The start of a new school year presents a unique set of challenges, particularly for small schools. While all small schools must deal with increased competition from alternative models and increased pressure from the media, political figures, parents, and students to improve their performances, the most pressing challenge in the opening months is admissions and enrollment processes. These two aspects must be as improved as possible to work best for your small school.
Strategies To Improve Admissions and Enrollment Processes
Here are five great strategies to improve your small school’s admissions and enrollments process!
#1: Improve the Website
Small school enrollment is very dependent on having a good website. A school’s website is an incredibly valuable resource. Not only can parents easily access information about your small school and its programs, but you can also make their lives easier by including your admissions and enrollment processes in clear and concise language. Without this important resource, it makes it even harder for potential students to know what to do next.
#2: Put Everything in Writing
The best way to help parents understand the admissions and enrollment process is if they have access to it through writing. This may seem counter-intuitive, but by providing a simple actual document that they can read at their own pace, parents will be more likely to comprehend the information and be more likely to follow the process.
#3: Make Everything Publicly Accessible
Another great way of improving your admissions and enrollment processes is making them publicly accessible. By sharing information through different outlets, you are putting it in front of more eyes, which leads to further outreach. If parents are more aware of small schools, they are more likely to consider sending their children there.
#4: Organize an Open House
Organizing and promoting an open house for your small school is one of the best ways to attract new students and parents. By giving prospective families a direct insight into your school, they will be more inclined to appreciate and understand the benefits of attending your institution. Having open houses also encourages parents to get involved in their child’s education, which can influence how they feel about small schools.
#5: Be Flexible
Finally, be flexible with your admissions process. Keep an open mind when it comes to meeting with prospective families and making decisions on enrolling students for the following school year. While it can be tempting to put up barriers and shut out certain families, particularly in areas where small schools are becoming more competitive, you should always consider each family’s situation and do what will help them and their child succeed.
By using these five strategies to improve your admissions and enrollment processes, you’ll find it much easier to attract new students for the year and have an easier time recruiting students.
Why Admissions and Enrollment Is More Important For Small Schools
Small schools need to understand the importance of their admissions and enrollment process. Here are five reasons why admissions and enrollment are more important for smaller schools than larger schools.
#1: Smaller class size means less money.
Smaller class sizes mean smaller budgets, which makes it harder for your school to provide the best programming possible if you don’t have enough students attending your school. The more students you can bring in, the better services you can offer to them.
#2: Small schools need diversity just as much as larger schools do.
As a small school, you want to provide a diverse education to your students because it helps them understand more aspects of their world and prepare them for the real world in a way that large schools often struggle with. The best way to achieve this is by attracting a diverse group of students from different backgrounds who have different interests.
#3: Recruiting and enrolling new students is more difficult for small schools.
As a smaller school, you might feel like it’s hard to attract new students because of the number of other larger schools in your area that may overshadow yours. The more students you can bring in, the more likely it is that you’ll be able to provide the best opportunities for your students.
#4: There is a cycle of dependency that affects small schools.
Since smaller schools are often located in areas where students do not have many other schooling options available, they can become dependent on their existing student body. This means it becomes harder for them to bring new students into the community, which makes it more important than ever for your smaller school to do everything it can to attract new students and keep them coming back.
#5: Enrolling international students is important for small schools.
With the current state of global politics, many international students are looking to go to school in America because they are concerned about safety issues at home. This has led to an increased number of international students attending American schools while it has also led to many small schools experiencing a decline in the number of domestic students enrolling.
Smaller schools have many challenges that are different from larger public universities. To combat these problems and attract new students, it’s important that your school focus on improving your admissions and enrollment process through outreach efforts, open houses, being flexible with your enrollment process, and optimizing the services you provide.
How To Choose The Right Admissions Software
Smaller schools need to be aware of how to choose the right admissions software. Here are the four steps smaller schools should follow when choosing their admissions software.
#1: Determine what you need your software to do
It’s not enough for smaller schools to simply find admissions software that works. They also need to find the right type of admissions software for their specific needs. Every school is different, so it’s important to make sure your school gets the right solution for your community.
#2: Make sure your software provider has experience with smaller schools.
Smaller schools have very different needs than larger public universities. That’s why you must choose a school admissions software provider that specializes in serving the unique demands of smaller institutions. Smaller schools typically don’t have large budgets to spend, so they need to work with companies who can customize their software in ways that will help smaller schools achieve their goals.
#3: Determine what your school’s identity is and how you want it to be projected online.
Identity is very important when it comes to larger public universities, but it becomes even more critical when dealing with smaller schools. That’s because people who attend larger universities have many different options to choose from whereas people who attend smaller schools often only have one. Your admissions software provider needs to be able to help you present a unique identity that will attract new students and keep them coming back.
#4: Make sure your provider is responsive.
Smaller schools need admissions software that can adapt quickly and adhere to a changing environment. That’s why your admissions software vendor needs to be responsive. They should be willing to work with you when making changes or taking on new initiatives, otherwise, you could end up looking elsewhere for the right solutions.
Smaller schools need to focus on improving their admissions and enrollment processes. They should do everything they can to attract new students and keep them coming back. Smaller schools also need to be aware of what kind of admissions software they need and want, as well as how their chosen vendor will be able to help them achieve their goals.
SchoolCues is an all-in-one school management system for small schools with limited budgets and resources. Our solutions include admissions and enrollment, online payments, student information system, gradebook, communications, parent engagement, donations and fundraising, alumni management and more. Schedule a demo with us today.