right away.
Once they’ve accepted, don’t let up! Keep the conversation going with regular updates about the school, upcoming events, and tips for new students. All of that information can be shared through emails, social media, portals, and new family newsletters. This ongoing communication helps maintain their excitement and engagement all spring and summer long.
These final three months are a golden opportunity to solidify the hard work done throughout the admissions cycle. By focusing on personalized communication, showcasing your school’s strengths, addressing concerns, celebrating acceptances, and keeping the engagement alive after the decision, you can significantly increase the chances of families saying "yes" to your school.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Connor has spent the last decade within the field of marketing and communications, working with independent schools and colleges throughout New England. As Finalsite’s Senior Content Marketing Manager, Connor plans and executes marketing strategies and digital content across the web. A former photojournalist, he has a passion for digital media, storytelling, coffee, and creating content that connects.