You’ve done your research, you’ve compared multiple solutions and carefully evaluated dozens of features, and now you’ve selected an admission and enrollment management software that meets your private school’s unique needs.
Now, there’s just one final step before you can begin using your new admissions platform and enjoy all its many benefits: You have to convince top leaders — like your head of school and your board— it’s a worthwhile investment.
Making a case for any additional expense isn’t easy. Even when you’re advocating for technology that can help attract more prospective families, increase inquiries, and help your school's enrollment goals. And it can be especially challenging when members of your admissions office and enrollment professionals don’t often have a seat at the leadership table.
So how can you persuade those directing your independent school's budget to invest in the admission software you need to help increase enrollment?
Here are three talking points to include when pitching an admission and enrollment software to your organization’s top decision-makers:
Return on Investment
The most important point you can make in your argument is a financial one. The first question CEOs and CFOs ask when evaluating a request for a new solution is, “How much does it cost?” usually followed by, “Is it worth the investment?”
That’s why it’s essential you explain how school admissions software yields a favorable ROI.
For example, if your software allows you to send segmented, targeted, and personalized emails, you’re more likely to engage candidates and their families. And with visibility into critical admission analytics and metrics like inquiry-to-application conversion, you can identify which efforts are driving results, and which need improvement. You’ll be investing your budget more wisely, so you can reallocate your school's marketing strategies and expensive admission events that aren’t driving results.
“Finalsite Enrollment was able to shine a light on where our inquiries come from,” said Danny Curtin, Archbishop Riordan High School’s director of admissions & strategic initiatives. Since selecting Finalsite Enrollment to collect, process, and oversee the school’s enrollment, tuition, and billings processes, Curtin and his team are now able to dive into the data, see the growth, and review if they’re on track or if they’re behind and where they can strategically market.
“We’re filling in the gaps and maximizing the newer markets— we're seeing that for the first time right now because we have the data. Just having that constant feedback really made life a lot easier for us with our applications, and it helps solidify the mission-fit families. I think that's why we saw an increase in total applications.”
From responding to inquiries, nurturing leads, and arranging campus visits to managing contracts and overseeing the registration process, the admissions team is the lifeblood of your institution. Helping your admissions department work more efficiently is in everyone's best interest.
By investing in student enrollment management software, you can boost efficiency without increasing your department’s headcount. This helps reduce the costs associated with recruiting, hiring, and training additional personnel, and it also alleviates the burden on existing employees.
School offices are becoming increasingly siloed, with each team and department focusing on their own objectives and relying on disparate software. Keeping all prospective students’ data and communications in one easily accessible location will help save time by reducing manual uploads and ensure your teams are working with the most up-to-date lists. Your admissions team will finally have the bandwidth to get back to what really matters: building relationships with families.
When Minnehaha Academy, a top-ranked college prep school located in the heart of the Twin Cities partnered with Finalsite’s enrollment management system, they knew the value of streamlining the enrollment journey for families, personalizing communications, and leveraging critical admissions data to grow their school’s enrollment. With integrated admissions, enrollment, and tuition billing tools, Finalsite Enrollment allows teams to automate processes and create a better enrollment experience for families and admissions offices of any size.
“Finalsite Enrollment combined everything from the first click on the website to the enrollment deposit,” said Michelle Ulland, director of admission and enrollment. “Our solution was to find a better way of tracking and a better way of seeing where the bottlenecks are during conversion and not just after the fact, but during the fact.”
A great solution helps you keep all admissions and enrollment activities and data in one central, secure location. It also simplifies the enrollment process for the candidate’s parents, creating a seamless user journey so they can provide the information you need to make a timely decision.
Larger School Objectives
Investing in a solution offers additional benefits that expand across different departments and offices. A powerful enrollment management software can support admissions goals by not just increasing interest and inquiries, but also your school’s retention efforts, too. And with powerful integration options, you can reduce your school’s software needs while ensuring everyone is working with the same information.
Your school’s leadership cares about what happens within your department and knowing an investment can have farther-reaching benefits to help solve staffing pain points and eliminate data bottlenecks will help solidify their approval.
Before you pitch to your school’s leadership, equip yourself with information and resources. Make sure you know how the solution will impact financials, increase your team’s effectiveness, and help the school meet overarching goals. If possible, share the providers’ case studies and, when discussing software benefits, be as specific as possible. The better you’re prepared, the more likely you will get approval for your new admissions and enrollment management software.
When time is short, staffing is reduced, and resources are limited, implementing a platform that streamlines the enrollment journey for parents, but also eases the burden of your internal team empowers your school to transform a very complex process into a manageable undertaking. By focusing on ROI, increasing efficiencies, and how the platform supports the larger objectives of your school, you’ll find the support you need to meet and exceed your enrollment goals.
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.