As the year ends, we’re reflecting on the top private and independent school trends we saw in 2022. Based on our K-12 Trends Report, these trends give us a look at what we can expect going into 2023 and valuable insight into how schools can increase their visibility, admissions, enrollment, and retention rates 

Marketing During the School Search 

Marketing plays a large role in attracting new students and families, but most private and independent schools lack a dedicated marketing team. School technology can help bridge this gap and allows schools to ramp up their marketing efforts without additional staff. Connected solutions enable schools to leverage student and family data to plan targeted campaigns, send personalized communication, host events, and more. 

Creating a school marketing plan is a great place to start; this will outline everything from areas of opportunity to goals and tactics to reach each goal.  

As you develop a marketing plan, here are a few trends to consider from our K-12 report:

  • Private and independent schools that noted increased enrollment were more likely than others to report using an omnichannel marketing approach which included digital advertising, auxiliary programs, and dedicated inbound campaigns.  
  • The three main channels of marketing and lead generation were websites, word-of-mouth, and social media campaigns.

Strategizing for 2023 with these insights in mind can help your school reach mission-aligned families who are excited to learn more about your school community.  

Application and Enrollment

Admission and enrollment continue to be top of mind for private and independent schools, with 66% citing it as their top priority, and four in 10 intending to invest more in both next school year.  

Schools are adapting to shifts in what families are looking for during the application and enrollment process. During the past few years, families became accustomed to facilitating school processes online; though in-person classes have resumed, families still expect a streamlined digital experience from schools they are considering.  

The numbers support this insight, with 39% of the private and independent schools we surveyed identifying as early technology adopters enrolling 101–500 new students last year.  

As schools look to meet this growing demand for digital services in 2023, private and independent schools are making the switch from disconnected solutions to school management suites 

Families can apply, manage their applications, sign paperwork, and pay tuition using a suite. On the school side, staff can nurture leads and prospects, process applications, integrate financial aid, review applicant files, enroll students, collect tuition, and more.  

Ultimately, technology saves both families and staff time while providing a user-friendly experience with information in one system. 

Student and Family Retention 

Building relationships with students and families throughout the year is key to increasing your school’s retention rate. More schools reported a decrease (21%) vs. an increase (18%) in the number of returning students this year, although decision-makers predict that trend will reverse. How can private and independent schools promote a positive upswing in 2023? 

Ensuring a positive student experience by engaging students throughout the school year is an excellent way to increase student retention. The more connected students feel within your school community, the more likely they are to return the following year.   

Schools can also work to understand their family demographic and associated trends. Generational differences will impact how family members consume information, as well as communication preferences.  

A connected system can pull student and family data into reports so schools can identify demographics. Then, they can incorporate the appropriate communication strategies into their school marketing plan to ensure they are encouraging student and family engagement—and in turn, retention—all year round.   

Get a Head Start on 2023-2024 Planning

As we embark on a new year, schools can head into planning for the 2023–2024 school year with these key insights in mind. Find even more insights by downloading our K-12 Trends Report resources for private and independent schools.  

Increasing visibility, admissions, enrollment, and retention can be supported by leveraging the latest technology. A connected system streamlines each step of the student lifecycle, keeping staff, students, and families engaged.  

Ravenna can help your school provide a fully connected experience. Chat with a team member to see how it can help you reach your goals.  

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