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An enrollment checklist

Is your school meeting its enrollment goals? Are you using strategies that can make the most difference? When AAI Principal Rich Gerig assesses an enrollment program, he looks for these 15 key indicators. How does your school measure up?

1. A quality, distinctive program – Are mission and vision consistent? Understood? Appealing? Being achieved? This is crucial.

2. Retention and recruitment – Enrollment includes keeping current students as well as recruiting new students. Are you attentive to both?

3. Enrollment goals – Who sets them? Are they realistic? Are they being reached?

4. Enrollment plan – Do you have a written enrollment plan that includes measurable goals, objectives and activities?

5. Understanding and applying marketing principles – The goal is finding, attracting and keeping families your school best serves. Can you identify your primary and secondary markets?

6. Prospect segmentation – Among your prospective students, which are the most likely to enroll? Are you giving them greatest attention?

7. Visitation program – Do you have enough visit events? Are they of high quality? Do they include parents as well as students? Are they offered at the right time of year?

8. Recruiting parents – Realizing that parents make most of the final enrollment decisions, how do you recruit parents?

9. Communication plan – Do your newsletters, website and news releases complement the enrollment program?

10. Pro-active retention – What is your retention rate and patterns overall and among grade levels? What kinds of students are most likely to struggle and leave your school?

11. Application process – Is it smooth, clear, timely, prompt, friendly?

12. Financial assistance – Do policies reflect your mission? Is application process simple and understandable? Are awards made promptly?

13. Data collection, reporting – What enrollment information do you collect? When do you prepare reports? Who receives them?

14. Involving others in enrollment – Staff, students, parents, alumni, pastors, donors, board members—are these groups involved in enrollment at your school?

15. Professional development – Are those with enrollment responsibilities given a chance to learn and grow in their work?

Use these indicators as a mirror for your enrollment program and a template for improvement. It will make a difference!