Eastern Christian School
How Eastern Christian School Focuses on Relationships to Boost Student Enrollment
Eastern Christian School is dedicated to enrolling students from every background to fill their classrooms and help each individual flourish. In order to keep enrollment numbers on the rise, it needed an efficient and reliable admissions and enrollment system.
Eastern Christian School is spread across three campuses in New Jersey and attracts students from a myriad of backgrounds, particularly diverse socioeconomic backgrounds. The school is known for its dedication to academic excellence and rigor, affordability via its unique variable tuition program, and foundational Christian faith and ethics.
The Challenge: Filling the Classrooms
While there are copious reasons to attend Eastern Christian, and they receive an abundance of inquiries each year, the school was looking to grow their student body. But as all school administrators know, the enrollment process takes time and can require multiple steps, forms, applications, and conversations before students get fully enrolled.
When Rudi Gesch, the current Director of Marketing and Enrollment Management, arrived at the school just five years ago they were still using paper applications. In fact, Gesch recalls “we were running the entire enrollment office off of paper and a google sheet to reference the papers.” He knew they needed a change.
In order to get more students through the enrollment process, the enrollment office needed a more efficient way to communicate with families, get forms completed, and track where each student was in the admissions and enrollment process.
“Education is transformation. I’m an optimist and I believe there’s enormous potential in kids and, in our school’s case, with our faith base. We have a chance to change their lives and it’s awesome to see.”
RUDI GESCH | DIRECTOR OF MARKETING AND ENROLLMENT MANAGEMENT
The Solution: Moving Students From Inquiry to Enrolled
The enrollment team, headed by Gesch, launched Finalsite's admission and enrollment product in March of 2015 after realizing something needed to change. When discussing the desire to implement the software with the Head of School, Gesch said, “You’re asking me to improve the enrollment of the school and this is our best bet at doing that.”
Gesch expressed that the product is primarily, as he describes it, a “family relationship tool,” adding that “the partnership of the company” paired with the features needed to reduce the enrollment burden.
Although Gesch and his team used to be buried under the mountains of paper that accumulated throughout the enrollment process, both the school administrators and families can now save time, energy, and stress by completing the necessary applications and recommendation forms fully online.
“It's very intuitive; it is simple and easy to see information immediately. Stuff just works. I don’t feel like I’m going to break anything by trying something. It was intuitive,” Gesch voiced. This simplicity and efficiency allow Eastern Christian to put the highest emphasis on personal contact and relationships with families.
The enrollment office uses it to enhance one of its key enrollment boosting strategies that Gesch calls the “Daily 10.” Each day three people from their enrollment team reach out to 10 active inquires. Selecting touch-points is simple because active inquiries can quickly be viewed on the admin dashboard and the applicant work-flow page. Inquiries can even be filtered by grade, gender, or interest in a particular sport, for customizable and individualized communication.
As inquiries move through the enrollment process, the progress and changes are easy to track via admissions reports which enable the team to check-in, view their historical or current progress, and see which strategies are the most fruitful.
Gesch appreciates the layout of the admissions reports because “they tell the story of the enrollment cycle, show year-over-year data, allow you to do a comparative analysis, and tell a big picture story.” These reports allow schools to set target numbers and view how total enrollment numbers compare.
Increase in Enrollment
The Results: An Increase In Student Enrollment Numbers
The Eastern Christian enrollment team’s priority was and continues to be enrollment growth, and they believe SchoolAdmin helps them make a concerted effort towards boosting enrollment and achieving their goals. In the past five years, the school has seen an 18 percent increase in student enrollment, bringing its student headcount up from 700 to 830.
Gesch said it best, “Education is transformation,” and the enrollment team has been able to spend more time focused on communicating, reaching out, and building relationships with families, rather than sorting through paper forms and applications.
With an efficient, organized, and trackable admissions and enrollment process the school is seeing higher enrollment numbers, but most importantly, it is given the opportunity to positively impact the lives of even more children.
Reporting and Insights
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